Sunday, 22 September 2013

Ikon takes peace, unity tour to Ntisong Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio says BY JOSEPH OKON

Don’t blame Akpabio, Ibibios are the architect of their misfortune

Ikon takes peace, unity tour to Ntisong Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio says BY JOSEPH OKON
Worried by the recent tribal politics played in the state, the speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Elder Samuel Ikon has called on Akwa Esop Ima Isong Ibibio and Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio to join him and reach out to other Ibibio sons and daughters to shun tribal politics and sentiments. 

Elder Ikon stated this when he paid a surprise visit to Ntisong Ibibio, Ntisong Essien Ekidem and Mkpisongs in Council at Ntisong’s palace in Ewet Housing Estate.
The speaker said that he was at Ntisong’s palace as an Ibibio son to give Ntisong and Council respect and to thank them for their support they have given him since he became the speaker of the 5th Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and commended Ntisong in his transformational leadership for making Asan Ibibio what it is today.

He told Ntisong that Governor Godswill Akpabio has absolute respect for the legislators and allows it to run as a separate arm of government without interference, adding that the governor has given the house a free hand to operate and where it is not well understood they always seek clarification.
Elder Ikon said that he as the speaker can dissolve House committees and set-up again without consulting the governor which is not the case in other states. The speaker maintained that the present administration recognizes the Ibibios more than any and wondered why people for their personal problems with the governor could be making statements and credit it to Ibibios being treated unfairly. 

He said that it is in the present administration that Ibibio son is the finance commissioner, Secretary to State Government, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, State chairman of PDP and other high positions in government.
He explained that Governor Godswill Akpabio recognizes the Ibibios and has done everything humanly possible to unite all sections of the state and has given Ibibios opportunities to serve in various capacities. He argued that the problems of the Ibibios are within themselves and should stop pointing accusing fingers on the man who has given Ibibio people a sense of belonging in the leadership of the state. 

The speaker said that Ibibios must learn to love themselves like other tribes are doing, adding that they must stop discriminating themselves and should help each other to get to the top. He said let us not attribute our problems to others when we are the cause of our own problems,  an Ibibio man don’t want to help a fellow Ibibio man be it in politics or business, let us start to help ourselves”. 

A former member of the State House of Assembly, Chief Ukata Akpan who is a member of Akwa Esop Ima Isong Ibibio pleaded with the speaker to always ensure during appropriation that development projects in the state are given a cardinal importance and that when that is done, the people will always remember him for being an instrument that brought development to their own land.

They called on a regular meeting and interactions with all Ibibio lawmakers in the State House of Assembly, saying that they are very proud of the speaker on his performance and have not disappointed Ibibios and Akwa Ibom State. 
Responding, Ntisong Essien Ekidem said that the speaker has done well in the State House of Assembly and thank him for giving him and the council the respect. He said that it is not easy for one to speak and another listen and commended members of the House for showing maturity in their conduct. Ntisong further said that whenever things are not going the way it should be, the House always rise to the occasion and make laws for the benefits of the people and government, adding that the present government has done well and that even the blind can testify to that.

At the closed door meeting the speaker had told Ntisong how Ibibios rose against him in all aspects including members of the House from Ibibio extraction. The speaker said that those entire crises in the House of Assembly and reports of his impeachment threats were all propagated by some Ibibio lawmakers. He maintained that up to three times the governor has approved special advisers for him but Ibibios sat on it and ensure that the appointment don’t see the light of the day.

Elder Ikon a source said had told Ntisong Ibibio that he knows of a member of the house who was behind all those crisis and had sponsored some of the publications that were written against him that he will be impeached. He questioned whether Ibibios are just realizing now that they have been marginalized because Umana Umana has been removed from office and replaced with another Ibibio son and wondered why the removal of a personal appointed staff of the government becomes an issue which the governor has the power to appoint and fire at will.

On the allegation that the governor is tribalistic and trying to destroy Ibibios, Elder Ikon said even in the dream he can stand up at any time and defend the governor, and described Governor Akpabio as a detribalized Nigerian in all ramifications both in terms of human and infrastructural development. He said he was always very angry to hear anybody say that Governor Akpabio is tribalized because he has worked closely with Governor Akpabio and can authoritatively say that Akpabio is a lover of unity and not a tribal person, he has recognized the Ibibios very well, even when he dropped the former SSG, he still appointed another Ibibio son into that office including the deputy governor which clearly shows that he has a very high regard and respect for the Ibibios but Ibibios are the cause of all these problems. The speaker said that some of these Ibibio sons who are now saying that Akpabio do not love Ibibios what did they do when they were given opportunity in this government, so because they have been removed from government Akpabio now over night becomes an enemy of Ibibios. He stressed that Ibibios are the cause of their own problem because they don’t want to see others grow because the few want to be kings while others beg them to eat. He maintained that he enjoys the support of other tribes in the State House of Assembly more than that of Ibibio lawmakers who are supposed to protect him being one of their own.
At Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, the speaker said that the visit was important having make laws for two years, he needed to go round and talk to his brothers in the state on the need to promote peace and unity among the Ibibio tribe and the state at large. Elder Ikon said disunity will not help Ibibios or Akwa Ibom State in anyway but what will make the Ibibios strong and Akwa Ibom State is a unity of purpose.

He told Mboho that the state Governor Chief Godswill Akpabio has made the state legislature an independent arm of government and he can constitute committees and reorganized it without consulting the governor. The speaker reiterated the commitment of the 5th Assembly to make it the people’s assembly which he promised on his inauguration day, adding that before the house went on the last recess, the house had noticed some strain of insecurity in the state, saying that the house will not fail to rise against it if the train is not curtailed and called on the commissioner of police to take action immediately.

He called on Mboho to join him and reach out to other Ibibio sons and daughters to support the government of Chief Godswill Akpabio and stop fanning the embers of tribalism and disunity for any reason saying that there is no government that can satisfy everybody within its tenure, and that the State House of Assembly is very satisfied with the performance of the governor. He said that it is in this government that Ibibio people are found in most important places in government like deputy governor, SSG, Finance commissioner, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, chairman of PDP and others.
The speaker said that this is the time Ibibios must rally round this government and negotiate on transition and that Mboho should preach peace and unity of purpose and called on those behind mischief-making to order and seek the unity of Ibibios while describing Governor Akpabio as a detribalized Nigerian.

Responding, the international president of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Akparawa Nse Ubeh commended the speaker on his foresight and stability in the State Assembly and ensure that weapons are not used on the floor of the house and neither the mace was carried away. He said that Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly under the leadership of Elder Samuel Ikon has stabilized the polity in the state by giving what he called excellent legislative backings to the governor that has brought about the uncommon transformation in the state.

Mr. Ubeh told the speaker that Mboho is one of the organizations in the state that is championing the call for peace and unity in support with the work of the House of Assembly, adding that to banish tribal discrimination, Mboho inducted those from other tribes as full members and described Mboho as the umbrella of unity and peace in Akwa Ibom State. He said that Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio is the only organization that will tell anybody the truth and say it the way it is. He called on the police commissioner to step-up security to ensure safety of lives and properties.

The international president called on the speaker to look at relevant laws that can call some construction companies operating in the state to order and complained about reckless driving by Setraco Nigeria Limited who nearly killed one of its members recently, adding that as long as they are developing the state which Mboho is not against, they are making their money as well and should be made to obey laws and orders in the state they are operating.
He said that Mboho is prepared to give the present administration a conducive environment to work for the people of the state and warned against sowing a seed of disunity and tribalism by Ibibios today which he maintained that will certainly affect them if an Ibibio man becomes the next governor of the state, and it will be difficult for them to begin preaching unity because there is a crack created already.

After the opening session the speaker also proceeded in a closed door meeting which lasted for hours with the international president and the leadership of Mboho. The speaker who intended to also visit Ibibio Elders Forum the same day could not proceed because of the Nigerian Medical Association NMA conference that was held in the state. The visit to Ibibio Elders Forum was postponed and a new date was to be communicated later.

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