Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Oro nation insists on 2015 guber *The government of the day knows that Oro should produce the next governor – Engr. Etim Okpoyo


A onetime Ambassador to Italy and former  Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State during Obong Akpan Isemin’s administration, Engr. Etim Jack Okpoyo has said that the next governor should rightfully emerge from Oro Nation in line with the tripod that makes up Akwa Ibom State.

The elder statesman stated this last Saturday during the Oro convention/inauguration of ESSU NLAP Oro, Uyo Branch. He noted that attempt by some persons who know the truth but go on to deny Oro the right of producing the next governor only smacks of desperation and marginalisation. He maintained that with the Ibibios having had their turn followed by the Annangs, it’s only fitting that Oro, as one of the ethnic groups making up Akwa Ibom State produces the next governor of the State. 

Speaking with rage and conviction, he said: “every Ibibio man who knows the history and how politics started in this State knows that the governorship slot should go to Oro; they all know. All those I have contacted are saying the same thing – including the government of the day. Anybody who says the governorship that went to Annang was not supposed to be so is making a mistake”. He also noted that the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah had told him in no uncertain terms in 2007 that the governorship should go to Annang.

He noted with dismay that people are no longer following the tripod now that its Oro’s turn and wondered when things were shared on a senatorial district basis. The former Ambassador also maintained that elders of the State know where the next governor should come from but are perhaps being misled by certain forces, while adding that the Oros are very respectful and will make good leaders if elected. He decried the rate at which attempts were made in the past to ignore Oro from the scheme things, adding that it took a stout opposition from eminent citizens of the area to reverse the trend. He therefore called on Oro citizens not to give up in their agitation to have the next governor emerge from their community, charging them to place their trust and aspirations in God’s hands.

The former ambassador further warned them against quarrelling or causing trouble but go about their agitations peacefully and in line with democratic norms.

Also speaking, the International President of ESUU NLAP ORO (ENO), ULAP Chief Okon Asukwo Enweme noted with delight that ESSU NLAP ORO has been successfully inaugurated in the five local government areas in Oro nation including the mobilization of Oro youths in Cross River, Lagos, Abuja, Rivers State and Ikot Ekpene respectively. He charged the newly inaugurated Uyo chapter to live up to the ideals of the organization and avoid acts that contradicts the constitution of ESSU NLAP ORO: “I have extended to ESSU NLAP ORO, Uyo branch today, the royal blessing as a veritable tool for it operation. With this mandate, you are commissioned to defend and protect Oro interest at all times especially at this period of our history; but be informed that we shall not hesitate to withdraw the mandate if you are found acting otherwise”. He warned.

He called on Oro indigenes to be alive to the responsibility of making sure that the future of generations unborn is guaranteed. He noted that such noble cause can only be achieved if the struggle for power shift to Oro in 2015 is intensified. He noted further that the Governorship of Akwa Ibom State should legitimately and equitably be for Oro nation as the third largest ethnic group in the State in accordance with the power shift or rotation principle and understanding of the tripod on which Ibibios and Annangs took their turn with Obong Victor Attah and Chief Godswill Akpabio respectively.

He further observed that as the largest oil producing ethnic group in Akwa Ibom State with over ten (10) Oil and Gas producing companies (Exxon Mobil, Total FinELF, Universal Energy, Monipulo, Shell, Oriental Energy, Afren Energy, Addax, Equinox, Septa Energy, Associated Oil and Gas etc.) operating in her lands, territorial and inland waters which have contributed over seventy-five percent of derivation accruable to the State; they deserve special consideration to lead the State as Governor from 2015.

He also added that Oro youths will work with other ethnic groups in the State, particularly in the South (Eket Senatorial District) to produce the next governor in 2015 but noted that they will resist with all their strength and energy any political miscalculation aimed at subverting or pushing Oro to marginal existence. 

He expressed gratitude to Oro sons who have so far secured nomination forms for the gubernatorial primary election, observing that Oro nation has qualified persons worthy in character and training to govern the State. 

He further implored those of Ikot Abasi and Eket Federal Constituencies to be true brothers’ keepers, adding that “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”. 

He noted that with the fraternal affinity between Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Ati Annag, Nto Afe Annang, Afigh Iwaad Ekid and ESSU NLAP Oro, they shall collaborate to maintain ethnic harmony and with the assistance of Akwa Ibom Union to produce the next governor from Oron. The highpoint of the day was the inauguration/swearing in of a 12-member executive to pilot the affairs of ESSU NLAP Oro, Uyo branch for the next one year.

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