Tuesday, 31 July 2018

AKHA 2019: Etoi decides on Zoning -says publications that Etoi ceded her slot is misleading -appeal governor to uphold zoning for peace

LAST FRIDAY, Royal Fathers in Etoi Clan, Uyo Local Government Area including Village Heads and their Council of Chiefs met with their subjects to take a decisive position on the lingering zoning brouhaha in the area concerning pronouncements published by some faceless individuals in local tabloids and new media.

The gathering was at the instance of the Clan Council of Chiefs that met at the Ifa Ikot Akpabio Village Hall in Etoi to declare their position on zoning. 

The matter have become necessary due to letters the Etoi Clan Council received from their kinsmen in Ikono, Oku and Offot Clans concerning speculations in print and the social media which they considered as disturbing.

The letters which was addressed to the Etoi Clan Council was discussed intensively and resolutions were generally reached. Narrating the contents of the letters, the anchor person, Etteidung Aniefiok Edem, Village Head of Ifa Ikot Akpan disclosed that the letters expressed concerns on critical issues concerning established zoning arrangement in Uyo State Constituency.

He told the gathering that the three Clans namely, Ikono, Oku and Offot including Etoi which make up Uyo State Constituency had wrote to (Etoi Clan) intimating them of disturbing developments in the area which needs urgent attention in order to forestall anarchy. 

He revealed that their concerns is aroused due to publications in Uyo that Etoi Clan whose turn it is to produce the next House of Assembly member to represent Uyo State Constituency next year has ceded her slot to Oku Clan,  citing non readiness as reasons.

Addressing the crowd, the Village Head of Mbiabong Anyanya, Etteidung Eddie Sam (Emunga) who headed the discussions said that the development was scary.

He said that it has become necessary to call  all Etoi indigenes to a meeting as this to discuss the issue as a Clan, disclosing that he is not aware of any such arrangement or meeting to cede Etoi slot to any other Clan.

The Chief stated that everybody knows that it is Etoi Clan’s turn to produce the next legislator to represent the state constituency in 2019, hinting that zoning in Uyo has been enshrined in a document signed by the late Paramount Ruler of Uyo, HRM Nsobom Michael Udoeka and other notable politicians, stakeholders in the area in 2002, following occasional crises resulting in blood letting between Clans in contest for political seats.

Emunga said further that zoning in the area is documented and cannot be changed or altered without due consultations and documentation.

According to him, if zoning had been altered, he demanded to see documents to that effect and continued that if Etoi Clan surrenders her turn, no other Clan will surrender her slot to her (Etoi Clan) as indicated in the letter.

The prominent traditionalist in the area cursed any son or daughter of Etoi who connives with any foreign elements to try to sell the rights of the area for whatever reasons.

He said that royal fathers are responsible for peace and security of their various communities and therefore called on the indigenes to speak their minds on the matter.

However, no indigene or group in the area claimed responsibility for the controversial publications given rise to suspicions that it was the handwork of outsiders who wanted to disenfranchise the Clan and cause mayhem in the local government area. 

Speakers, who spoke on behalf of villages and groups in Etoi Clan, on the development includes, Elder Godswill Oku, Ifa Ikot Okpon, Pastor Aniefiok William, Mbiabong, Effiong Edem Etim (Effiong Wire) Mbak, Donatus Udoh, Ifa Atai, Prince Obot James, Ifa Ikot Akpan, Raphael Davies Offiong, Mbiabong Anyanya, Matina Sunday-Uyai, Itiam Ikot Ebia, others who spoke were, Emmanuel Udodong, Ifa Atai, and Obong Iwaad, Sir Wilka Jackson who spoke for youth.

They were unanimous in their resolve to maintain their slot for the state house assembly in 2019, maintaining that it is the turn of Etoi Ward 5 to produce aspirants to fill the slot.

They all denied culpability in the said publication and resolved to hold onto their slot in the interest of peace and continuity.

They expressed confidence that the state governor, His Excellency, Deacon Udom Emmanuel who, himself, is also a product of zoning will do the needful by upholding zoning in the area which they stated has established peace and tranquility in their communities.

They pledged their support for his second term which they posit was enjoyed by his predecessors but particularly, due to his superlative performance so far since he assumed office as the state governor in 2015.

The speakers thanked the royal fathers for their insight and wisdom in handling the affairs of their respective communities urging them to continue to administer judicious service to the benefits of their subjects.

A motion was moved and adopted to drive home the unanimous decision of the Clan to uphold the principle of zoning in Uyo and to fully exercise her right to produce the next legislator to represent Uyo State Constituency in 2019. 
The motion was moved by Hon. Nsikan Nyong and was seconded by Asuquo Effiong.

The signed zoning document was tendered at the gathering.  
In a similar development, the Etoi Clan Council had written a letter to the State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, titled, “Zoning of Political Offices in Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State “ the comity of Village Heads in the area intimated the governor the need to adhere strictly to the existing zoning and rotation of political offices in Uyo. 

The latter reads in part:”As indigenes of Uyo Local Government Area, we are in support of the zoning arrangement in the interest of peace which zones the next slot of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly seat, 2019 to Etoi Clan, Ward 5".

The document stated further, “The zoning and rotation of political offices in Uyo Local Government Area is sacrosanct, and the four Clans that make up Uyo Local Government Area, namely, Oku, Ikono, Etoi and Offot have taken their first round turn at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

“The said zoning arrangement was upheld by the late Paramount Rulerof Uyo in Council, His Royal Highness M. U Eka since 1998 and confirmed in 2002 to the effect that same should be maintained in the interest of peaceful co-existence, and ever since Uyo has been enjoying political stability and peace in an orderly manner devoid of any rancor, bitterness, sentiment, bias, or violence in any way”

The letter stated that Oku Clan will conclude their second round turn next year, 2019 and that it will be in the interest of peace and fair play that Etoi be allowed to take their turn which zones the state assembly slot to Etoi Ward 5.

It stated further that it is surprising to note that the present sitting member, Hon. Monday Eyo is doing everything possible to elongate and contest for a second term which is viewed as an intension to destroy the existing zoning arrangement which has brought about relative peace to the area.

The Clan Council, therefore, plead with the state governor to use his good offices to ensure strict adherence to the zoning arrangement and rotation of political offices in the area as regards Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly seat in 2019.

Concluding that the adherence through the support of the governor will give the area a sense of belonging and the opportunity to contribute maximally to the total development of Uyo Local Government Area.

The letter was jointly signed by the following Village Heads, Eteidung Etim B. Usuk (Ifa Ikot Akpabio) Eteidung Cosmos Sampson (Mbiabong Ayanya) Eteidung Uwem Tom Udo (Ifa Ikot Okpon)  Eteidung Edem Aniedi Ebong (Ifa Ikot Akpan) Eteidung Offiong Eyo Udo (Ifa Ikot Abia Mkpo)  Eteidung Hosiah Edem Okon (Mbiabong Ikot Essien)  Eteidung Essien Solomon (Mbiabong Ikot Antem)  Eteidung Maurice Asuquo Ibanga (Ifa Ikot Idang)  Eteidung Justus Okon (Mbak Akpan Ekpenyong) Eteidung Ezekiel Ekot (Obio Etoi) Eteidung Promise Effiong (Obot Obum) Eteidung Ene Ernest Sampson (Ifa Atai) Eteidung Solomon Okon (Ifa Ikot Obong) Chief Dominic Effiong (Ifa Ikot Abia Ntuen) Eteidung Effiong Asikpo (Itiam Etoi) Eteidung Ignatius Imoh (Mbak Ikot Ebo) Eteidung Boniface B. Okon (Mbak Ikot Abasi)  Eteidung Offiong Bassey (Mbiabong Ikot Akpan) and the Village Head of Itiam Ikot Abia.

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