Ahead of the 2023 General elections, a socio political group in Akwa Ibom State, Eastern Ibibio Peoples Association, had consulted the Ntisong of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, Ntisong Essien Ekidem seeking his support in zoning the governorship seat to Itu/Ibiono Ibom local council areas of the State.
The group said the visit to the monarch became necessary following the perceived marginalization and underdevelopment in Ini, Ikono, Ibiono Ibom and Itu local government areas of the State.
The leader of the group, Barr. Eteyin Archibong argued that Uyo and Etinan federal constituencies have produced governors, therefore since it is the turn of Uyo senatorial district to produce the next governor of the state in 2023, Ibiono Ibom/Itu should be given the opportunity.
Archibong said, “Fairness, equity and justice demand that the two other federal constituencies of Uyo and Etinan having had the privilege to occupy the governorship seats at different times, that Itu/ Ibiono Ibom federal constituency be supported to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom state in 2023.
“That is why we decided to consult you and members of your council today, to solicit your support as fathers and elders of Ibibio land. Your majesty, it might interest you to know that the people of Eastern Ibibio have never produced a deputy governor, a federal minister, not to talk of producing a governor.
We are not coming for war; all we want is to seek for your intervention and support to use your position to talk to the people of Uyo and Etinan federal constituencies to support their brothers from Itu/Ibiono Ibom federal constituency in the 2023 governorship position. This will bring fairness and unity to all zones in Ibibio nation”.
He also alleged that Ikono/Ini federal constituency was one of the areas in the State with the highest number of bad roads saying that someone from the area should be given an opportunity to become a governor in order to develop the area as Senator Godswill Akpabio and Governor Udom Emmanuel have done in their areas.
“Today, Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area is a developed town courtesy of the former Governor Godswill Akpabio. Awa of yesterday is a developed town with modern infrastructures courtesy of the present governor, His Excellency Governor Udom Emmanuel.
“We need such infrastructural development in Eastern Ibibio nation. This will be made possible through your support for our struggle to the governorship position in 2023″. He said.
The leader of the group used the occasion to thank the Ntisong Ibibio III for the support he gave to Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency in 2007 and 2011 that led to the emergence of Senator Aloysius Etok as the Senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district.
Responding, the Ntisong Ibibio III, Obong Essien Ekidem lauded the maturity of the association in the presentation of their case, and charged them to maintain and sustain the tempo.
The Patriarch stressed that the stool was not partisan, and would continue to remain politically neutral saying members of the council were not barred from expressing their views on the political and economic development of the Ibibios in particular, and Akwa Ibom state in general.
He mentioned that the next governor of the state should be a person that would adopt a holistic approach to the developmental challenges facing the people of Akwa Ibom State.
According to the Monarch, such a person must be accessible, reliable, and acceptable by the generality of the people.
He urged the political class to always consult with the traditional institution on issues of power sharing and resource allocation in order to accentuate political inclusion.
“The office of the governor of a state should be strictly for a man who has developmental blueprint for the entire Akwa Ibom . We need an outspoken man, a performer and giver. So if you don’t have go and train one before 2023 election”, the Patriarch charged the group.
He advised them against any form of violent agitation, even as he reminded them that power comes from God.