A socio political group, the Eastern Ibibio People Association have appealed for the support of the Ntisong Ibibio for Itu /Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom state come 2023.
Members of the association made the appeal yesterday in Uyo during an advocacy visit to the Ntisong Ibibio 111, Obong Essien Ekidem and his council in his palace.
Leader of the group, Barr Eteyen Archibong while addressing the Ibibio Patriarch lamented that the people of Eastern Ibibio comprising of four local government areas in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo senatorial districts, Ibiono Ibom, Ikono, Ini and Itu have over the years been marginalised by successive administrations in the state in terms of sensitive political appointments and sitting of development projects.
Archibong called for support for the people of the area to produce the governor of the state in 2023 even as power returns to Uyo senatorial district.
He explained that Uyo and Etinan federal constituencies have had the privilege to produce democratically elected governors in different dispensations adding that it was fair, and an act of justice to allow Itu/ Ibiono Ibom federal constituency in Uyo senatorial district to take a shot at the top job of the governor.
“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 come to you and members of your council today to solicit your support as fathers and elders of Ibibio land”.
He lamented that the area has not produced a deputy governor or a minister since the dawn of the present political dispensation.
“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 said.
He stated that in the spirit of political inclusiveness which is a cardinal point in the development agenda, it was natural for other zones to support the governorship aspiration of the Eastern Ibibio people adding that Ikono/Ini federal constituency was one of the areas in the state with the highest number of bad roads in the state.
“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 further stated.
In his response 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, but, that 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.
The Ntisong opined that the 2023 governorship election was capable of addressing perceived cases of marginilisation and political exclusion if the political class would subject themselves to the wise counsel of the elders.
He maintained that the next governor of the state should be that person that would adopt a holistic approach to the development challenges facing the people of Akwa Ibom state in addition to being 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 resources 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,” advising them against any form of violent agitation.