Akwa Ibom community decries political exclusion
WITH about four months to the end of the tenure of Council Caretaker Committees in Akwa Ibom State, people of Nung Ndem clan, in Onna council have called for the zoning of the next chairman of Onna to the clan.
According to them, that would give the people of Nung Ndem clan a sense of belonging as other two clans within the area have taken their turns in producing the leadership of the council.
The traditional rulers and youth leaders from the area expressed this views yesterday, during an empowerment programme sponsored by a philanthropist, Mr. Enoto Ikpe.
Ikpe appealed to other clans to support the request of his people, noting that this would prove that they are of the same stock, though divided by clans for political convenience.
He expressed the belief that the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, an indigene of the council area, would also in the spirit of power rotation, which brought him to power, support the quest of the people of the clan in thhe interest of peace and mutual trust in the area.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel is a fair-minded personality and we the people of Nung Ndem clan trust him to do justice to this quest for the sake of fairness and equality.
The people of the three clans in Onna are brothers and it will amount to alienating us if we are not given a sense of belonging. The other two clans have always been the ones monopolizing political positions and that is why this time we are appealing to them to let us have this
position so that at least we can have a feeling of being part of this local government area,” he said.
According to him, “The project was to support the youth empowerment and industrialization programmes of Governor Emmanuel and the Family Empowerment and Youth Re-orientation Programme of the wife of the state governor Mrs. Martha.
Corroborating the views of the Youth leader, the Clan head of Nung Ndem, Etebom Akpan Eno, insisted that the position of chairman of the area in the next council election should be zoned to them to give them a sense of belonging.
He expressed concern that the area has never been represented in the political leadership of the area since the advent of democracy in the country while the two other clans have continued to dominate affairs of the council.
“I am very excited that the people of this clan are united in their resolve to see that the next chairman of this local government comes from this clan.
For a long time we have been relegated to the background by the two other clans because they occupy all the political positions allocated to this local government. For instance currently the Awa clan has the state Governor, the State and National Assembly members, the State Director of Protocol and many others while the Oniong Clan has the State Works Commissioner and a couple of others while we in Nung Ndem are left with nothing.
This is most unfair and this is why we are sticking our neck to see that at least the post of the council chairman gets to us. Nobody from this clan has occupied that position since the advent of democracy in 1999 and so we feel justified in every sense to stake our claim on this position”, he added.
The occasion featured donations of empowerment materials to 15 unemployed persons from the 12 wards of the council by the Enoto Ikpe Foundation.