Akwa Ibom: Groups allege political sponsorship of traditional stool crisis

2 months ago
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As the faceoff around the highest traditional stool in Akwa Ibom State rages, Akwa Ibom United Front and the Peace Advocacy Initiative have alleged that the monarchy crisis in the state is politically motivated.

They vowed to name the politicians stoking the fire and embers of disunity among the royal fathers in the state.

Recall that some royal fathers from Annang and Oro nations have rejected the amended Traditional Rulers Council Law CAP155, assented to by Governor Umo Eno, describing it as discriminatory.

They claimed the law seeks to grant perpetual leadership of the Traditional Rulers Council to the Oku Ibom Ibibio divide, disregarding the longstanding rotational provision among all paramount rulers in the state.

The monarchs are aggrieved that the new law, termed the “Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers,” only seeks to perpetuate the Ibibio Patriarch and Oku Ibom Ibibio, Nteyin Solomon Etuk in office as the President-General for life.

The State government, however, through the Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong said it would not want to meddle in the affairs of the traditional institution but urged the royal fathers to employ dialogue to iron out their differences.

Different youth groups have matched the streets in protest of the TRC law and have continued to haul insults on government officials on social media.

Women from the smaller ethnic groups in the state, on Tuesday, blocked the entrance of the State House of Assembly in protest, demanding that the law be withdrawn or further amended.

However, following the controversies, the groups in a statement signed by their National Coordinator\, Joseph Ukpong, on Wednesday, regretted that most youths were reacting out of ignorance.

It alleged that some politicians were behind the protests and the ongoing verbal insults, with the aim of crippling the incumbent government.

The group said it was worrisome that people who ordinarily should be advised by the traditional rulers are advising the monarchs just to stir ethnic chaos in Akwa Ibom State.

The statement said, ” the law had been in existence for some time now, there was only an amendment of some portions of the law in line with contemporary issues in the traditional institution as done in other parts of the country.

” We have it on good authority that there are ongoing mass mobilisation of youth groups in Annang land, Oro nation and Obolo people of Eastern Obolo to embark on serial and sustained protest until the government capsizes and to oppose every policy of the incumbent administration if they succeed in this endeavour.

“We have all their names and we are ever ready to expose them to the world to see those bent on derailing the peace we laboured to achieve in the state.

“In saner climes, since the law has already been signed by the Governor, the right thing to do is to begin the process of repealing and making it nugatory by causing the appropriate quarters to send fresh bills to counter the former.

”But those who do not love Akwa Ibom State will want to pass through the backdoor. That is why we continue to plead with everyone to allow the full legislative procedure to be applied in handling this very sensitive issue. Let no one mislead the traditional rulers further by making them go back and forth with their words and position.” They warned.

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