By Emmanuel Ufon
The Elders, Youths, Stakeholders and Opinion leaders from Utut Annang Clan in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State on Wednesday cried to Gov Udom Emmanuel to come to their rescue on the zoning arrangement of the area concerning the forthcoming local government council election.
The stakeholders who spoke under the auspices of Utut Annang Stakeholders Forum after their meeting in the area, said the principle of rotating the office of the council chairman was initiated by the founding fathers of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.
The opinion leaders comprising Doctors, lawyers, former elected officeholders, government appointees and men of God said they were constraint to cry out after consulting other stakeholders across Etim Ekpo Local Government Area following feelers that some persons who have been lobbied by the incumbent chairman were making a case against the principle of zoning in favor of the third term agenda of Mr. Udeme Eduo.
Reading a written speech signed by 18 of them, the stakeholders traced the inception of Democracy in 1999, saying Utut Annang clan has not clinched the office of the council chairman, but some clan has gone twice, saying the founding fathers in their wisdom established by consensus the principles of zoning of political offices among the five-zone in the area.
They said: “Zoning arrangement from creation favors
Late Chief J. B. Affia, from Ikono Clan in 1992-1993; Engr. Akanimo Edet from Utut Annang clan in 1996; Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem from Utu Clan in1997; Barr Chris Okorie from Obong Clan in 1999-2002;
Hon. Mfon Idung from Uruk Clan in 2004-2007;
Barr. Ikpe Udoaka from Utu Clan in 2008-2011;
Hon. Uduot Jack from Ikono Clan in 2012-2015;
Hon. Udeme Eduo from Obong Clan in 2016-till date ?, Utut Annang clan, 2020.
They lamented that the good and beneficial principle of zoning if truncated, deprecated, jettisoned, and completely destroyed by self-interest seeking politicians may result in a state of an uncontrollable crisis in the entire local government area of which they are not praying for such.
The stakeholders insisted that following the age-long principles of zoning the chairmanship position should naturally move back to Utut Anang clan for peace, justice fair play, and equity to reign in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.
They said: “It is a natural order to protect the above espoused fair principle for the good of our people by ensuring that the chairmanship position moves back to Utut Annang Zone.
“It is in our full and unencumbered resolve to protect and achieve the adherence and implementation of the principle in favor of Utut Annang Zone that we have not only advised ourselves but also taken up the gauntlet to speak on behalf of our humble selves and the people.
“This is now the clarion call demand and appeal we place before the leader of our political party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Deacon Udom Emmanuel who is also a product of zoning, fair play, justice, and equity.
“Consequent upon the above-expressed positions, we solicit all people of goodwill to do everything in their utmost power and disposition to help preserve what has worked well for Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria at large”.
Those, who signed the statement, are Dr. Emmanuel Ukpong, Hon. Ifiok Jim, Hon. Ime Afia, Gloria Ukpong, Udeme Afia, Hon. Etiebet Ntukuyo, Hon. Akaninyene Ukpong, Rev. Dora Ekon, Godswill Akpanntong, Hon. Mfon Ntebono, Eld. Moses Etuk, Aniedi Ukpong, Felix Udofia, Lily Sylvester Usoro, Edu Magnus Ekon, Stephen Udoka, Godknows Samson, Hon. Owoidehe Udoka.