Group Protests Over Alleged Marginalization In A’Ibom, Blames Politicians

Group Protests Over Alleged Marginalization In A’Ibom, Blames Politicians
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By Iniobobng Sunday, Uyo

Determined to challenge what is described as “isolation, obliteration and annihilation of Ikono Ibom clan” in Uyo local government area, stakeholders comprising notable professionals, technocrats, traditional and youth leaders rose from their stakeholders meteting under the aegis of Ikono Ibom Development Union (IIDU) to condemn in strong terms lack of basic amenities, absence of infrastructure including dilapidated schools and erosion ravaged earth roads across the clan which has made it the only entirely rural and remote settlement in the local government area that hosts the state capital.

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The Chairman of the conference, Obong Utuk Nkanga in his opening speech said the pitiable scene is a deliberate scheme to marginalize the clan in the affairs of Uyo because there is no justification to warrant the present condition except for the fact that political leaders in successive administrations refused to share dividends of governance equitably across the clans.

With regards to political non-inclusiveness of the clan in benefits accruable to the local government, he noted that self-centred nature of political leaders in the local government area had caused them to consciously and designedly exclude Ikono Ibom clan during the creation of additional three wards in Uyo despite the clan being the largest and highly populated.

Furthermore, Obong Utuk Nkanga justified his accusation by referring to the total exclusion of indigenes of Ikono Ibom clan from the ten slots of supervisors and special advisers allocated to the four clans that constitute Uyo; this according to him, symbolizes gross act of relegation and suppression which the clan is a target.

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He also blamed actions of some privileged indigenes of the clan whom he said lacks the needed voice to vehemently and vigorously condemn the relegation because they want to advance their selfish interest as well as gain from their silence as desired by those from other clans they regard as godfathers.

The chairman of event charged Ikono Ibom Development Union to reposition the body in to exert political for even though it is non-partisan in order to influence emergence of patriotic, credible and selfless sons and daughters of the clan to seek elective positions instead of allowing those that connive with what he termed as suppressors of Ikono Ibom people to form political alliance in Uyo.

In the same vein, the Chairman of Ikono Ibom Development Union, Obong Ime Ekpo, while addressing participants pointed out that the clan was placed in disadvantaged position in Uyo when it was excluded during recognition of omitted villages while some villages in other clans were duly recognized.

Consequently, he called on the state government to right the wrongs during the ongoing creation of new clans and villages so that people of the clan would have sense of recognition and feel accommodated in the sharing of commonwealth and dividends of government.

In respect of the exclusion of Ikono Ibom clan in the recent appointment of supervisors and special advisers list, he recalled that in 1993 the clan had no representative in the composition of caretaker committee of the council which is reference it is not by accident, rather according to him it is orchestrated by some political leaders in Uyo to suppress the clan.

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Obong Ime Ekpo lamented about the state of underdevelopment and appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to intervene in constructing the only trunk road that links all the eighteen villages in the clan as earlier promised by him on two public occasions.

He cautioned electorates of the clan to be mindful of self-seeking politicians that will come for their votes with fake promises in their usual template, whereas they and development of the clan will be dumped immediately after the election.

The two political leaders of the clan, Obong Ukpong Dan and Obong Cyril Ekiko spoke on the need for unity to confront the challenges faced and enjoined Ikono Ibom politicians to mellow down selfish interest, rather should defend the interest of the clan from their respective positions at all times.

Obong Ukpong Dan specifically frowned at the unhealthy situation where critical decisions affecting the clan are taken by outsiders without inputs from leaders of the clan which most times are responsible for marginalization.

He, therefore, appealed to the state governor to open communication channels directly with the leadership of the clan whenever there is matter concerning interest of Ikono Ibom clan in Uyo

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Obong C. Ekiko also blamed infighting as another factor that opens avenues for outsiders to wade in to have dominion over the clan, and discouraged such practice.

He solicited for collective action to advance the political interest of the clan because according to him nothing worthwhile can be achieved acting individually.

Other speakers were Barr. Mfon Ban, Hon. Ekere Afia, Hon. Essien Nkanga, Hon. Okon Nsentip, Hon. Imo Okon,Dr (Mrs) Grace Ekpo who all harped on the need to chart a new course with collective interest as the foremost target.

The meeting ended with a communique calling on the governor to appoint indigenes of Ikono Ibom into the state executive council; request provision of basic infrastructure such as roads, functional schools, hospitals and industries in the clan.

The communique went further to condemn in totality marginalization of the clan in terms of appointments and development as well as appealed that the situation should be corrected while also calling on the state governor to recognize the political leaders in state protocol list.

Aljazirahnews


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Akwa IbomMarginalization