Etim Ekpo Chairmanship: Stakeholders Insist on Zoning

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…Call on Gov. Emmanuel to Intervene in Zoning arrangement

Stakeholders and opinion leaders in Etim Ekpo Local Government of Akwa Ibom State have restated their faithfulness to the principle of zoning the Chairmanship position of the area.

The concerned stakeholders made up of elders, youths and women from Utut Annang Clan made their resolutions known to the public on Wednesday, July 22 under the auspices of Utut Annang Stakeholders Forum, after a meeting.

They recalled that the principle of rotating the office of the council chairman was initiated by the founding fathers of Etim Ekpo Local Government Area and would not be reversed soon or anytime in the future.

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The opinion leaders comprising Doctors, Lawyers, former elected office holders, government appointees and clergies said they were constrained to make their position known following a tip-off 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, whereas some clans have gone twice.

They recalled that their founding fathers in their wisdom had establish by consensus, the principles of zoning of political offices among the five-zone in the area. “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 recounted.

They lamented that the good and beneficial principle of zoning if truncated and destroyed by self-interest seeking politicians, may result in a state of uncontrollable crisis in the entire local government area, while wishing that such does not happen.

The stakeholders insisted that following the age-long principle of zoning, the chairmanship position should naturally move back to Utut Annang clan for peace, justice, fair play, and equity to reign in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area.

“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.