By Wisdom Peter,
The Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Udo Samuel Ekpenyong is reported to have played host to Village Heads from the nine local government areas in Uyo Senatorial District at the Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers Council hall Uyo.
Prominent leaders of thought in the state were present, including Uyo Local Government Chairman Hon. Elder Imoh Okon.
According to reports reaching Brainnewsradio, has it that the body of Village Heads prayed the government to increase their N25,000 monthly stipend because of the present day economic situation does not leave much to cater for their needs.
They also asked that the Government redeem its pledge of two buses to the body of village Heads and the promise to give each village head the sum of N500,000 for wardrobe allowance, a promise made by the previous government of His Excellency Chief Godswill O. Akpabio.
Prominent stakeholders from Uyo senatorial district are reported to have spoken at the event and all expressed their desire that the Royal fathers should support the Peoples Democratic Party inorder to re-elect Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel for a second term in office so that Uyo senatorial district can get the chance to produce the Governor in 2023.
Conforming to information, Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Obong Victor Attah created the Rotational Governorship Policy, in which case, the three senatorial districts of Akwa Ibom State will have to produce a Governor in turns. The Policy started with him representing Uyo senatorial district, then it was God’swill Akpabio, representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, now it’s Udom Emmanuel, representing Eket Senatorial district. After the current Government, the cycle will start again where an Uyo senatorial district son will take over.
This is what the Stake holders briefed the Royal fathers of, telling them not to be deceived that the best bet for Uyo senatorial district to produce the Governor would be after the present Governor completes his second term in 2023 and any other arrangement would not produce satisfactory results.
The Honorable commissioner, according to reports, while addressing the Chiefs, in a statement, said that Uyo senatorial district is a core Ibibio group and is the largest ethnic group in the state and accounts for over 60 percent of the state’s population.
He reprimanded the Royal fathers to use their strength in numbers to support their Ibibio son, Udom Emmanuel in the 2019 gubernatorial elections.
He also praised the current government for creating a peaceful state where anyone can vie for political office without intimidation or harassment and recalled that during the previous government of Godswill Akpabio, majority of the people that were kidnapped, killed, maimed or incarcerated during the 2010/2011 election season were
One minute of silence is said to have been observed in honour of the Ibibio martyrs which included the Oku Ibom Ibibio III Paramount Ruler of Nsit Ubium, Edidem James Robert Obot whose lives were cut short because of the reign of terror of that government.
He also said, the agreement to allow Government to rotate along senatorial districts was spearheaded by an Ibibio son who served for 8 years and left the scene for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district to produce the Governor.
He continued, saying, if Victor Attah was not magnanimous in enforcing that policy, Chief Godswill Akpabio would never have become the governor and wondered why former Governor Akpabio would now be behind the move to stifle the zoning formula he benefited from after he was allowed to stay in power for eight years.
On the request of the Village heads, The Commissioner announced the immediate release of two buses to the body of Village heads and promised that immediately the Nigerian Labour Congress is done with the paperwork that sees the increment of the National minimum wage to N30,000, that the State Government will immediately effect an increment of the monthly stipend for Village Heads but for the interim the Royal fathers should expect an additional N3,000 to their monthly stipend.