Okon Bassey writes that one of the oil producing areas in Akwa Ibom, Eastern Obolo, has started agitating for a distinct State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly
The people of Akwa Ibom State’s oil rich local government area, Eastern Obolo, have called for the creation of a separate state constituency in the State House of Assembly.
The people argued that they deserve to be given a single constituency seat as the joint ticket it’s sharing with Ikot Abasi local government area, has not helped in promoting the development of Eastern Obolo as an oil producing area.
Besides the demand for the creation of state constituency they equally called for the creation of Akwa Ibom State Oil Producing Committee Commission.
The President of a socio-cultural organisation in the council “Obolo me Obolo”, Mr. Emmanuel Paul presented the position of the people in Uyo.
He disclosed that the LGA had enjoyed single constituency ticket in the then Cross River State and in Akwa Ibom State shortly after the creation of the state in 1987, wondering why it is now sharing a state constituency seat with Ikot Abasi LGA.
“Another thing we want to mention is that as a child, our royal father here has represented us in the then Cross River State House of Assemby (Eastern Obolo) not (Eastern Obolo with Ikot Abasi).
“Hon Dan James represented only Eastern Obolo in Akwa Ibom State after the creation of the state. The question is how come now we are sharing a state constituency ticket with Ikot Abasi LGA. Eastern Obolo deserves a single seat in the state House of Assemby” Paul said
He also appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to create Akwa Ibom oil producing committee commission adding that other states in the Niger Delta region have started ripping the benefits of such a commission.
“Our appeal is that governor Udom Emmanuel should create an oil producing community committee commission for Akwa Ibom State. Delta State has it, other states in the Niger Delta region have theirs and they are ripping the results of it already.
“If we have an oil producing Commission that is funded by government most of the demands will now be channeled through the commission. We need a director and a state representative in NDDC” he said.
He decried the level of marginalisation of the local government in the area of appointments by the federal government agencies and multi-national companies operating in the area, saying people from other local governments come in to claim Eastern Obolo
“If you go to Total Nigeria Limited, ExxonMobil, Shell Petroleum Development Company and others, you will see indegines from other local governments claiming they are from Eastern Obolo while our land is being destroyed every day by gas flaring” he said
In another development, the All Progressives Congress(APC), Akwa Ibom State chapter has frowned at appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari especially as it affects the State.
The Party, particularly criticised President Buhari for his choice of Mr. Iboro Akpabio as an ambassador designate from the state.
The party argued that Mr Iboro is not known to the state chapter of the APC and may not even be an indigene of Akwa Ibom state.
The Party in a statement signed by the state publicity secretary of the APC, Nkereuwem Enyongekere, frowned seriously at Buhari’s style of appointments from the state without recourse to the leadership of the party in the state.
Enyongekere described as ‘extraneous’ appointments by the federal government which does not favour members of the party.
He said the attitude of Presidency as regards federal appointments could stall the party’s chances of making any impact in the state in the 2023 elections.
The statement urged Buhari to reward genuine members of the party in Akwa Ibom who sacrificed their time and resources for the party.
The party’s spokesman also said tthe party had petitioned the presidency on the issue, where he lamented that the Presidedent Mohammadu Buhari was yet to learn from the mistakes of his first term.
“The State Chapter in the said letter lamented that even in the second term of the administration President Muhammadu Buhari which the party in the State had expected to benefit from the robust relationship of 2019 elections and for obvious reasons that he will learn from the mistakes of his first term, but unfortunately, the news of every new appointment from Akwa Ibom state has been so nerve wracking and disquieting to the members of APC in the State, thus weakening the threshold of our party in the state as genuine members who have sacrificed their useful resources are completely cheated out.
“The letter underscored among such political appointments, is that of Mr. Iboro Effiong Akpabio, Ambassador designate, as one of the persons the party is not very sure if he is from the state as he is unknown to the party and its members.
“if such trend is not discontinued, will surely discourage members from giving their best to make APC work in Akwa Ibom State and thereby hampering the build up towards 2023″the statement reads
“For the purpose of roburst relationship, the State Chapter should be readily consulted by federal government while making appointments to strengthen the base of loyalty by members.” The statement stated.
This, according to the party, would help to reposition the Party towards growth and and development as the next elections will still be on the basis of party, hence the need to empower members.