Joe Effiong, Uyo
Oron nation, made up of the five local government areas of Oron Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State has demanded the gubernatorial ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the only condition of supporting the party in the state.
In their position statement released by Oron Mandate Group and signed by their Secretary, Eteyen Ukpong, Oron nation said in the ongoing political calculations and intrigues in the state, Oron nation with five local government areas , including, Oron, Mbo, Udung Uko, Urue Offong/Uruko and Okobo, would like to know their interest in the political calculation of the APC ahead of the 2019 elections.
“It will be good to recall that our founding fathers at the creation of the state in 1987 had agreed and laid a curse that since Akwa Ibom stands on a tripod, the governorship seat must always be zoned to rotate on the basis of the three major ethnic groups in the state – Ibibio (Akpan), Annang (Udo) and Oro (EtokUdo), in the interest of unity, equity and harmonious co-existence.
“APC, as a party, must be sensitive and responsive to genuine grievances from ethnic groups if it must survive and make any meaningful impact in 2019 in Akwa Ibom State,” the group said in the statement.
The statement was copied to President Muhammadu Buhari, national chairman of APC as well as his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, the national leader of the party and many others.
The group averred that APC marginalization of Oron nation, just as it was under the People’s Democratic Party, started when they were deprived of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) managing director’s position.
“The ongoing defection drama of Senator Godswill Akpabio which seeks to throw up Nsima Ekere for governorship and the deputy governorship seat zoned to either Uyo or Ikot Ekpene senatorial districts with the Oron nation once again short-changed, may not augur well for the party and the state.
“Oron nation will never compromise on the 2019 governorship seat as this remains the only way to preserve, promote and protect the peace, unity and progress of Akwa Ibom State as proposed by our founding fathers.
“The interest of Oron must be a major priority in 2019 and we demand the governorship position be zoned to Oron by the APC and nothing more. We are tired of being constantly used and dumped by other ethnic groups while we remain slaves in the politics of the state.
“We have been deceived and severely marginalised since the creation of the state. We have been deceived on Ibaka Deep Sea Port. We were deceived on the issue of the governorship seat in 2015 masterminded by Akpabio with a similar sinister plan unfolding before us as we count down to 2019.
“Oron Mandate Group hereby demands that the APC must not toy with the interest of the Oron nation in 2019.
“We call on the APC National Working Committee and President Muhammadu Buhari to look into the predicament of the Oron people and address this age-long injustice against Oron nation if the party is desirous of winning the 2019 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State,” Oron nation said.