A’Ibom traditional rulers law, drafted from the mould of the Obong of Calabar

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…protest sponsors have other motives

By Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong

Of the 36 States of Nigeria, it’s common knowledge from analysts through investigations that Pastor Umo Eno, is the second most admired sitting Governor by the electorates after Ademola Adeleke of Osun State.

Umo Eno, a Clergyman and enterpreneur was an ‘amateur politician’ who got skyrocketed in the speed of light from the tail end of the queue of first timers to the first roll of celebrated Governors who has demystified governance and took it to the village square for all to have access to it.

Having refused to let go his identity of Pastor, the clergyman has used his early days evangelism approaches as a dragnet to pull all akwa Ibom citizens to himself.

Pastor Umo Eno who until May 29, 2023 won 17 court cases to be sworn in as Governor of Akwa Ibom was terribly blackmailed and hated by those who saw him as a bad product, but he has proved his naysayers wrong by his easy going character which has endear him to every heart.

As at today, Pastor Umo Eno has few, negligible or no dissenting voice who dislike his policies and the ways and manners he is dispensing governance in Akwa Ibom State.

Hitherto Pastor Umo Eno is seen by over 80% of citizens as the hope of Akwa Ibom State, but just last week a clog has been thrown in the wheels of his administration.

The recent amendment of the State Traditional Rulers Council law, known as: “A Bill for a Law to Amend the Traditional Rulers Law. CAP 155, Law of Akwa Ibom State, 2022” which was earlier subjected to Public Hearing, ratified by the State legislature and signed by Governor Umo Eno as the law of the land has ignited a protest which needs the wisdom of the gods to manage, less its collateral effect may halt the movement of the Governor’s train which is already on motion.

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The new law which intends to put the office of the foremost Ibibio monarch, the “Oku Ibom Ibibio” to be the
President-General of the Supreme Traditional Rulers Council to be in sync with other foremost traditional stools in Nigeria has earned mischievous, deliberate misinterpretations.

A press statement from the State Government said the present law regulating the State traditional institutions was unanimously agreed upon by all traditional rulers in May 2023 in the wee hours of the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel to cast the Traditional Rulers Law. CAP 155, Law of Akwa Ibom State, 2022 in the same mould of traditional laws used in Cross River State where the Obong of Calabar sits in council over other traditional rulers. And all traditional rulers assented to that resolution.

Same law guides the succession plan of the Olu of Warri, the Oba of Benin, the Tor Tiv of Gboko, the Atta of Igala, Oba of Lagos, the Amayanabo of Tom Brass, the Sultan of Sokoto, the Emir of Kano, the Etsu Nupe of Niger State to mention a few.

Feeders from veiled sources say traditional rulers were shown this in their meetings with the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State, hence they still went ahead to agreed that the resolutions of their meetings be sent to the State legislature to be passed into law as the law of the land.

The public hearing of September 14, 2023 was not the beginning of the process and the traditional rulers invited could not claimed ignorance of the Bill which was their creation.

The Public Hearing, as far as that Bill is concerned was the usual process of the State legislature to passed such Bill into law. The content therein were not strange to any of them, considering earlier preambles and briefings they had.

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Thus turning back to call for the head of the incumbent Governor, passing a vote of no confidence on the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, the Chairman House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and by extension all members of the State legislature from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is unnecessary and repugnant to common sense.

The Governor, the Speaker, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District members and every other in the Committee of the Whole in the State legislature inherited that Bill. They did not draft it. That is the benefit of the doubt the protesters owe the incumbent Governor and the State legislature.

The Governor assent to the Bill was to authenticate the resolutions reached by traditional rulers earlier before he got to office four months ago.

If there was need for protest or objection of any kind, traditional rulers who are naysayers today should have protested and say No to the sponsor of the idea in the past administration.

Going through the content of that Bill you will not see clauses referring any ethnic group as third class, second class or first class citizen in Akwa Ibom State.

Those appellations exist only in the imagination of those whose State of origin is the social media.

And if the social media is their country or State, the law governing their territory cannot make them ignorant of natural phenomenon of life.

In Nigeria, the Hausa-Fulani are naturally the largest ethnic group, the Yoruba are the next, and the Igbo are the third largest. There’s nothing one can do about that natural fact. But being Hausa doesn’t make any man of woman from that tribe 1st class citizen and the rest valueless. No please.

Before the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all Nigerians are equal.

The everyday protest of an ethnic group, mobilizing market women and claiming to have co-opted other ethnic armlets of the State is thriving on the advantage the protesters took from the easy going, clergyman approach of His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, which no former Governor would have tolerated.

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The message is well received, the hidden agenda of the protesters is known. But while they want to surreptitiously ride on the back the amendment of the traditional rulers law to drive home their age long motive, kindly do so peacefully and stop heating the polity.

©️Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong, French & English languages Journalist, Researcher, Public Affairs Analyst.
Here reporting @ 9newsng.com
Email: abasiekongabasiekong@gmail.com
+234 8062700985

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About Samuel Abasiekong 999 Articles
Samuel Abasiekong, Senior Journalist, Newspaper Publisher, Author of many literature text books, French-English, English-French languages Translator and Interpreter, Public Relations/Advertising Expert, Multi-sectoral Counsellor & Consultant, Nigerian Red Cross Society Volunteer, News Editor & Reporter @ 9News Nigeria www.9newsng.com www.facebook.com/9NewsNG

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