Prominent Ibibio socio-cultural organisations in Akwa Ibom state have thrown their weights behind Ifim Ikpaisong Ibibio, the supreme council of Ibibio Traditional Rulers, saying that they recognised the patriarch of Ibibio nation as Oku Ikpaisong Ibibio with no numerals and not Oku Ibom bibio I, II, III, IV or V.
This was made known in a communique jointly signed by the Chairman of Ibibio Elders’ Forum, Dr Okon Akpan Uko; the President-General of Ibibio National Union, Bishop C.O.Akpan; the president of Odudu Ibibio, Daniel King Udom; and the president of Supreme Council of Ibibio Youths, Elder Sammy Brown dated 1st December, 2016, and made available to newsmen in Uyo.
The statement which is captioned; “Re: Mboho Afid Ibibio”, read in part; “We therefore state unequivocally and categorically that: We dissociate our members and organizations from the resolutions of the meeting of the so-called “Mboho Afid Ibibio” published as communique.
“We declare and reaffirm our unflinching and unalloyed supports to IFIM IKPAISONG IBIBIO under the leadership of His Eminence Edidem Ime Dickson Umoette, OON, JP., as the Supreme Council and Voice of Ibibio Traditional Rulers.
“We recognize the Patriarch of Ibibio Nation as OKU IKPAISONG IBIBIO with no numerals, and NOT Oku Ibom Ibibio I, II, III, IV or V.
“We kindly advise the sponsors of “Mboho Afid Ibibio” to respect constituted authority in Ibibio land.”
Meanwhile, Ibibio South Forum (ISF), another prominent Ibibio socio cultural organization in the state has in a statement dated 1st December, 2016, signed by its Leader and Secretary, Dr Martyns D. Udo-Inyang and Obong Essien Okon Ufot-Ekpo has also dissociated itself from the Mboho Afid Ibibio communique.
The group stated that; “We wish to state that ISF delegation to the meeting did not sign the communiqué of the resolutions and has accordingly disassociated herself from the claim as published in the aforementioned newspapers for the following reasons:
“ISF was not invited to participate in an earlier meeting(s) where the resolutions were agreed to and as such was not versed with arguments canvassed and advanced for the changes.
“ISF was not given a chance at the meeting of 23rd November, 2016 to air her views as the resolutions were simply read and adopted at the said meeting.
“ISF was in the meeting through a representation and is yet to convene a general meeting where the far reaching issues raised in the communique will be tabled for discussion and a position adopted.”
It would be recalled that a meeting was called at Asan Ibibio by Ntisong Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, Obong Udo Essien Ekidem, on Wednesday, November 23, 2016, where a communique was read and adopted listing Ibibio Elders’ Forum, Ibibio National Union, Odudu Ibibio, Supreme Council of Ibibio Youths and Ibibio South Forum among the six Ibibio socio-cultural organisations that endorsed the communique and resolutions of the meeting.
When this newspaper interacted with some prominent Ibibio elders at the weekend on the development, they maintained that; “Now that five out of the six Ibibio groups that were named in the Mboho Afid Ibibio communique have come out to publicly dissociate themselves from the Mboho Afid Ibibio and its sponsors, the people of Ibibio nation would expect an unreserved apology from the masterminds of the Asan Ibibio meeting. Because they are agents of disunity in Ibibio land.”