The Press Release by the Oro Think Tank on Marginalisation: Our Position
We have read in a section of the media, the above referenced issue derived from a press release by a socio- political group Oro Think Tank.
In a statement signed by a former Commissioner for Information, Prince Chris Abasi Eyo, the group took up issues with the recent board appointments and accused Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State for marginalising Oron Federal Constituency in the composition of the boards.
We share and completely agree with the fact that one of the cardinal responsibilities of a socio-political group is to agitate and advocate for the interest of entity they speak for. However, while we are not holding brief for the government, we wish to disagree with the Oro Think Tank on the above issue.
We observe that Governor Udom Emmanuel, since his election in 2015 and re-election in 2019, has been fair in the distribution of appointments across the three senatorial districts and across the main ethnic groups that make up the State.
As an international civil society organisation, which is a watchdog of the society, we would have long taken the governor to task if we had discovered any tinge of marginalisation but, the governor has been fair and balanced in the manner he has distributed political offices in the State.
For instance, apart from the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, an accomplished Oro Nation professional whose office is the engine room of government, Oron federal constituency also has the Commissioners for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin and his Transport counterpart, Hon. Uno Etim Uno as key members of the Udom Emmanuel’s cabinet.
Among the board members from Oron federal constituency are: Barrister Ekpenyong Ntekim, Chairman of the Board of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic; Professor Peter Esuh, Chairman of the Land Use and Allocation Committee; Mr. George Henshaw who was Chairman, Technical School Board between 2016-2020, among several other apartments.
A board appointment is the sole prerogative of the Governor and is a continuous exercise. We are sure the Governor is not done yet with such appointments.
While we encourage the Oro Think Tank to fight for its interest, we advise them not to push this issue of marginalisation as we are convinced the Governor has been fair and transparent in his appointments across the tripod of ethnic interests that make up our dear state.
Otuekong Franklyn Isong
Chairman, Civil Liberties Organisation
Akwa Ibom State
Dated 20th February, 2021