Akwa Ibom Governorship Race: Group Urges Combatants to Douse Tension

Akanimo Sampson

Akanimo Sampson

A socio-political group in Akwa Ibom State, Onna Unity Forum, is appealing to politicians in the state who are locked in power tussle to desist from setting the state on fire.

The group said it is persuaded to call on the political gladiators, and social media influencers to desist from from stoking the fire in the state, and play the power game according to rules.

‘’They are expected to refrain from using words that are capable of inflaming the polity, and be conscious of the fact that at the end of the day, only one person can be the governor at a time.

‘’Hurling insults on Governor Udom Emmanuel must be condemned by all well meaning people as such an exalted office and the person occupying it should never be brought into disrepute’’, spokesman of the group, Aniefiok Udonquak said..

Udonquak who spoke in Uyo, the state capital, said Onna Unity Forum is soliciting for a peaceful conduct by all the actors devoid of any animosity, hatred and the use of foul language ahead of the general elections.

Since the unveiling of Governor Udom’s likely successor by some concerned stakeholders last month, there have been differing opinions, debate and discussions on the development within the social media space and in face-to-face group discussions.

In line with the tenets of democracy, this is certainly healthy for our enduring democracy. Encouraging the promotion of many voices and contributions of the people towards the sustenance of democracy is what Akwa Ibom and all the other states need.

Given that Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, largely due to the heroic struggle of pro-democracy and human rights activists about 23 years ago, there is still room for the learning process to be improved upon.

‘’’We believe that while it supports the contributions of the various interest groups to the discussion, it should however be devoid of personal attacks, political vendetta and pull him down mentality.

‘’It should not give the impression that the people are at war with themselves,  and that they are incapable of organising themselves as a viable political entity that can handle a smooth transition from one administration to another.

‘’The peoples of Akwa Ibom are known to have been at the forefront in agitating for a state of their own long before other groups and have always adopted a peaceful approach to resolving contending issues.

‘’During the quest for the abolition of the unjust onshore/offshore oil dichotomy, it was a trying moment for the people, yet with determination and the adoption of one voice approach, it was possible to have all the contending issues resolved.

‘’While Governor Udom like any other concerned citizen, has the right to support any aspirant, that does not foreclose the participation of others in the electoral process. And, the thinking that the governor has imposed a particular aspirant as being peddled in some quarters tends to be misleading, false and appears to be a distortion of the issue.

‘’Similarly, while the incumbent Lands and Water Resources Commissioner, Pastor Umo Eno, the preferred choice of the concerned stakeholders, has launched his consultation campaign and meeting a cross section of the people in the state, this has not prevented other aspirants from doing so.

‘’Furthermore, the election of a governor can only be done first after he has been elected during his party primaries and after the actual elections. So, there should be no cause for alarm for all the aspirants.

‘’Sadly, the politically charged atmosphere in the state is currently giving a false impression that the recruitment process is on the verge of being concluded. Going by the laid down ground rule, this is certainly not true.

‘’Good enough, one of the aspirants has directed his supporters to be civil and polite in making their contributions to the ongoing debate’’, the Onna group said..

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