Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno, has appealed to traditional rulers in the state to resist the temptation by politicians to divide the state along ethnic lines.
Some traditional rulers had dragged the state government to court challenging the passage of the amended Traditional Rulers Law, cap 155 of the Akwa Ibom State Government.
The amended law among other things assigns the position of President-General of the Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers to the office of Oku Ibom Ibibio, neglecting the age-long rotational principles.
This has created a divisive and chaotic environment within the state with some people accusing politicians of fanning the ember of disunity among the traditional rulers.
Speaking on Sunday in Oron against the backdrop of the division while addressing members of the Global Evangelical and Missionary Church of All Nations, Oron, during the thanks giving Service in honour of the Paramount Ruler of Udung Uko and Chairman, Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers, Odidem Bassey Etim Edet, Umo Éno, urged the monarchs to cooperate with the government to institute peace and unity in the state.
“The State is one. Every Akwa Ibom man, whether Oron, Anang or Ibibio, we are one. Who are you going to fight? Probably you are married to an Ibibio woman or you are married to an Annang man or you have grandchildren there. We have come very far as a people and must not allow politicians to divide this state along ethnic lines”, Eno said.
While warning those fanning the embers of disunity to desist forthwith the governor said he was determined to resolve the crisis caused by the amended traditional rulers council law as part of his efforts to harmonize all fabrics of the State.
In his words, “This problem, I didn’t create it. We must understand that it is the traditional rulers that created this problem. I am here to work with you to ensure that we have an amicable solution, but we won’t do it by confrontation.”
Commending the traditional ruler for the grace of God upon his life, the governor noted that his decision to attend the event underscored the high esteem he accords the traditional institution
Responding, Edet, expressed gratitude to God for his life, family, community, the state and for his elevation to the exalted stool of the Akwa Ibom State Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers.
In his homily at the event, the Presiding Bishop Kaiso Okpo urged the traditional ruler to always remain grateful to God for His grace upon his.