Unimpeachable evidence seems to point to the fact that the once sincere struggle for Akoiyak has been broken, and that presently we only have ceremonial noises to please and mislead the Ekid public.
Intelligence reveals that while the State Govt has dished out contracts to some Ekid leaders including a select EPU leaders to work for Opolupm Etteh to the detriment of the Akoiyak struggle, the chairmen of Eket and Esit Eket LGAs have also been promised two years as commissioner in Umo Eno’s Govt should they deliver Ekid for Opolupm.
My brethren, the position of Dr. Samuel Udonsak and some Ekid leaders on hosting Opolupm at all cost is more than meet the eyes. Besides this, some Ekid leaders have also made Opolopum Etteh a milking cow by promising him the grassroots votes in Eket and Esit Eket in exchange for pecuniary benefits. This is how 7 million naira was parted by Opolopum Etteh to buy over the grassroots with EPU as the platform. Many EPU leaders are not aware of this dirty hatchet job. But the timeous bursting of the deal stopped Opolopum from being sneaked into the consultation event of Isang Udoakagha, standard bearer of LP on 11/10/2022 as planned.
It is also reported that Rt. Hon. Iniobong Robson got angry with Dr. Samuel Udonsak for allowing Isang Udoakagha of LP to consult EPU, saying that the people at the State are angry and see Ekid as people without a stand. What is that stand as envisaged by the people at Uyo? Opolupm Etteh.
It is quite preposterous that an Ibeno man is good enough to consult Ekid Peoples’ Union because he is of PDP, but an Ekid son cannot consult his fathers and brethren for the sin of not being of PDP. Must we sacrifice our entire heritage and future generations on party politics?
Another report has it that Rt. Hon. Iniobong Robson said in the said consultation meeting that Ibeno is no longer the problem of Akoiyak. But only the State Govt is. When did Ibeno start not being the problem of Akoiyak? Incidentally less than 24 hours after making that statement, Ibeno made a press release against Ekid’s ownership of Akoiyak and signed by the senior brother of Hon. Robson’s man Friday, Opolopum Etteh, and the private secretary of Opolopum Etteh too.
My question to Hon. Iniobong Robson is this; if Ibeno did not hold their ground against Ekid in Akoiyak, would the state govt connive with them against Ekid? Why should Hon. Robson overlook the source of the fountain of water to pursue the pit where the water is flowing into? All these kind of attitude is what has made Ibeno have upper hand against Ekid in the past almost 2 dacades. Have you observed that while seeking for our votes as the only way they can go to the HoR, the Ibeno are still stoic and insist on their stand on Akoiyak and never begs Ekid for support? But that rather Ekid who holds the handle of the knife now are rather defending a recalcitrant people who do not even pretend that they won’t harm you? How strong is the covenant to make our people behave this way?
Dear Ekid people, have you asked yourselves why Ibeno as at 2002 had to beg Ekid to give them land in Akoiyak to build their local government secretariat? That Ekid refused and they appealed to the AKSG through the Deputy Governor, Obong Chris Ekpenyong who intervened and begged Ekid to give them the land? Why is it that in less than 10 years Ibeno now has overwhelming influence over the entire land so much so that by 2021 Dr. Samuel Udonsak was making “offers of peace” for Ibeno to accept sharing our ancestral land with us?
My brethren, it is because of attitudes of pursuing personal interest in the cause of pursuing the Akoiyak superior interest that have caused us this set back and downfall. Today, EPU is being made a platform on which the sponsor and troubler of Ekid should stand on and wrestle votes from our own sons so as to go to the National Assembly and influence laws and Government policies against Ekid as oil producing community. This resolve, Opolopum Etteh’s brother, Arch. Etteh, and private lawyer, Barr. Diamond Akpanika, have again reaffirmed in their press release of 12/10/2022, merely 12 hours after our frontline leaders on the platform of EPU had bamboozled us with folktales that Ibeno is not Ekid problem in relation to Akoiyak.
Such line of argument is only aimed at swaying Ekid votes for Opolupm so that the doors can open for the leaders to recover the promises made to them should they deliver up Ekid to Ibeno.
Yet they forget to ask themselves one question, what if PDP loses the Governorship election? What if Pastor Umo Eno doesn’t stand this election? Either way, Opolopum would still be in the National Assembly and themselves at home. Ekid must arise and take their destinies in their hands.
Time for soul searching.
Manfred Ekpe, Esq
(Community Right Activist)