By Akpan Umoren, Uyo
The President-General of Uda Community Youth Development Organisation (UCYDO) in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Ulap Opio Etifit, has described the new Secretary to the Government of Akwa Ibom State (SSG) Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, as a God-sent.
Etifit, who spoke to our reporter in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital yesterday, said the appointment has reduced the feeling that Oron nation is marginalized in Akwa Ibom politics and that it has given the Oron people a sense of belonging.
The youth leader, who decried what he called “politics of exclusion” allegedly initiated and implemented by the past administrations in the State, explained that the only position the immediate past government thought Oron man merits was that of Chief Whip in the House of Assembly.
He said, “One cannot explain what crime Oro nation committed against the last administration. The hatred and marginalization was so deep that no Oro man was considered qualified to occupy any significant office in the State they belong. It is on record that Oro nation contributes whopping 70 percent oil revenue to the State economy.
“The resources are used to develop other areas while Oro wallowed in unexplainable underdevelopment. As we speak, Uda community, for instance, does not have access road as the only bridge which links Enwang, the headquarters of Mbo local government area to Offi Uda, where the new SSG comes from, was abandoned.
“I commend His Excellency, Gov Emmanuel for this palliative step. This is right choice and one of the best since he took over. I assure Akwa Ibom people that with Dr Ekuwem’s track record and disposition, he the best man for the plum job,” he submitted, and added that Dr Ekuwem’s appointment came after 20 years of an Oro man reaching that level in Akwa Ibom politics.
The Uda Youth Leader congratulated the new SSG for what he described as timely and historic appointment, saying there was no doubt that the SSG would deliver to the admiration of all, but called on all Akwa Ibom people to support Dr Ekuwem to help him succeed.
Recall that the new SSG, who was sworn-in last week, took over from Sir Etekemba Umoren in a move many interpreted as a bold step by the State government to dismantle former governor Godswill Akpabio’s political structure and influence in the State.
The government had said Umoren’s sack “is part of a continuous effort to rejig the governance structure of the state which started with the swearing-in of two new commissioners less than two months ago.”