I have read Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok’s perspective on the Akpabio third term cabinet in Gov. Emmanuel administration. Arc. Nya-Etok seems to imply that there is no cause for alarm. For Ekid people, who are grossly marginalized and unrepresented in the cabinet, Arc. Nya-Etok appears to tell them to be patient. This pacifist view of a profound problem that demands immediate attention and rectification is insulting to the intelligence of even an average Ekid person.
First,it must be pointed out that Arc. Nya-Etok is just a last-minute convert to embrace zoning. For the longest, he had argued it against it. Like many other people in the camp that adamantly opposed zoning, he usually used the code word: “competence,” experience,” blah! blah!! blah!!! When our prominent sons and daughters, like our prolific Prof. Felix. Edoho, were arguing that zoning must be respected, Arc. Nya-Etok insisted on experience. In one of his classic discourses, “The House that Arc. Nya-Etok Built,” Prof. Edoho challenged Nya-Etok’s outrageous arguments that zoning will not advance the collective interest of AKS. This is why it is so painful for Gov. Emmanuel talk about experience as the basis of his unquestioningly inheriting Akpabio cabinet.
First, Gov. Akpabio has just completed his two terms. It is a well known fact that during the eight years, Annang people have dominated every stratum of AKSG civil service. All shares of AKS in the federal civil service have been taken by someone from Ukana, Essien Udim, or ISD. Why isn’t Arc. Nya-Etok bold enough to advise Sen. Akpabio that his tenure is over, and it is time for Annang clan to create space for those who have been marginalized? Second, every objective analysis will undoubtedly show that Annangland has receive more than its fair shares of all appointments, projects, and infrastructure. So, in all fairness, Annang people are the ones to wait, NEVER Ekid people! How long should Ekid people wait? They have waited during the Attah administration (8 years) and Akpabio administration (8 years). And they have to wait again during the Emmanuel administration? Mba nu!
Gov. Udom Emmanuel must know that people fought for zoning for him to become governor. Most of us have lost friends because we insisted on zoning. While he was in corporate suite in Zenith Bank, most of us were in trenches rooting for ESD to produce governor in the present dispensation. Today, he is the beneficiary of our labor. It would amount to betrayal of the first order for Gov. Emmanuel to take Ekid people for granted. Inasmuch as it is painful to say it, it is must be said that there is no rational logic for Annang people to dominate Gov. Emmanuel administration as they have dominated the Akpabio administration. There is no mincing of wards here, we deserve noticeable presence in this administration, not tokenist representation. This, Gov. Emmanuel must do!
Ekid people cannot pretend that everything is alright, or like Arc. Nya-Etok that there is no cause for alarm. By not considering any Ekid person worthy, qualified, or competent to serve in his cabinet, Gov. Emmanuel is insulting Ekid people and poking fingers in their eyes. Like Rehoboam, Gov. Emmanuel is essentially telling Ekid people that if his godfather chastised them with whip, he is going to chastise them with iron rod. Ekid people cannot wait; they cannot blink; and patience is a luxury that they should not indulge in. They must be ready to fight Gov. Emmanuel in every turn. By denying Ekid appointment into his cabinet, Gov. Emmanuel has declared war against Ekid people. If Ekid people had won the battle of zoning and lost the war by having him as governor, what more? Ekid people must be ready to fight this administration. The future of Ekid people and the place of their children in AKS will depend on how they will prosecute the impending war against the Emmanuel administration. Gov. Emmanuel has fired the first salvo against Ekid people. We cannot wait for the second one
Peterson . Ekanem is from Etebi, Esit Eket, Akwa Ibom State and is based in Overland Park, KS, USA
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