President Goodluck Jonathan and the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have been petitioned over Governor Godswill Akpabio’s breach of the zoning arrangements in Akwa Ibom State.
Addressing the House of Representatives Press Corps yesterday, Oro Ethnic group, the third largest language majority in the state, said the governor has violated the zoning system by imposing a candidate outside of the tripodal arrangement for the 2015 Governorship elections.
The group wants the president and the Adamu Mu’azu-led PDP national body to compel Akpabio to respect the existing zoning arrangement, and thus ensure that the Oro ethnic group, which produces 99 percent of the oil wealth of the state, takes it turn to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2015.
The group, which was led by the President of the Oro Think Tank, Comrade Okon Osung, including a retinue of traditional rulers and prominent sons of the area, condemned the deployment of state resources by Governor Akpabio in support of the present Deputy Governor, Udom Emmanuel’s campaign for the 2015 gubernatorial race.
Osung regretted that the people of Oro, who were instrumental to the emergence of an Annang man as governor of the state, have been “pitilessly marginalised, wantonly exploited, mercilessly impoverished and humiliatingly discounted in the affairs of Akwa ibom state”, noting that Akpabio’s administration has neglected them in the provision of basic amenities.
Going into memory lane, the group recalled that the zoning administration, which was introduced during the Babangida administration, had produced an Ibibio and Annang governors leaving the third leg of the tripod-the Oro to produce the next governor- and therefore wondered why one of the beneficiaries, Gov. Akpabio, would chose to work against the zoning system.
Warning that the Oro will not sit back and watch the destruction of a process that promoted democracy and facilitated peace in the state, Osung said: “The attempt to deny Oro a shot at Governorship power in 2015 is the culmination of long-drawn battle of deliberate marginalisation, exclusion and disinheritance, bordering on ethnocide waged since the inception of his tenure”.
Though the group expressed confidence in the leadership of the PDP to forestall inequity and breach of a workable system that allows for fair representation of all ethnic groups, it warned that it might be unable to contain the reaction of its oppressed youth noting,” riot is at the base of the language of the unheard”, a quotation taken from Martin Luther King Jnr.