After the state’s Traditional Rulers Law, Cap.155, was revised, the government of Akwa Ibom requested the state’s royal fathers to meet and discuss how to settle their feud.
It emphasized not changing its long-standing stance of non-interference in established norms.
The state government issued a statement on Tuesday, signed by the Commissioner for Information, Comrade Ini Ememobong, and distributed to journalists in Uyo, urging those responsible for what it called “provocative statements, unnecessary threats, and the employment of mild violence” against its officials to desist.
It was remembered that the royal fathers of the Annang and Oro ethnic groups protested against the Bill after it had been revised because they did not agree with it.
Speaking for the Annang and the Oro, Etim Ekpo’s Paramount Ruler, Professor Amanam Udo, and his Urue-Offong Oruko counterpart, HRM Edidem Umanawo, condemned the bill as discriminatory and demeaning.
While he acknowledged that the state government had heard their concerns, Ememobong also noted that the provisions of the law as passed by the House of Assembly are not strange, unenforceable, or discriminatory, saying that similar provisions are currently also extant in many if not all the states of the federation, including Cross River State.
He vowed that the government, now led by His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, would not shirk its obligation to maintain peace in the state.
We sincerely request that the Royal Fathers discuss this topic in their Council as soon as possible, come to a conclusion, and inform the State Government of their conclusion. The government continues its policy of not interfering with religious practices.
“All citizens can rest easy knowing that this issue, like all others before it, will be settled amicably.”