Ini Billie, Uyo
Socio-political groups in Akwa Ibom have alleged that the ongoing traditional stool crisis in the state is being sponsored by politicians.
Although Peace Advocacy Initiative and Akwa Ibom United Front did not name politicians fuelling the crisis, warned them to desist forthwith or risk being exposed.
Traditional Rulers in the state have been enmeshed in a faceoff following the passage of the amended Traditional Rulers Council Law CAP155.
Some of them from Annang and Oro ethnic nations rejected the new law describing it as discriminatory, saying it seeks to grant perpetual leadership of the Traditional Rulers Council to the Oku Ibom Ibibio, disregarding the longstanding rotational provision among all paramount rulers in the state.
Already, the State Government has said it would not meddle in the issue and urged the Royal fathers to employ dialogue to settle their differences.
Different youth groups have protested the TRC law and hauled insults at government officials on social media for supposedly aiding the passage of the law.
Peace Advocacy Initiative and Akwa Ibom United Front regretted that most of the youths are reacting out of ignorance saying that some politicians were behind the protests and the ongoing verbal insults just to cripple the incumbent government.
In a statement signed by their National Coordinators, Joseph Ukpong and Christopher Okon, they said it was worrisome that people who ordinarily should be advised by the traditional rulers are now turning to advise them just to stir ethnic chaos in the state.
They explained that the said law had been in existence for some time now noting that there was only an amendment of some portions of the law in line with contemporary issues in the traditional institution as done in other parts of the country.
They revealed that there is an ongoing mass mobilisation of youth groups in Annang land, Oro nation and Obolo people of Eastern Obolo to embark on serial and sustained protests aimed at crippling the government and opposing every policy of the incumbent administration.
They pleaded with those concerned to allow full legislative procedure to be applied in handling the very sensitive issue saying, “Let no one mislead the traditional rulers further by making them go back and forth with their words and position.
“In saner climes, since the law has already been signed by the Governor, the right thing to do is to begin the process of repealing and making it nugatory by causing the appropriate quarters to send fresh bills to counter the former. But those who do not love Akwa Ibom State will want to pass through the backdoor,” the statement read.