Stakeholders of Oro nation under the nane Oron National Forum (ONAF) has vowed to boycott 2023 general elections in Akwa Ibom if they are not given opportunity to govern the state.
This was contained in a statement read by the National President of the socio cultural body, Comrade Ita Ante, while addressing the press at Antofitel hotel and suites, in Oron council area.
The briefing which was aimed at commemorating the 22 anniversary of the Oron Bill of Rights, triggered the outburst as Ante lamented that since the creation of the state, Oro nation has been marginalized, oppressed and never given opportunity to govern the state.
He said Oro nation which is the third largest nationality in the state has been constantly betrayed, cheated and booted out of political rotation of power for over 34 years notwithstanding that the state was created on a tripod–Ibibio, Annang and Oron with equal rights and privileges
He also observed that appointments in the state since 2015 have been skewed against the Oron people, adding that with the exception of the present position of Secretary to the State Government which is occupied by an Oron man, nobody from the area has held the position of deputy governor, Speaker, chief judge among others.
“We hereby reiterate in unequivocal terms the long standing demand and aspiration of Oro people to be given the opportunity to govern the state as governor since its creation in 1987.
“The tripod on which the State is rested is Ibibio, Annang and Oron as the three distinct major ethnic nationalities with full rights and privileges in the state
“We vehemently state here that it is incumbent upon the state to use same tripod principle that gave governorship to Ibibio (Victor Attah- 1999-2007) and Annang (Godswill Akpabio- 2007-2015) to equally give the Governorship to Oron in 2023 in the interest of justice, equity, fairness, democracy and peaceful co-existence in the state.
Ante called on the state state governor, Udom Emmanuel, to address according to him, “this clear unjust and lopsided appointments” against the Oron People before it is too late.
“It’s disheartening to note that the Oron, which accounts for 80% of the crude oil produced from Akwa Ibom state have been wantonly abandoned, neglected and excluded in the democratic governance of the state. This situation has become unbearable and worrisome to all well meaning people of this country.
“If these injustices are not addressed there will no election in Oron nation” he warned.