Alleged marginalization: Mkpat Enin youths set council secretariat ablaze

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By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo.
Uneasy calm brews in Mkpat Enin local government area of Akwa Ibom state as youths invaded the Council Secretariat, sent workers parking and set ablaze some office blocks over claim of alleged marginalization.
Youths of Ikpa Ikono clan, of the three clans that constitute the local government area alleged that Ikpa Ikono people have been consistently skimmed out in the sharing of political offices in the area.
Their action it was gathered followed the refusal by the political blocs in the area and state Commissioner for Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to act on their petition bordering on the composition of the current local government caretaker committee for the local government.
When interviewed, a youth from the area who spoke on ground of anonymity to New Nigerian said that the action by aggrieved youths from the area to disrupt business in the council was to express their anger before government in order that the anomaly be corrected.
According to the youngman who is a member of Uyo Ikpa Ikono Welfare Union, one of the socio-political groups in the area said that people of Ikpa Ikono Clan have been marginalized in the political office sharing in the local government for two terms.
“There are four clans in Mkpat Enin namely, Ukpom Mminya, Ikpa Ibom, Ikpa Ikono and Ibiaku. The immediate past transition committee chairman, Ephraim Akpan came from Ibiaku and the present one, Mrs. Ekaete Usip who was the former Secretary in Ephraim Akpan administration comes from Ukpom Mmiya.
“The issue is that of all the nine-member current caretaker committee, the Akwa Ibom State government did not consider it necessary to include somebody from Ikpa Ikono and this was the case in the previous transition committee.
 
“So, we think, the present political arrangement in the state does not think there are qualified sons and daughters of Ikpa Ikono who could be trusted to hold leadership positions. So, what has happened is a food for thought for those who provoked this protest”, he stated.
Another stakeholder in Ikpa Ikono and Coordinator of Advocacy for Peace and Justice at the Grassroots, Mr. Ekom Obong James in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo said, “What is happening in Mkpat Enin calls for questioning? We are not happy with the marginalisation of Ikpa Ikono in the political scheme of things in the area. We have been consistently marginalised in the composition of the local government caretaker committee.
“Last year, nobody from the clan was deemed fit to be part of the caretaker committee and now again, nobody from the clan is considered eligible to be part of the caretaker committee in a local government area. The sharing of political offices in Mkpat Enin rotates around three clans only.
“What has happened I think is a timely warning to the godfathers that this local government area belongs to all of us and not just a few individuals”, James averred.
Efforts to speak with the Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO) Cordelia Nwewa on the command report about the incident yielded no fruit as she did not pick calls put through to her.

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