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Governor Godswill Akpabio has warned traditional rulers in the state to shun injustice, inequity and unbridled ambition in their affairs.

By Akwa Ibom State Govt House Press Centre
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Akpabio, who gave the charge Tuesday during the swearing in of His
Royal Majesty Edidem, (Surveyor) Edem Silas Akpan, the 27th Chairman
of the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs not to follow the youths in
extorting money from prospective developers.

According to him, "You are therefore, expected to use your staff of
Office, as a shepherd and show direction that will sustain the
development tempo of our State in line with the dream and vision of
our forebears. We further enjoin you to deepen the existing cordial
relationship between the State Government and the traditional
institution.

"Furthermore, Royal Fathers should assist the security agents in
curbing the menace of crime in our society. A situation where Royal
Fathers are alleged to harbour kidnappers, Child traffickers and
criminals is alien to our culture. Such acts contravene the sanctity
of the traditional institution and should be vehemently abhorred.

The Governor described "Today's event is significant to me because
this is the last time I would perform this sacred duty as the
Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State. But I am happy that together we
have had a paradigm shift and even after my departure from office, the
principles, ethos and values, which we consciously enshrined in our
State shall outlive us. We are happy that we have kept faith with the
traditional institution an have together built a solid foundation for
the future of our State.

"As a State, we have upheld the ideals and principles of the
traditional institution and built a vibrant structure that is an
integral part of our polity, thus fulfilling the dream of our
forebears. The progenitors of our State dreamt of a land that would
offer equal opportunities to all Akwa Ibom citizens. They dreamt of a
State devoid of tribal, ethnic, religious, and cultural biases and
prejudices. They dreamt of a State founded on the immovable rock of
brotherhood, peace, love and harmony.

"The creation of Akwa Ibom State, September 23, 1987, was the
fulfillment of a dream. It was achieved through the collective efforts
of the young and old, men and women, Traditional Rulers, political
leaders, followers, professional organizations, all and sundry. In
celebrating that glorious moment and keeping that memory aglow, we
need a point of contact between the past and the present. This
auspicious occasion, draws the traditional institution into the
picture and cements its place in the history of that struggle.

"My dear people, today, in compliance with the Traditional Rulers Law
of Akwa Ibom State, I have performed the swearing-in of His Royal
Majesty Edidem (Surv.) Edem Silas Akpan, the Nsobom of Uyo Local
Government Area, as the 27th Chairman, State Council of Chiefs and
presented him with the Staff of Office. By this singular act, the
Nsobom of Uyo is mandated to oversee the affairs the traditional
rulers council in Akwa Ibom State", the Governor said.

Akpabio congratulated His Royal Majesty Edidem (Surveyor) Edem Silas
Akpan, the 27th Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs and
applauded the outgone chairman, His Royal Majesty (Prof) Victor Noah
Umoh for his meritorious services to our state as Chairman of this
revered council.

"His maturity in handling issues and calm disposition", he pointed
out, "were rare virtues and assets of inestimable value to the
traditional Institution and Akwa Ibom State. We owe you a debt of
gratitude. We shall continue to draw from your profound wisdom even as
you remain a member of the Royal Council".

To the new Chairman, he remarked "His Royal Majesty, you are taking
over the affairs of the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs at a very
decisive and defining moment of our journey as a State. The staff of
leadership of the State Council Chiefs has been transferred to you at
a time our people are groping for the sustainability of the Uncommon
Transformation of our dear State.

Th Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince
Uwem Ita Etuk thanked the Governor for giving the royal fathers a
pride of place in the state.

Etuk said there is a synergy between the government and the
traditional rulers as custodians of customs and traditions of the
people directing the royal fathers from putting a traditional
injunction called 'eyei' on any land as it is punishable by offence.

He hinted that from January till now, the state government has
accorded 164 traditional rulers comprising 157 village heads and seven
clan heads in the state.