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Oro Is Not Marginalised - Prof Ekanem 

By Global Pilot
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A University Don, Professor Etok Ekanem has lashed out at an APC chieftain in the state, Arc. Otu Ita Toyo, saying his claim of Oro Nation marginalisation is nothing short of mischief.

In a letter on the social media, Ekanem who was a commissioner for Agriculture during the dying days of Toyo as PDP chairman in Akwa Ibom state, faulted the widespread criticism that has trailed the nomination of Mr Nsima Ekere as NDDC Managing Director, culminating in a court case instituted by the Oro leaders.

In the letter Prof. Ekanem challenged the yardstick and indices by which Chief Ita Toyo uses to measure, the perceived marginalization of the Oro people, stating that by ethnic ties the state is not equally divided between three major ethnic group, Ibibio, Annang and Oro. He noted that power structure in the state or any other state in the nation by that matter is not done along ethnic nationalist ties.

“Let me quickly add that ethnicity is not, has never been and can never be, the basis of allocating or sharing political power in Nigeria, with its over 250 ethnic groups. It is essentially the equality of the States (the Federating Units),” he said.

Prof Ekanem noted that Toyo’s view on marginalisation is rather unfounded and cannot be proven. Adding that such thinking has made many person alienate themselves from participation in state building and has focused on the negative criticism and opposition. Ekanem stressed that for a group to say they have been marginalized all indications must point to a deliberate arbitrary act or scheme to totally side-line such a group and not the power share formula that is used in Akwa Ibom state.

He stressed that the state, Akwa Ibom is politically divided into senatorial districts and no ethnic group should feel oppressed, but should continually build the state in their own senatorial districts. Stressing that aside from the Ibibios, Annangs and Oros, there are other ethnic nationalities who are equally important within the state, so the Oro extraction should not make a bedlam out of a no issue. Alluding to the lawsuit challenging the nomination of Nsima Ekere as NDDC boss as going against goodwill and sound judgement.

“Overall, my take on Total Chair’s thoughts and argument on THE “Oro Marginalization” DEBATE is that they are heavily skewed and tilted towards only one side of at least three possible perspectives and perceptions of the matter of what is fair, just and equitable to all socio-political segments and sections of Akwa Ibom State. Basic issues and major fundamentals of objectivity are left out in the argument. I also consider some of the statements in the presentation, way too strong and unhelpful.”

While calling on all to put aside ethnic sentiments, he faulted the accusation of Ita Toyo that no Oro person has been in the state caucus since the tenure of Victor Attah. Prof. Ekanem concluded by calling on all critics to consider the facts and indices before going public. And insisted that the power sharing formula in the state should still rotate among the three senatorial districts.