Despite seeming political bickering among the people, Annang nation in the present Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria is said to be an undivided enclave, so declared the Peoples Democratic Party National Legal Adviser.
Emmanuel Enoidem who spoke this Saturday at the inauguration of steering committees for Itai State Movement at Ati Annang Foundation Secretariat, Ikot Ekpene dismissed as untrue fears of division in Annang land.
“We are not divided. We only bicker for the cause of our unity. Itai State has brought us back. Brothers can quarrel and still settle. It is not a division. Let us unite for the purpose of our state.
On apprehension that the state may not be created, the PDP legal adviser recounted “Obong Sampson Udo Idiong was in the fore front for the creation of Calabar-Ogoja-Rivers (COR) movement in 1938. At last, the agitation gave birth to some states today. We want to create an identity. If Itai State is not created today, it will be created tomorrow for our children.
“Let our people not be timid. Some of brothers and sisters are saying ‘we cannot support the cause because we are in government.’ Which government are you that you cannot support that will bring about meaningful development to your people in the future? This is a movement that cuts across political party lines and government interest. So, let us unite and fight for its creation,” he advised.
Obong Eno S. Akpan who spoke for Oruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency bemoaned some cracks in Annang nation.
Akpan, a one-time member who represented the Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives said in the quest for the state, “Let us do away with politics of division and focus on achieving our goal.”
Earlier, Okuku Pius Eside 1V, the Itai Afe Annang had called on the people to support the cause, enjoining “Let us keep our eyes on the archery wheel until we shoot it. We should not be distracted under any guise until our goal is achieved.”
The President of Afe Nkuku Annang, Obong Cosmas Akpan officially inaugurated the steering committees of the proposed state.
The array of personalities agitating for the creation of Itai State as a movement cutting across political parties, religious and personal interest is a pointer to the unity of purpose enveloping the cause.
At the inaugural meeting, the names of Senator Godswill Akpabio, Chief Don Etiebet, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, Ray Ekpu and other prominent sons and daughters of Annang nation were rolled out as members of the various steering committees.
In attendance included Senator Christopher Ekpenyong representing Akwa Ibom North West in the Nigerian Senate; Sir Emem Akpabio, BOT Chairman of Ati Annang; Sir Udo Keirian Akpan, leader AKHA and President-general of Ati Annang; Deputy Inspector of Police Udom Ekpoudom (retd); Pastor Sunny Ibuot, Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Development; Obong Senas Ukpanah, a one-time Nigeria’s Minister of Trade and Investment; Rt. Hon. Nseabasi Ekanem, one-time speaker, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly; and Hon. Akaninyene Eyo, a member who represented for Abak-Etim Ekpo-Ika Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.
Dr. Emmanuel Abraham, proprietor of Topfaith International Schools, Mkpatak in Essien Udim; Dr. Etido Ibekwe, former Majority leader, AKHA; Rt. Hon. Ernest Ukpong, former member for Etim Ekpo-Ika in the AKHA; Professor Etim Udoessien, a one-time Head, Department of Chemistry, University of Uyo and wife, Cecilia, former Akwa Ibom Head of Civil Service; Professor Celestine Ntuen, Vice Chancellor, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene; and Professor Ahaziah Umanah, CEO, Redemption Radio, Abak were present.
Not left out were Engr. Sam Inyang, Managing Director of Seyang Engineering Company; Dr. Patrick Uko of Akwa Ibom State University; Professor Godwin Udom, University of Port Harcourt; Professor (Mrs) Ini Uko of University of Uyo; Rev. Fr. Emem Umoren, principal of St. Columbanus Secondary School, Ikwen; Hon. Udeme Otong, member representing Abak Federal Constituency in AKHA; Rt. Hon. Friday Iwok, former member of AKHA; and Mr. Blaise U. Awakama, retired registrar, University of Uyo, among others.
The paramount rulers of Abak, Etim Ekpo, Essien Udim, Ikot Ekpene, Ika, Obot Akara, Oruk Anam, and Ukanafun in the Annang nation also graced the ceremony.