Wed. Apr 24th, 2019

CRISIS LOOMS IN ITA URUAN OVER VILLAGE HEADSHIP

Emmanuel Udoh

Indigenes of Ita Uruan in Uruan local government area, Akwa Ibom State, have resolved to resist any attempt to scuttle the emergence of the village Head elect for the area, Chief Engineer Augustine Effiong Umoh.

The people, who expressed serious anger over the development in Uyo, on condition of anonymity, said that they were not accepting anything other than the earlier selection of the new village Head held on 15th December, 2018.

The angry team, made up of youth and elders, stated that the eleven family Heads in Ita Uruan met at the palace of the late village Head and collectively selected the new village Head, in the person of, Chief Engineer Augustine Umoh, to the admiration of the community.

According to them, eight out of the eleven family Heads, including the eventual winner, voted for himself, Chief Engr Umoh against the other two contenders.

The people explained that a letter was sent to the Northern Uruan Council of Chiefs, NUCC, seeking a date to formally present the village Head elect to them, only to be told that the Council had nullified the process that led to his emergence, over a fictitious petition.

The aggrieved indigenes viewed the Council’s decision as an attempt to undermine the collective will of Ita Uruan, which must be vehemently resisted, noting that as a distinct Community, the right to select the village Head rest squarely on the indigenes via the king makers.

They explained that, in line with the culture and tradition of their forefathers, the traditional “Ukad”, used by the late village Head was hung on the neck of Chief Umoh for emerging victorious, shortly after the selection process.

According to the people who, called for caution, any attempt to reverse what the king makers did may attract unpleasant consequences.

The people therefore enjoined the Northern Uruan Clan Council to align with the earlier decision of the family Heads in Ita Uruan as it is the lawful responsibility of the family Heads to select a village Head.

Speaking further, they called on the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to intervene in order to avoid crisis in the community as the 2019 elections draw near.

The people warned every party involved to remember that a stitch in time saves nine.

They insisted that the village Head elect, who has been of great service to the community, having rehabilitated the dilapidated borehole to provide portable water, reactivated Saint Augustine Primary School in the village and provided uniforms for pupils, among other things, remains the choice of Ita Uruan for the position.

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