The world press conference to have been addressed by Oro Think Tank (OTT) on behalf of the leadership steering committee of Oro Ethnic Nationality, the third largest ethnic nationality in Akwa Ibom State has been rescheduled.
Independent investigations reveal that the Oro people had planned a world press conference to raise questions bordering on her gross marginalization and seclusion from the scheme of things by the Akwa Ibom State and the Nigerian governments.
The said press conference had been slated for Friday, July 6, 2018 in Uyo.
Sources affirm that the event would challenge the state government on issues regarding the “long overdue Ibaka Deep Seaport which has systematically been delayed beyond human tolerance”, “abandoned dualization of Uyo-Oron Road” and the “consistent failure to concentrate in the construction of Etebi-Ewang Road”.
Other issues, as gathered by this reporter, are those of non-conversion of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron to a University status and core concerns on the oil bearing status of Oro Nation as manipulated by the Akwa Ibom State government.
Meanwhile, authoritative sources told this reporter that the steering committee recently summoned the Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem and the Governing Council Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Dr Akon Eyakenyi, who are members of the Technical Committee on the actualization of Ibom Deep Seaport, to officially brief them on the state of the age-long project.
While Emmanuel Ekuwem was said to have later appeared to “clarify issues in his own right”, Dr Akon Eyakenyi was said to have “bluntly refused to make appearance” as she was allegedly “afraid to face the Oro leadership committee”, having three years back, exposed the Akwa Ibom State government for relocating the seaport to Ibeno.
“Of course, what do you think she has to say? The best she could do was to stay back because she had already told us the truth three months after their committee had started work. If that arrangement had been changed, don’t you think she would be proud to appear before the Oro leadership? As for the SSG and his ramblings, we shall get to the root of the matter”, a source said.
It could be recalled that Dr Eyakenyi had during the 2015 session of the Oron Union’s annual conference in the United States of America, told the Oro people that the seaport had been moved to Ibeno and that she had no power as a member of the Technical Committee to influence government’s decision.
Akon Eyakenyi was part of the Akwa Ibom State government’s five-man delegation led to the conference by the current deputy Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Felicia Bassey and had made the revelation while being interrogated by the Oro chiefs at the conference in September 2015.
Recall also that the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Deacon Udom Emmanuel, barely eight days after his resumption on May 29, 2015, had set up and inaugurated a 10-member Technical Committee on the Realisation of Ibom Deep Seaport with Barr. (Mrs.) Mfon Usoro, a one-time Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as Chairman precisely on June 7, 2015.
Consequently, Oro chiefs had continuously expressed resistance to the movement of the seaport from Ibaka, saying before Nigeria’s independence and democratic rule, the Ibaka Deep Seaport had long been in the picture and should be allowed to remain at its original site, except the peaceful nature of the Oro people is being taken for granted.
When contacted by this reporter, the political spokesman of Oro Nation and Chairman, Oro Think Tank, Dr Monday Dickson who declined comment on the issues, however confirmed that the world press conference had been rescheduled to a later date which shall be announced soonest.