The 2019 edition of the biennial election into the office of the President-General of Oron Union has sprung surprises, as the emergence of Bishop Etim Ante as the new leader of Oro people had least been expected.
Etim Ante was the first among the four candidates listed for the topmost office by the Union as the Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Conference commenced last Friday, December 27, 2019.
Himself the pioneer International President of Esu Nlap Oro Development Organization (ENODO), the appex youth association in Oro Nation who later became the Special Assistant to former Governor Akpabio on Youth Matters, is currently the South South Geopolitical Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Bishop Etim Ante, an accomplished businessman who hails from Akai Ebughu in Mbo local government area of Akwa Ibom State, holds a Bachelors Degree in Law.
After the election on Saturday, December 28, Bishop Ante came out victorious scoring fifty percent of the total votes ahead of three other contestants.
According to the Chairman of the election committee, Chief Effiong Uweh, Etim Ante polled 208 votes while Prince Offong Ntofon scored 118 votes. Also, Dr. Asuquo Anwana scored 63 votes and Dr. Inyang Atting received 28 votes, respectively.
Bishop Ante who was magnanimous in victory expressed joy, thanking the delegates for finding him worthy to carry the baton of the Union’s leadership for the next two years.
Promising to build on the gains of the Union’s past leaderships, Ante called on all Oro patriots, including his opponents in the election, to join hands in the service of their fatherland.
With tenacity and a sense of responsibility, the new PG paid a solidarity visit to the immediate past President-General, Chief (Mrs) Janet Amba at her residence in Oron, where he thanked her for the service she rendered to her fatherland.
His words, “I am here to thank you for all you have done for Oro. We have been in coma for a while, you came, did your best and I am happy to have taken the mantle from you after two years of successful leadership, God bless you”.
While pointing out that she was relentlessly committed in realizing a generational shift in Oro leadership, Chief Janet Amba, in her response, pledged her support towards the success of the new administration and prayed God’s guidance on the leadership.
Also speaking, the Police Commissioner in Charge of Ekiti State, CP Asuquo Amba who is the husband to the immediate past PG, commended the new headship on her emergence and wished the tenure a huge success in her mission towards serving Oro Nation.
The new PG had, also on Sunday, paid a visit to one of his opponents, Associate Professor Inyang Atting in his hometown, Ukuko, Urue Offong/Oruko, where he officially sought his wealth of experience in the running of the Union’s affairs.
Ante called on the former Secretary-General of the Union to join hands with his leadership in the overall interest, growth and development of Oro Nation.
He acknowledged the dreams and aspirations of a rebuilt Union as encapsulated in Prof Atting’s manifesto and pleaded that the academic Don who had been the choice of Oro elders for the PG’s post to remain patriotic and selfless in lending his deep knowledge and experience in the success of the new leadership.
Inyang Atting who was delighted to receive the PG, congratulated him on his election victory and assured the new Central Executive Committee of his willingness and availability to support them.
Meanwhile, the President-General led members of the new executive and leaders of Oro Nation to celebrate the Thanksgiving service to usser-in his administration.
Etim Ante, during the service, which was attended by the Chairman of Oron Union Board of Trustees (BoT), Sir (Dr) Edet Amana, KJW, Ikpoto Oro; the outgoing PG, Chief Janet Amba, and other notable personalities, including members of the Council of Oro Traditional Rulers (COTR), inaugurated a Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee led by Apostle John Anso of the New Testament Ministries to investigate and make recommendations towards the settlement of the rift in the COTR.
However, Bishop Ante, within 24 hours of emergence, made five distinct appointments to Oro youths, in line with his promise to encourage cerebral Oro youths for maximum productivity.
In a release signed by the new Publicity Secretary of the Union, Mr Evans Asuquo Esifa, the appointments were those of Mr Victor Onomo as the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Asukwo Robert as Personal Secretary of the PG; Obong Kendy Aduak, Personal Assistant on Media and Publicity, Lagos Laison Office; Effiong Edemumo, Special Assistant on Students’ Matters and Cyril Bassey Jr, Special Assistant on Print Media.
Other offices contested for, during the election were the Office of the Vice President General 2 won by Mr Ita Omunam who polled 212 votes against Engr. Emmanuel Sam with 121 votes. The Office of the Secretary General was won by Mr Abraham Anlak with 197 votes against Lion Esu Amba who scored 190.
Again, Mercy Okon Ating emerged the Director of Welfare with 256 votes against Arit John Peter with 105 votes.
Other offices clinched unopposed were the Office of the Assistant Secretary General 1 and Assistant Secretary General 2 as occupied by Dr. Monica Esu and Barr Godwin Etta respectively. Others were the Office of the Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Publicity Secretary as occupied by Dunikan Bassey, Sunday Eyesin and Evans Esifa.