Attempts to hijack the foremost socio-cultural organization in Ibibio land, Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, has been described as an unpardonable sacrilege.
Members of the group say it is a “stinking pollution” for anyone to interfere in the internal workings of the organization, as those meddling into its affairs would face stringent spiritual punishments.
It could be recalled that a recent publication in some local tabloids in Akwa Ibom State, mentioned Obong Bassey Inuaeyen as the new Ntisong Ibibio.
Speaking with journalists in Uyo, a prominent Ibibio leader, Rt. Hon. Dr Okokon Etuk condemned an attempt to “desecrate the Council and called on Governor Udom Emmanuel to face state’s affairs.
The 83-year old community leader advised those meddling into Ntisong Ibibio stool to desist forthwith in their own interest.
He said, “The first Ntisong Ibibio was on the throne till he passed on at about 110 years. Ntisong II, Ntisong Sebastian Umoren was more than 90 years when he relinquished the position to Ntison III, Dr. Engr. Essien. U. Ekidem.
“By our constitution, it is a life position. It is not a political post and no one has the right to hijack it. We will oppose the desecration of that office.”
“Whoever pollutes Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio shall not escape punishment. The gods of our ancestors will not give them breathing space.
“I call on Governor Udom Emmanuel to steer clear from the matter and squarely face governance. I also advise those meddling into the affairs of Mkpisong Council to desist from it in their own interest.”
In his reaction to journalists, the current and third Akwa Iko (Speaker) of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mkpisong Cyril Matthew Ekiko said it is unheard of, for anyone who is not Mkpisong to imagine himself being elected as Ntisong Ibibio.
Mkpisong Cyril Ekiko said the third constitution of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio, currently in use, empowers Ntisong to do a two term tenure of 10 years.
Akwa Iko III stated that Ntisong III, Dr Engr Essien Ekidem had concluded his second term three years back, but was asked, with a vote of confidence, to continue, pending the election of a new Ntisong.
According to him, the Mkpisong Council of Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio had set up a Committee on Way Forward headed by the late former military governor, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga.
He said the committee which had two weeks to conclude its work, existed for eternity, until it was dissolved, after it submitted its first and only report, which suggested that Obong Bassey Inuaeyen was being nominated to succeed the current Ntisong.
He noted that the nomination faced fierce opposition as members could recall how the nominee embezzled over N50 million donated by the then Governor Victor Attach for the building of Assan Ibibio.
Dr Ekiko who revealed that Bassey Inuaeyen lacks the constitutional requirements to aspire for the position, said it was incredible for Governor Udom Emmanuel to have a hand in the sacrilege and defilement of the esteemed office of Ntisong Ibibio.
He concluded that the governor lacks the competence to rule on the matter, and warned perpetrators against further actions.
News track could not reach Bassey Inuaeyen for comments as at press time.