Following the recent controversies and a fierce battle between the Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel and the Oro Ethnic Nationality, a youth group from the area, Oron Youth Movement (OYOM) has demanded an unreserved apology from the governor.
The group, through a statement issued on Saturday, October 9 and endorsed by the National President, Comrade Victor Mkpofor believed that it was improper for the governor to have incited the whole state against an ethnic group in the state.
The statement stressed that the Oro People are generally known to be peaceful and could not have contested the issue of the Seaport relocation if they had not been perpetual victims of political marginalization.
OYOM reiterated that Governor Emmanuel had wrongfully accused Oro People of sending away the core investors in the Port development, even when the governor had refused to address their petition which was first sent to him as the leader of the state.
The statement noted with satisfaction, the fact that the governor had condemned the idea of a Dugout Port during the meeting he had with Oro leaders in his office on Friday, October 1.
The release stated that Òrò People deserved to be appreciated by the governor and not to be castigated for “opening his eyes” on the fraudulent relocation of the Port with the intention of a Dugout Port.
According to OYOM, the Oro land was the goose that lay the golden egg, having been blessed with the resources that takes care of the state and the Nigerian State generally.
It concluded that since the governor had openly derided Òrò as a People, he must come out in public to announce his ignorance and regret for misleading the generality of the Nigerian populace.
They added that only a public apology to Oro People would restore his image as a brave, knowledgeable and people-centric leader, whose interest is only to serve with humility, honesty and transparency.
“It is painful for a leader to sit on a public TV to condemn a whole race like he did. Governor Emmanuel has never been so disdained by the state the way he has been in recent times.
“It was not only Oron People who condemned those unguarded utterances. Ibibio and Annang People also joined to unreservedly distance themselves from that outburst of the governor.
“Having now seen that we were not just making noise for nothing, the governor should be bold to publicly apologize to Òron People and all citizens of the state for that unprovoked insult against Òrò.
“Only a public apology will wipe away the stigma from the minds of the right thinking members of this state”, the statement read.