WHY ORON PEOPLE WANT STATE OF THEIR OWN
Dr. Attih, Former Commissioner explains
Eyo-Asuquo Akaiso, Uyo
It is no longer news that Oron people have been agitating for a separate state of their own for over twenty five years now.
However, what makes news is why an Oron man or woman wants a state carved out from the present Akwa Ibom state for them.
Akwa Ibom state was created in 1987 based on the tripotite arrangement of Ibibio, Annang and Oron ethnic groupings, thereby making the state a microcosm of Nigeria and anybody who faults this claim doesn’t know history of Akwa Ibom state.
Just like the macrocosm called Nigeria dominated by one ethnic group when it comes to presidency, Akwa Ibom is dominated by Ibibios when it comes to governorship.
According to the former Commissioner in the ministry of health and later Environment and mineral resources in administration of architect Obong Victor Attah, Dr. Edet Jonah Attih, no Oron man has ever become a Governor in Akwa Ibom state for her thirty four years of existence and there is no possibility of becoming one in this lifetime.
It is on this note that, “I am throwing my weight behind agitation for the Calabar state movement by the people of Southern senatorial district of Cross River state, comprising Akpaboyo, Odukpani, Mbiase, Bakassi and five local governments of Oron with heardquarters in Calabar”.
Asked if he is also in support of agitation for Obolo state by Andoni people in Rivers State, Easter Obolo and five local governments of Oron with headquarters in Oron, his answer was on the positive.
“I am strongly in support of Obolo state movement. Oron man is a senior brother to Obolo man who is also grossly cheated despite being the goose that lays the golden eggs”, he said.
Dr. Attih, chief medical director of Peace medical center with head office in Calabar and a branch in Uyo, gave the brief explanation on the sideline of the two days review of the Nigerian constitution holding in Uyo center made up of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.
He described the situation where Oron produces over 70% of crude oil used in developing Ibibio and Annang lands while Oron has no infrastructure and no appointment of her sons and daughters to key positions of government as not only pathetic but gross cheating of Oron people by their Ibibio and Annang brothers.
Digressing from the state creation, the medical practitioner joined groups and individuals calling for devolution of power, autonomy of the local government, judiciary and establishment of state police to check the high rate of insecurity and criminality in the country.
Apart from creation of a new state, Oro people under the aegis of Oron Union also called for creation of three additional local governments to bring the number of local governments making Oro nation to eight and taxonomy of the existing local governments to reflect history of Oro.