ZONING AS PANACEA TO INCLUSIVE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Political Participation of Ibesikpo Asutan people have been attributed to Zoning as a panacea by a scholar
Zoning is the political practice of sharing political offices amongst the people of a political entity, particularly where there are diverse interests and groups, for the purpose of engendering peace. This has been the practice in Ibesikpo Asutan local government area these past years. And to the best of my observation, it has brought peace to the area, mutual understanding and development.
Ibesikpo Asutan local government area has two distinct clans – Ibesikpo and Asutan. Ibesikpo clan, for political expediency, is further structured into Ibesikpo North and Ibesikpo South. The same thing holds for Asutan which is made up of Iwawa and Ndikpo.
The major political offices as at now are House of Assembly seat, chairmanship of the local government council, State Officer of the PDP and Chapter Chairman of the PDP. Luckily, these are four major offices and Ibesikpo Asutan local government area has four main blocks as shown above. It is therefore easy to share these offices amongst the four main blocks.
At the moment, Ibesikpo people occupy the House of Assembly seat and the PDP Chapter chairmanship positions while Asutan people hold the council chairmanship position and the State officer position of the PDP.
As time goes by, the people of Asutan will take over the House of Assembly seat and the chapter chairmanship of the PDP while the other two offices will revert to Ibesikpo people. This will make us two diverse people who have resolved to live together in peace due to our collective understanding.
With this understanding, elections are less acrimonious, less rancorous and less capital intensive. A rancorous electoral process breeds enmity, bad blood and stultifies development. In fact, at some times, lives and property are lost. This is not the not the time for Ibesikpo Asutan to go back to the dark days of rancorous and acrimonious struggle for political offices.
The development paradigm that has permeated the nooks and crannies of the local government area is a function of the peace that has enveloped the area as well as the trust and confidence the two clans have in each other.
The time to build on that trust and confidence is now, and that could be done by upholding the time honoured zoning arrangement in the area.
Elder Samuel Edet, Ph.D
A political Stakeholder of the party an indigene of Ibesikpo Asutan. Immediate past Acting Chairman Governing Council Akwa Ibom state polytechnic Ikot osurua.