MARGINALIZATION CLAIM: THE FACTS AND FICTION ABOUT ORO NATION
It was Garry Kasparov who noted that, “the point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth. ”This thought and perspective best explains the recent misinformation by Mr Chris Abasieyo who in a media release claimed that Oro nation or Oron Federal Constituency is grossly marginalized by the present administration in the state in terms of appointments in the state.
Chris Abasieyo’s jaundiced disarticulations seems personal and doesn’t, by any stretch of imagination, reflect the truth or reality. It therefore doesn’t deserve the attention of any person of sound mind, but for the sake of the gullible and misinformed, with incapacity to synchronize and sieve the substance from the chaff, It’s pertinent to situate the Abasieyo smear campaign within the prism of ad hominem arguments.
First, that Chris Abasieyo, one who should be more knowledgeable about the workings of government, having served as a Commissioner for Information in the state to disarticulate that, ”The recent reconstitution of some Boards tends to suggest that the Governor doesn’t reckon with Oro ethnic nationality or Oron federal constituency while making his appointments. Ordinarily, someone from Oron area should chair at least one of the aforementioned Boards”, suggests that Chris was either misinformed or that his commonsense has been overwhelmed by the jaundiced political considerations.
This opinion is underscored by the fact that his claims have failed every historical test, and presents no believable fragmentary evidence to back his hasty claims as prescribed by Prof. Geoffrey Barraclough.
Secondly, it begs to ask, what board appointment in the state could be higher than the positions of Secretary to the State Government and Deputy Speaker of the State House of Assembly, a position Oron Federal Constituency has held since the inception of the current administration till date? Has Chris ventured into the fruitless adventure of historical revisionism or has he allowed himself to be used as a pawn in the hands of the capricious political elites whose aim is to masquerade their original interest of primitive accumulation?
Thirdly, Could the media have quoted Chris Abasieyo off the context? This question is pertinent because, having served as a member of the state executive council, Chris can’t repudiate the sacrosanct truth that no other administration since the creation of Akwa Ibom in 1987 has given Oro nation this magnitude of representation in terms of appointments and projects. This line of thought was recently reinforced by the Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) that recently enthused:
“…as an international civil society organisation, which is a watchdog of the society, we would have long taken the governor to task if we had discovered any tinge of marginalisation but, the governor has been fair and balanced in the manner he has distributed political offices in the State.
For instance, apart from the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem, an accomplished Oro Nation professional whose office is the engine room of government, Oron Federal Constituency also has the Commissioners for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin and his Transport counterpart, Hon. Uno Etim Uno as key members of the Udom Emmanuel’s cabinet.
Among the board members from Oron federal constituency are: Barrister Ekpenyong Ntekim, Chairman of the Board of Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic; Professor Peter Esuh, Chairman of the Land Use and Allocation Committee; Mr. George Henshaw who was Chairman, Technical School Board between 2016-2020, among several other appointments.”
The writer has failed to state that the current administration has also given the position of Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to two prominent daughters of that Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Alice Ekpenyong and Chief Mrs. Janet Amba. Others who have benefited include, Hon Flora Abang, member of Hospital Management Board, Barr Ewa Okpo, Member of Hotels Management and Tourism Board, Sir Michael Essang, Member of Akwa Ibom Property and Investment Board, Mr Anyangha Anyangha, member of Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, Engr. Effiong Essang of the State Scholarship Board, Elder Ita Iniekung of the Agric Loans Board, Mrs Precious Selong who until recently was a member of the Uyo Capital City Development Commission, Ulap Okon Enweme, Member of Uyo Capital City Development Commission, Mr Okpoyo Etifit, member, Akwa Ibom Roads and other Infrastructure Maintenance Agency,AKROIMA.
By Chris Abasieyo’s description, people may not actually know that Oron is one out of ten federal constituencies in the state, and not one out of the three senatorial zones. This is the Oron Federal Constituency which has been in the saddle as the highest political office holders in Eket Senatorial Districts, apart from the position of Governor, with the Senator representing the zone, Nelson Effiong(2015-2019, and Akon Eyakenyi (2019-2023) who went to the senate with a robust history of experience, as commissioner, chairman of boards, and federal minister. The federal constituency also boasts of the South South Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
To an innocent reader, Chris Abasieyo’s position completely obliterates the fact that sitting on top of billions approved as budget for the nine states in the Niger Delta region, is an Oro son, Mr Effiong Akwa, the sole administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission,NDDC, a position several others could use to better the lots of their people?
By possible extrapolation, it’s evident that that Chris Abasieyo would have experienced some structural amnesia regarding the facts in juxtaposition with the fiction.
Fourthly, while this is not an attempt to discountenance the rights of individuals and groups (including Oro Thinktank) to agitate for improved representations and equi
ty in the distribution of resources and other societal values as enshrined in the numerous international Conventions and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we are worried that Abasieyo’s claim is capable of sowing seeds of discord and bottled-up emotions- capable of causing anomie and tension within the state, especially in the buildup to 2023.
Finally, we advise Mr. Abasieyo to engage the rule of historical objectivity which harps on the imperative of evidence (facts) in the presentation of a testimony, without which such subjective claim would tantamount to “objectivity of an eunuch”. Rather, what is objective is that Oron Federal Constituency has never fared this well from the creation of the state in 1987, as exemplified in the distribution of appointments and projects by the present administration in the state. Hence, Res ipsa loquitur- the facts speak for themselves.
We call on people to discountenance as falsehood, the claims that Oron Federal Constituency is marginalized in appointments in the state. From our assessments,the present administration in the state has been fair in equity and egalitarian social order and we can only hope it will continue to ensure that every group in the state receives a better deal.