Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Controversy stalled the selection of Ikot Udoma Village Head


The efforts made by the people of Ikot Udoma Village in Eket Local Government Area towards the selection of a succeeding village head could not succeed on Thursday, August 10, 2017 due to heated controversy orchestrated by members of the component families which sponsored their candidates for the village headship stool. 

This ugly development occurred in a general meeting of the village organized by the Village Council and conducted by the Village Council Chairman, Pastor Samuel Ikott held in the Village Hall on the above mentioned date. The meeting which was convened by the directive of the Eket Paramount Ruler, HRM, Edidem Etim Charles Abia, according to the Village Council Chairman, was attended by a large number of youths, mostly male, elders, all the respective family heads and other members of the Village Council including two representatives of the Paramount Ruler in the persons of His Highnesses, Obong Friday Johnny Mbre and Chief Solomon Robert Eyire, Village Heads of Afia Nsit Eket and Iseyiridua respectively, as observers.

The controversy arose following heated arguments and disagreements when the Chairman of the Committee for the selection of the Village Head, Chief Akpe Asuquo Edem presented the report of the Committee indicating that the Committee members made up of the King Makers strongly upheld that the Village Headship stool is the bonafide inheritance of Nnua-Edem family and therefore unanimously selected one Chief Sampson Simon Obot (alias By The Grace Motors) who is a member of that royal family. 

Our reporter who witnessed the abortive meeting gathered that one of the contestants, Chief Ekanem Jacob Atiata has formally withdrawn from the contest and has conceded the supports of their family to another contestant from the same family as contained in a letter to that effect addressed to the Village Council Chairman and read at the meeting.  

Our source also gathered that the Village Council Chairman finally adjourned the meeting sine die after consultation with the Paramount Ruler on phone due to incessant interruption of the meeting and mounting tension which could not be controlled by an enforcement of security operatives. But that the Village Council Chairman however announced that the rescheduled date and venue for the meeting will be made known in future as shall be advised by the Paramount Ruler.

In an interview with our reporter, the most popular contestant who was also unanimously selected by the committee and supported by majority of the family heads, Chief Sampson Simon Obot confirmed that he is from the royal family of Nnua-Edem and that his grand-father had served as a Village Head in the community. 

Chief Obot disclosed that his aspiration to become the Village Head is sequel to the unanimous choice of members of his royal family and that he was already so recognized by the demised Village Head, HRH, Late Chief Sunday Assamudo Otu with an honour of a traditional title. Chief Obot also disclosed that the Village Headship stool has never been rotatory from time immemorial but residual within the two ancestral families which make up Nnua-Edem lineage. 

Chief Obot promised to reconcile all aggrieved parties in the contest in line with the scripture of peace making if he succeeds as the new Village Head but that he will cooperate with whoever will be selected in the contest other than himself as the contest, according to him, is not a do or die affair. 

He also declared that he will quit partisan politics if he becomes the Village Head and that the traditional stool will not conflict with his personal businesses which will be overseen by his reliable employees.

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