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AKHA CALLS FOR REVIEW OF CLAN, VILLAGE DISTRIBUTION

new membersAs Ex-Speaker Aniekan Uko Takes Rules, Privileges And Business Committee

Following the return of four re-elected lawmakers, who were sworn-in on Tuesday by Speaker Onofiok Luke, there were minor changes on Thursday effected in the Chairmanship positions of four House Committees.
According to a release from the Office of the Press Secretary to the Speaker, the immediate past Speaker and member representing
Ibesikpo Asutan, Elder Aniekan Uko is the new Chairman, House Committee on Rules, Business, Ethics and Privileges, while his Etinan counterpart, Hon. Aniefiok Dennis will chair the Committee on Judiciary, Justice, Human Rights and Public petitions.
The Speaker also announced Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere as Chairman, Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs; Hon. Effiong Bassey, was announced the chairman, Committee on Boundary Matters and Conflict resolution, while Hon. Otobong Ndem, who was incharge of the Committee on Justice and Public petitions, is now Chairman, Committee on Rural Development and Public utilities.
In another development, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging Governor Udom Emmanuel to take a holistic look at existing clans in the state with a view to reviewing them to address, on merit, the interest of those local government areas which may have suffered similar deprivation with Ibiono Ibom.
The House took the position Thursday at plenary sequel to a motion brought before the assembly by the member representing Ibiono Ibom, Rt. Hon. Ime Okon.
Rt. Hon. Okon had drawn the attention of the House to what he observed as lopsidedness in the creation of clans in Ibiono Ibom, and made a case for the review of the existing structure. He informed the House that Ibiono Ibom has 221 villages, but has only two clans and compared the area to some other local government areas in the state with less population and less number of villages, but with more number of clans.
In a motion titled “Holistic Review of Existing Clans in Akwa Ibom State”, the sponsor, Rt. Hon. Okon prayed the House to direct the executive to undertake a holistic review of the matter since it was observed by the House that the lopsidedness was not limited to Ibiono Ibom.
In their contributions, the House Leader and member for Oruk Anam, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan, Chief Whip, Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong (Ini), Barr. Aniefiok Dennis (Etinan), Hon Aniekan Uko (Ibesikpo Asutan), Rt. Hon Friday Iwok (Abak), Hon. Mark Esset (Nsit-Atai), Hon. Samuel Ufuo (Mbo), Hon. Uduak Ududoh (Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo), Hon. Mfon Ekong (Nsit Ibom), Hon. Usoro Akpan Usoh (Esit-Eket/Ibeno) and Hon. Otobong Jonathan (Ukanafun), while thanking the sponsor of the motion for bringing up the matter on the floor of the House, intimated the Speaker of several petitions, complaints and protests from their respective constituents on the issue of clan distribution in the state.
They argued that it was pertinent for the assembly to direct the executive to carry out a holistic review of existing clans in the state with the view to ensuring justice, fair play and peaceful co-existence in the state.
On his part the member for Nsit Atai, Hon. Mark Esset, informed of a unique situation in his constituency which he described as unacceptable. He explained that only one, out of five gazetted clans that have been created in Nsit Atai, is being recognized administratively.
“It will surprise you to know that Nsit Atai is being recognized, treated and recognized as a one-clan local government. In spite that there are five clans that have been created and recognised by existing law, it is only one clan in Nsit Atai local government area that has been recognized administratively. This should not be so”.
The resolution was passed following overwhelming voice vote by the lawmakers.
Reacting, the Speaker, Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke commended members for their timely response to issues that concern the wellbeing of the people of the state, maintaining that the resolution passed by the House was in line with their avowed commitment to always be on the side of the people. The Speaker further mandated the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, headed by Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere to conduct a public hearing on the matter with the aim of gathering inputs from members of the public on issues relating to omitted villages and clans in the state. The committee is given 3 weeks to complete its assignment and report back to the House for further legislative action.

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