The controversy surrounding the newly passed customary law in Akwa Ibom State has taken another dimension as some women groups protested against the law. They blocked the entrance of the State House of Assembly, demanding that the law which they said is motivated by politicians, be repealed immediately.
The women group in a statement signed by their National Coordinator, Joseph Ukpong, on Wednesday, lamented that some youths who do not understand the implication of the law, were reacting ignorantly.
The said it was unreasonable that people who should be the custodian of the law are the ones trying to thwart it because of political gains.
The statement said, ” the law had been in existence for some time now, there was only an amendment of some portions of the law in line with contemporary issues in the traditional institution as done in other parts of the country.
They vowed to name the politicians stoking the fire and embers of disunity among the royal fathers in the state.
Recall that some royal fathers from Annang and Oro nations have rejected the amended Traditional Rulers Council Law CAP155, assented to by Governor Umo Eno, describing it as discriminatory.
They claimed the law intentionally seeks to accord the leadership of the Traditional Rulers Council to the Oku Ibom Ibibio divide, neglecting the longstanding rotational provision among all paramount rulers in the state.
The monarchs are aggrieved that the new law, termed the “Supreme Council of Akwa Ibom Traditional Rulers,” only seeks to perpetuate the Ibibio Patriarch and Oku Ibom Ibibio, Nteyin Solomon Etuk in office as the President-General for life.
The State government, however, through the Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong said it would not want to meddle in the affairs of the traditional institution but urged the royal fathers to employ dialogue to iron out their differences.
Different youth groups have all matched to the streets in protest of the TRC law and have continued to lay insults on government officials on social media.
The royal fathers went on to say’
“In saner climes, since the law has already been signed by the Governor, the right thing to do is to begin the process of repealing and making it nugatory by causing the appropriate quarters to send fresh bills to counter the former.
”But those who do not love Akwa Ibom State will want to pass through the backdoor. That is why we continue to plead with everyone to allow the full legislative procedure to be applied in handling this very sensitive issue. Let no one mislead the traditional rulers further by making them go back and forth with their words and position.” They warned.
IMAGE: Dakada Watch