September 25, (THEWILL) – Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has cautioned traditional rulers and heads of Local Government Councils in the state, to operate within the ambiance of the law and permissible boundaries of their offices in the discharge of their duties.
The governor handed the caution at the Traditional Rulers Council Chambers, during the swearing-in/presentation of Staff of Office to the Paramount Ruler of Ini Local Government Area, His Royal Majesty, Edidem Udoette Edon, as the state chairman, Paramount Rulers Council and certification of nine newly recognised clan heads on Saturday.
Governor Emmanuel, who appreciated the contributions of the traditional institution to the success of his administration, congratulated the newly sworn-in royal fathers and tasked them to be guided by their oath of office in carrying out their functions.
He particularly passed a vote of confidence on the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Frank Archibong, for always delivering on the mandate of his office without fail.
On issues of interventions in land disputes, the governor stressed that the ownership of every land within the state, by law, resides with the governor and cautioned Chairmen of Local Government Councils, Paramount Rulers, and other traditional rulers against making pronouncements that should not be made by any other outside the office of the governor or use the privilege of their office to cause disharmony among communities in the state.
In his words, “every single piece of land in the state is entrusted in the governor, not in the Paramount Ruler. No Paramount Ruler has any right to make pronunciations about boundaries except the state governor. So please let no Paramount Ruler cause confusion. …please, let nobody disturb the peace of this state because of selfish interest. Let’s continue to live in peace and harmony.
“If you have any issue, let the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs know, and from there, I’ll know immediately and then the Attorney General will come in and we take it through the right law. Please don’t go and make any pronunciations that reside within my office as the governor.
“I also want to caution that, no Local Government Chairman has the right to delineate the boundary of any Local Government Area or any state. If you do that, it means you are not fit to hold that office and I’m sure the law would take its due course”, the governor stated.
Emmanuel also used the occasion to sue for synergy between the local government and the traditional institutions, while admonishing traditional rulers from village heads upwards to respect hierarchy.
According to him, the Local Government Chairmen are the closest to the traditional institution and should do everything possible to accord the traditional institution due regard and recognition as stipulated by the law and help bridge the gap between them and the state government.
Delivering an address at the event, the Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Frank Archibong, communicated the delight of the royal fathers in celebrating with Governor Emmanuel, the new frontiers of economic development, peace, unity, and prosperity of the state in the last 35 years.
The Commissioner expressed appreciation to the governor for giving the traditional fathers their pride of place and assured them that the traditional rulers will continue to play the role of peacemakers in their respective domains.
Being the last state creation anniversary to be celebrated with Governor Udom Emmanuel, he expressed mixed feelings about the traditional institution having to miss an administration that has demonstrated a genuine commitment to redefining the status and boosting the image of the traditional institution in words and deeds.
In his remarks, the President General, Akwa Ibom State Traditional Rulers Council, His Eminence Ntenyin (Dr.) Solomon Etuk, the Oku Ibom Ibibio, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for supporting and recognising the traditional stool to carry out the responsibility of upholding peace in the state and urged the Akwa Ibom people to support the governor to succeed.
High points of the event were the administration of the oath of allegiance and oath of office on the new Paramount Ruler, followed by the presentation of Certificate of Recognition, Staff of Office and a brand new Toyota Prado SUV as official car to the new traditional head.
The Clan Heads elect who were presented with Certificates of Recognition of their Royal Highness were: Etebom Usen Okon Udo, Clan Head-elect of Abak Clan, Abak LGA, Etebom Isidore Jacob Udoinyang, of Nto Edino Clan, Obot Akara LGA, Etebom Ikpe George Okon of Ikono Clan, Uyo LGA, Etebom Ime Okarafor Abara, Clan Head-elect of Southern Ukanafun Clan, Ukanafun LGA, Etebom Etim Akpan Udoekong, Ikpe Annang Clan, Essien Udim LGA, Etebom Monday Solomon Udo, Clan Head-elect of Ikpe Clan, Ini LGA, Etebom Okon Udo Ekpo, Ikono Clan, Ikono LGA, Etebom Xavier Okon Usung, Ibighi Clan, Okobo LGA and Etebom Offong Oyokunyi Okon Idiokune of Ubodung Clan, Udung Uko LGA.