Political leaders from Eket senatorial district of Akwa Ibom State have risen from a meeting in Eket to condemn in strong terms the surreptitious attempts by the federal government-led All Progressives Congress to re-introduce the onshore/offshore oil dichotomy as contained in the recently submitted Mallam Nasir El Rufai Restructuring committee.
The Eket Senatorial District Elders Forum at a meeting convened by the Chairman, Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien said the move was a calculated attempt by the federal government to further impoverish Akwa Ibom and other littoral states, after years of neglect and marginalization.
The members of the forum including serving and former lawmakers, state executive council members from the senatorial district all denounced the policy which had been laid to rest by the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo over 15 years ago.
Among those who spoke at the meeting included the deputy chairman of the forum and former member of the House of Representatives, Dr. Esio Oquong Udoh, political leader of Esit Eket, Elder Ben Udobia, former leader of the state House of Assembly Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, Special Adviser on Political Matters Ekong Sampson and the Mkpat Enin State House of Assembly member, Otobong Ndem.
They were angered by what they described as attempt by the federal government to take their peaceful disposition for granted, and vowed to resist such an attempt at depriving their people of rights to offshore oil.
They pledged continuous support to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Peoples Democratic Party, saying that the next elections in 2019 will prove to the world that Akwa Ibom people are generally PDP members.
The Eket elders also frowned at the failure of the federal government to cite any project in the senatorial district in the last three years, maintaining that as the main hub of the country’s oil wealth, the zone deserved to be fairly treated by the government.
The APC committee on restructuring, headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El- Rufai, submitted its report in January to the party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun.
The committee recommended, among other things, resource control by states and the re-introduction of the onshore/offshore dichotomy in oil production.
The Eket Senatorial District Elders’ Forum comprises political leaders of each of the 12 local government areas of the zone, state and national assembly members, State executive council members and state PDP officials from the district, Chairman of ALGON as well as the Chairman of Forum of PDP chairmen.