Leaders and elders of the Ibibio Sociocultural Organisation, represented by ‘Akwa Esop Ima-Isong Ibibio,’ have affirmed their support and commitment to the Bill amending the Traditional Rulers Law, Cap. 155, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2022.
The Bill, which has already received the governor’s assent, has stirred controversy, with some ethnic groups opposing it.
The Annang Youths Forum had voiced opposition to the Bill, as it seeks to grant perpetual leadership of the Traditional Rulers Council to the Oku Ibom Ibibio, bypassing the established rotational provision among all paramount rulers in the state.
In a statement issued by AYF leaders and made available to the press in Uyo, they expressed concern that the law could disrupt the delicate balance and unity among different ethnic groups in the state and undermine the principles of fairness and inclusivity.
However, the Ibibio Elders, in a communique issued at their meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, reiterated their stance that the law is in the best interest of the state’s overall development.
The communique praised the governor for assenting to the Bill and inaugurating key figures within the traditional council.
The Elders emphasized that the law is essential for peace, stability, national respect, and the progress of Akwa Ibom State, noting that other states in the country have similar traditional structures that have proven effective.
The controversy surrounding the Bill and its impact on traditional leadership dynamics in Akwa Ibom State continues to be a topic of discussion and debate among various stakeholders.