Ikot Ebidang Village Head Tussle: Community Rejects Imposition …Berates ONNA Traditional Rulers Council

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By Abasiofiok Inyang

The people of Ikot Ebidang Village in Onna Local Government Area have rejected in totality, last Friday imposition of one Chief Friday Sunday Udonsek as the new village head, saying that Udonsek was not qualified in the first place to be the village head as he is not from the ruling family that always produces the village head.
The people have equally berated the Onna Traditional Rulers Council, TRC, for what it described as an ignominious role in the alleged imposition of Chief Udonsek on them.
Speaking on behalf of the Ikot Abidang people after what he described as stage-managed imposition in the name of selection of the new village head, Bishop Rex Akpan Uko condemned the action of the Onna TRC, saying that it is unprecedented in the history of the village.
Bishop Uko particularly condemned the Traditional Rulers Council for bringing soldiers, policemen and other security operatives to come and intimidate the law abiding Ikot Ebidang citizens especially family elders in the name of providing security during their presentation process.
He wondered why the security operatives should be brought into the affairs of the people who had gone to freely choose who should lead them.
The Ikot Ebidang people also add that the Onna TRC failed to investigate the allegation of atrocities including arson leveled against Chief Udonsek simply because they (royal fathers) were determined to mortgage their future. A situation he said that the people will resist.
Also speaking, one of the contenders and favourite for the village head stool, crown Prince Cheve Imoediufen Akpan Usunginwang, described the imposition of Chief Friday Sunday Udonsek by the Onna TRC as unacceptable, saying that Chief Udonsek is not from the royal family that produces the village head of Ikot Ebidang.
He revealed that out of the present 12 families (Ekpuk) that made up Ikot Ebidang village, it was only Ekpuk Usunginwang Edemekong Akpan Akpo that has been the ruling family.
He said that from the time and linage of Ekeminua, Abidang, Akpan Okpo, Edemekong Akpan Akpo, Usung Inwang, Akpan Usunginwang, Idiokudo Usunginwang, Imoediufen, Asuquo Imoediufen, Akpan Phenson and the last village head, Okon Ben Usunginwang, there was no other ruling family aside his family linage.
The crown Prince said he was amazed to see Chief Udonsek coming to drag what he does not deserve and the decision of the TRC to breach the long standing tradition of Ikot Ebidang by saying that the stool should now be rotated.
He further added that he is out to challenge the decision of the Onna TRC in a court of competent jurisdiction to get his right, noting that no amount of intimidation will force him to oblige his rights.
On his part, another contender to the throne, Elder Ukpe Akpan Alfred said he has totally rejected the ignominious act of the Onna TRC of imposing a non-qualified person to lead Ikot Ebidang as village head.
Alfred who spoke with our reporter shortly after what he described as Kangaro selection of the new village head in the person of Chief Friday Sunday Udonsek, noted that he is equally challenging the selection in the court.
He particularly chided the five clan heads that voted on behalf of Ikot Ebidang people, saying that they do not know anything about the tradition of Ikot Ebidang village and the selection of their village head.
He also called on the people of Ikot Ebidang to remain calm and law abiding while he seek redress in court.
Meanwhile, The Sensor has learnt that the aggrieved contenders for the village head stool have served Governor Udom Emmanuel a pre-action notice to sue the Onna Traditional Rulers Council on the controversial role played in selecting the new village head. The pre-action notice is said to be one of the requirements to sue public officers like paramount rulers and members of the Traditional Rulers Council.

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