Power tussle divides Obio Offot community

Power tussle divides Obio Offot communit


…Village Head fingered
…I’m powerless, blame Family Heads, Chief Umanah
….”It’s a big lie, Chief Cyril Umanah is behind it not family heads” Chief James Jude.

The Village Head of Obio Offot, Chief Cyril Umanah has been accused of engaging in underhand tactics that is aimed at thwarting the agelong sharing of positions in the community.

This more was revealed by a competent source from the area who pleaded for anonymity.

The source told our reporter that the Village Head is colluding with some people to deny Nung Usoh family its right to produce the next youth president of the area.

Speaking in confidence, the source alleged that the Village Head has compromised standards because he has been bribed by another camp who are laying claim to the position even when it’s not their turn to produce the next youth president of the area.

According to him, the rotation is done on a family basis which the people have always maintained to ensure the peace and mutual coexistence of the people. He noted that with Nung Ekpe family having concluded their three years, it is the turn of Nung Usoh to produce the next youth president but the Village Head, he said, is bent on denying them (Nung Usoh) their right.

The source stressed that the office has never been subjected to  nomination which he said the Village Head is advocating for in order to have his way. He added that the idea of nominating somebody to assume the position is designed to scheme out Nung Usoh whom he said has never produced a youth president.

Speaking further, he said that if they were to go by nomination, it should be the internal business of the family the office has been zoned to. His words: “The moment it is zoned to a family, one person is chosen from such family.”
Condemning the decision of the Village Head to impose Edet Awak on the youth, the source said that it is wrong and runs counter to the age-long existing zoning formula that has always guided the community.

He called on good spirited individuals to prevail on the matter to avoid any breakdown of law and order in the area.

The source told our reporter that in the heat of the leadership logjam, the Unit Head of Nung Mkpe, Chief Ndareke Idaha, had summoned a meeting to resolve the looming crisis. At the meeting, according to the source, the situation was critically appraised after which it was seen that Nung Usoh was yet to produce a youth leader.

This, he said, led to the nomination of one Emmanuel Charles of Nung Usoh family for the position but a faction kicked and staged a walkout from the meeting, alleging that he’s not the right person for the office as family heads, they claimed, had an agreement to bring forth another person for the position.

The source noted that the faction that is against zoning is led by one Dr. Uwah who is rooting for one Edet Awak whom the source said was chosen by three out of six family heads in the area, who we learnt kicked against the arrangement.

It was gathered that Edet Awak is from Nung Udah family that has produced a youth president twice hence it’ll be a third time that the youth president will come from their family if he is allowed to assume the position.

It was learnt that the breakaway faction had mobilised their loyalists and met the Village Head where they reportedly told him that Nung Usoh had produced a youth leader through one Sylvester Charles who is now late.

As a counter move, members of Nung Usoh family reportedly embarked on a fact-finding mission where they discovered that the claim that their Late Sylvester Charles was a youth leader was false. They found out that he was only the chairman, Electrification Project in the community.

After meeting the Village Head on the matter, it was gathered that he saw reason with Nung Usoh family and told them not to worry.

But the Village Head, it was learnt, started singing a different tune after he was allegedly given some money by Edet Awak who, a source said, sold a land to raise the money from which he gave the Village Head to smoothen his choice as youth president.

The Village Head, it was learnt, ordered the Unit Head to go ahead and inaugurate Edet Awak as youth president maintaining that Nung Usoh family won’t do anything.

With Nung Usoh family resisting the move and insisting on their right, a competent source from the area hinted our reporter that the Village Head is now bent on having Edet Awak from Nung Udah family inaugurated as the new youth president following the opposition that led to the cancellation of the earlier inauguration exercise which was stopped midway following a protest.
To actualise his mission, it was gathered that he has concluded plans to write the Police with the mandate to arrest anybody that may want to disrupt the inauguration exercise again and treat them as cultists.

It was gathered that this development has raised tension in the community. A source from the community told our reporter that if something urgent is not done to quell the leadership situation, a big crisis that may lead to loss of lives may be brewing in the area.

When contacted, the Village Head, Chief Cyril Umanah, noted that he had wanted Nung Usoh to produce the next youth president, but said that he had to subject himself to the decision of the Family Heads whom he admitted have the final say on the matter.

He explained that he cannot but abide by the decision taken by five out of the six Family Heads whom he said are the kingmakers, adding that he had “settled the matter with Nung Usoh family, “but they refused to listen to me” he said. He gave the name of the village head who did not back Edet Awak as James Jude.

When this reporter contacted Chief James Jude, Chief James said “It’s a lie that family heads has never involved in the process of selecting women leaders. Not to talk about the youth leaders.”

“If he (Chief Umamah) claimed family heads are the kings makers, why then did he instructed the unit leader Chief Ndareke Idara to go ahead and announce Mr. Emmanuel Charles to the village on the 16th of May 2016?

We will apply all legal machinery to ensure justice is done to this case. Nung Usoh family can’t and will never be intimidated” said Chief Jude.

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