Traditional rulers of Annang stock in Akwa Ibom State have raised objections to certain provisions in a proposed bill for the amendment of the state’s traditional rulers law, as there are certain provisions in the new bill that is at variance with the 1999 constitution as amended.
The Afe Nkuku Annang, which is the supreme traditional institution of the Annang ethnic nationality has already written to the speaker of the house of assembly, to register their position.
The letter was signed by the paramount rulers of the Annang speaking local government areas, including HRM Aluku Cosmas Okon Akpan (Akwa Akuku Annang) Paramount Ruler Essien Udim LGA,HRM Akuku (Dr.) Johnson J. Obosi (Secretary General)Paramount Ruler-Oruk Anam L. GA, HRM Akuku Okon Udo Ukut, Paramount Ruler, kot Ekpene L GA, HRM Akuku (Engr.) Amos D. Akpan, Paramount Ruler Ukanafun L GA,HRM Akuku (Prof.) Amanam Akpan Udo (Vice President),Paramount Ruler -Etim Ekpo L. G. A, HRM Akuku (Dr.) Uwa Umo Adiaka, Paramount Ruler, Obot Akara L GA, HRM Akuku Sylvester Udoka, Paramount Ruler LG.A and HRM Akuku Joseph Okon, Paramount Ruler-LGA.
Dated September 19, 2023, the royal fathers said inter alia: “The Royal Fathers of Annang Nation, have received the information that the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has begun the legislative process of amending the Traditional Rulers law, Cap. 155, Laws of Akwa Ibom State.
“ The Royal Fathers have also had the advantage to peruse the draft copy of the proposed law/Bill We wish to make the following observations for the consideration of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly: Section 47 (1) of the proposed law reads: “The President-General shall be the Oku Ibom Ibibio representing the largest ethnic group in the state” Section 48 of the proposed law reads:
(1) The Vice President I shall be the Akuku Annang, representing the second largest ethnic group in the State (2) The Vice President 11 shall be the Ahta Oro, representing the third largest ethnic group in the State.”
“The above cited provisions of the proposed law are not only derisory, condemnable, discriminatory, provocative, insulting, but also inconsistency with section 42 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), which reads thus:
“No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of birth…
“It is in our firm view, that section 47 and 48 of the proposed law/bill cannot pass the litmus test of section 42 (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Hence, no matter how section 47 and 48 of the proposed law/bill would be interpreted, cannot pass the inconsistency rule, as provided for in section 1(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“We insist that the office of the President-General, The Vice President 1, and The Vice President 11 be rotational and base on the three senatorial districts that make up Akwa Ibom State as usual.
“It is with all sense of honesty, that the proposed law/bill is hereby rejected in its entirety by the Annang extraction of Akwalbom State, for not only being inconsistent with the ground norm but also repugnant to equity and good conscience.”