Akwa Ibom government has assured traditional rulers of continuous partnership towards sustaining the peace and accelerating development in the state.
The state governor, Udom Emmanuel gave the assurance during the coronation of the clan head of Oniong in Onna local government area, Etebom Samuel Efik who had earlier been issued with a certificate of recognition by the government.
Emmanuel, who was represented by his commissioner of works, Ephraim Inyangeyen said the government was committed to strengthening the partnership as part of efforts to enthrone peace in communities across the state.
“We hold the traditional rulers in high esteem; with their support and contributions, we believe that peace will continue to reign in the local government areas of the state,’’ he said.
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The governor, who described the new clan head as an accomplished professional, called on the people to rally around him.
Speaking also, Onofiok Luke, a member of the House of Representatives and former speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, said the coronation of the clan head was a testament to his courage, dedication and values that define the industrious nature of the Oniong people.
Luke, who was one of the dignitaries honoured with a chieftaincy title during the ceremony, urged the new clan head to pursue peace and prosperity in the area.
The clan head, Efik, a lawyer said the administration of Emmanuel has brought about positive changes in the state.
“The time has come when the elite of Akwa Ibom State must complement the efforts of government by stepping up the ‘Dakkada’ (stand up) campaign among our people,’’ he said. He called on the people to move away from archaic beliefs and practices, “some of which we have held unto as tradition and customs under the delusion that we have been doing the bidding of the gods or our ancestors.’’
He thanked the governor for finding him worthy to be recognised as the clan of Oniong and promised to offer himself for the service of his people.