President of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, Obong Patrick Udofia has said that the Ibibios would support the quest for new states by other ethnic nationalities from Akwa Ibom.
He has however advised that such agitation should not be done in a manner as to witch hunt other sections and breed bad blood among the ethnic nationalities in the state.
Udofia,who is also the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Inter Socio Cultural Matters told newsmen yesterday in Uyo that the creation of more states from the present Akwa Ibom would be welcomed as it would bring more development and bring the government closer to the people.
“We are not against having more states from Akwa Ibom provided it will not be planned to witch-hunt each other and bring bad blood amongst us. So if there is capacity and capability among any and they meet the criteria, good luck.
“It will be in our best interest because instead of getting one allocation we can now get two or three. Look at Igboland, from the former East Central state you now have all these five states and they are still themselves.
“So it is fine with us the Ibibios provided it will not be used against people, for instance if I have a property in Annangland and not from there and you now say I will go just like our sister in Cross River who was denied the Chief Judge position just because she is not originally from Cross River despite been married to someone from there.So there should be no discrimination in that line,” he explained.
On the outcry against illegal mining of gold in Zamfara state, the President decried such practise and asked the Federal Government to call those involved to order.
“There is nothing wrong in mining but let them do it legally. If the FG said that mining should be done and marketed, fine but if you go and do it through the back door it is not good.
“But that is not the only place because there are so many mineral resources that people are mining illegally and arranging themselves. But here it is unthinkable for you to go and start exploiting oil,” he said.
On restructuring, he observed that poverty remained the only impediment against its reliazation adding that the government of the day has capitalized on the poor masses suppressed voices.
He said that once Nigerians are able to overcome their physiological needs such as hunger, they would have the boldness to maintain a strong standpoint on restructuring the nation.
“Restructuring becomes difficult because of hunger. Some of us can not afford to say no to authorities because they are affraid of being kick out from the system . But if you worth your onions , you would know that without the system ,you can still be yourself by sending your children to school , eat your food and say no it must be this way if not count me out of your arrangements,” he explained.
He described the economic policies of Governor Udom Emmanuel as suitable for the present economic realities of the state saying that his industrialization agenda is beginning to open the state to international investment.
On challenges of leading the 34,000 member union, Udofia said MMI has been structured to discipline erring members while a leadership succession plan that discourage in- fighting has been entrenched in the union.
“Here we have Governors, Generals, Bishops, commissioners and other influential people but in the history of the 34 year old union, none have been found wanting because we have structures in place to check any excesses and people conform to our laid down rules,” he said.