To: His Excellency
Governor Udom Emmnauel
Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria
Subject: Open Letter: A Plea to the Governor to Retract His Action of Declaring the Royal
Stool (Ifim) of the Paramount Ruler of Uruan, Currently Occupied by Edidem Pastor
Engr. E.B.A. Ekanem Vacant and Appointing a Replacement
Date: 5 March 2016
Dear Governor Udom Emmnauel:
The ousting of a living and a sitting Royal Paramount Ruler, Edidem Pastor Engr E.B.A. Ekanem of Uruan and the appointment of Chief Nicholas Ukpong as a replacement by you Sir is to me the greatest act of disrespect to the citizens of Uruan nation and a complete disregard for Ibibio tradition. As reported by the Guide Newspaper on Friday, March 4, 2016 at 5:11 AM local Nigerian Time, I am stunned by your action that would not even be contemplated by any politicians past or present in any states of Nigeria. As it was further stated in The Guide Newspaper, Uruan Paramount Ruler, Edidem Pastor Engr E.B.A. Ekanem recently travelled abroad to seek medical treatment. Does that amount to a valid rationale to declare the Paramount Royal Stool vacant? Is it not a common phenomenon in Akwa Ibom State to see a governor, commissioners, and other politicians seek medical treatments abroad because Akwa Ibom State currently does not have a credible well equipped hospital with the facilities to treat the citizens who are afflicted by some rare diseases or ailments? Did you Sir, consult with Uruan elders or council of chiefs to determine if the Royal Stool of Uruan’s Paramount Ruler was really vacant?
To the best of my recollections, Uruan tradition maintains that the Stool of the Paramount Ruler can be rendered vacant if the following two life-altering events occur: First, if the Paramount Ruler is actually dead. Second, if the Paramount Ruler is infirm and rendered incapable of discharging the duties and responsibilities of his royal office. I am certain that there is a government Decree or Diktat in the Akwa Ibom State that outlines the procedures to follow before declaring the Royal Stool of a Paramount Ruler vacant and a parallel process for appointing a new Paramount Ruler.
According to Ibibio Tradition, the death of a Paramount Ruler is not always proclaimed immediately to the public until the Council of Chiefs meets to search for a successor. The process could take several months or may last for a year before the public is made aware.
I am still puzzled by your action Sir, in rushing to declare the Stool of Edidem Pastor Engr E.B.A. Ekanem vacant and appointing a replacement based on a handful of people who conspire to de-stool or usurp the Royal Stool of a living Paramount Ruler of Uruan.
What if, God forbids, our loving and sitting governor of Akwa Ibom State were to travel overseas for medical treatments, would that justify his deputy conniving to declare the governor’s office or position vacant and rush to replace him? Would that be politically or humanely acceptable by the citizens of the state? Is it surprising therefore to any Akwa Ibom citizens, except the conspirators, to see Uruan youths demonstrate in opposition to your action Sir to rush to deprive Uruan people of their Paramount Ruler?
My humble advice to your Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel is that, you should retract or halt your earlier action and move to consult with Uruan Council of Chiefs to name a temporary care-taker (a member of Uruan Council of chiefs) to assume the Royal Stool of the Paramount Ruler until the reigning ruler returns home after his treatment abroad.
I am writing this open letter to you Sir, not as the General Secretary of Uruan Development Association (UDA), USA, but as a private Uruan citizen in sympathy with the rest of the angry and frustrated Uruan people at home and in the diaspora because of your action.
Dr. Ignatius Idio