Demand an End to tribalism between Ibibio to Annang People and Establishment of ITAI STATE
REPORT OF THE HOUSE COMMITTEE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CHIEFTAINCY AFFAIRS ON A BILL FOR A LAW TO AMEND THE TRADITIONAL RULERS LAW CAP 155, LAWS OF AKWA IBOM STATE, 2022 PRESENTED TO THE HOUSE ON THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2023firma la peticiónfirma la petición
At the First Session of the 8th sitting of the House of Assembly held on Thursday, September 14, 2023, the Deputy Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Otobong Bob presented a Bill seeking to amend the Traditional rulers Law CAP 155 Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2022 (as amended). The Bill was deliberated on and thereafter referred to the House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for scrutiny and formal report to the House.
The Committee met to consider every aspect of the Bill and the Traditional Rulers law and resolved to call on a Public Hearing on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, an array of Guest and Stakeholders were invited and letters were sent with the attachment of the Bill, those invited were All Paramount Rulers of the 31 Local Government Areas, Representatives from Traditional Rulers Council, Oku Ibom Ibibio; Itai Afe Annang; Afe Nto Annang; Ata Oro and Oro Nation; Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Commissioner for Information; Attorney General; Head of Civil Service, Chairman Local Government Service Commission; Chairman ALGON; Chairman Assembly Service Commission; Chairman Nigerian Bar Association (NBA); Chairman Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC); Chairman Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ); Chairman Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio; Civil Liberty; Policy Alert and Civil Society Groups, etc.
Inputs from all the Stakeholders were solicited and obtained through memoranda submitted to the Committee before, on and after the Public Hearing. The Public Hearing was well attended and germane oral and documentary presentations were made, particularly from the Paramount Rulers from the Ibibio, Annang and Oron extraction which have immensely helped the Committee to make the observations and recommendations below.
The Committee observed from the Public hearing that the amendment of the Traditional Rulers Law, Cap 155 Laws of Akwa Ibom State 2022 will; Place the heads of our traditional institutions in equal rank with other reputable Chiefs in the country;
Dignify and sustain the integrity of traditional institutions in Akwa Ibom State. Will give a class and distinct identity to the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers in the State. That all the Chiefs were in acceptance of the Bill; however, the opinion of the Annang and Oro Nation is that at the exit of the President General, the office should be rotated amongst the three (3) ethnic groups for the sake of peaceful co-existence. That the Chairmanship of Traditional Rulers Council should be rotational annually.
From the Memoranda and Oral Presentations made to the Committee, the Committee harmonized all the interest of the Royal Fathers and proposes the following amendments to the Bill:
Clause 3 - Expunge Paragraph (f) of Sub-section (1) of Section 44
Clause 4 - Expunge Clause 4 (Section 45 of the propose Law)
Clause 5 - Expunge Sub-section (1) of Section 47
Renumber from Section 45 down seriatim
Rephrase Section 48(1) and (2) to read:
“(1) The Vice President I and II shall be the highest ranking Chiefs from the other two larger ethnic groups in the state other than that of the President-General of the Council.
(2) The Tenure of the President-General shall be for life and on his demised he shall be succeeded by the Vice President I while the Vice President II becomes the Vice President I in rotational system among the major 3 ethnic groups in the State”.
On behalf of members of the House Committee on Local government and Chieftaincy Affairs, I wish to thank the sponsors of the Bill. I thank the Hon. Speaker for giving us the opportunity to serve. The Committee hereby recommends that the amendment to the Traditional Rulers Law, 2022 be accepted and the Bill be passed into law by this Honourable House.
The Rt. Honourable Speaker, Honourable Members, I beg to submit.
Rt Hon (Elder) Mfon Idung
Chairman, House Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs