National Secretary of AKISAN Relieved for Attending Global Congress of IPU

4 Sep

 

Mr. Bassey Okon is an Ibibio man, while Mr. Buffer Eyo (the National President of Akwa Ibom State Association) is an Annang man. Until Mr. Buffer Eyo relieved Mr. Bassey Okon of his position, he (Bassey) has been diligently serving  as the National Secretary of Akwa Ibom State Association. For a long time, it has been in the rumor-mill that Buffer Eyo has always wanted to remove Bassey Okon as the National Secretary of AKISAN, in preference to his Annang kindred, in order to complete Annang hegemony and a grip on Akwa Ibom State Association. Buffer Eyo’s appointment of Dr. Jimmy Umoh (of Annang extraction) has confirmed what many already knew. It is interesting that in his letter of dismissal, Buffer Eyo did not state the reason Bassey Okon was dismissed (please see attached). But we know better.
 
Until the Global Congress of Ibibio People’s Union held in Atlanta on August 6, 2011, I never heard of or had any previous contact with—let alone knew—Mr. Bassey Okon. During the Business Meeting of the IPU, someone whispered into my ears that the National Secretary of AKISAN was in the room. Out of respect for the office he held, I gave special recognition for Mr. Bassey Okon to address the Meeting. He did. He was the only official of AKISAN to attend the Global Congress of Ibibio People’s Union. After Bassey Okon had completed addressing the IPU Congress, my gut-feeling told me that he would return to Miami as the enemy of Buffer Eyo. My instinct was right!
 
After the IPU Congress in Atlanta, I received information that Buffer Eyo was very unhappy when he learned that Bassey Okon had attended a meeting of IPU in Atlanta. I never relayed this information to Bassey Okon because I did not want to be dragged into the affairs of AKISAN—an association which I helped shape into a viable organization, but which if I had my way, I would let it die a natural death because of the ethnic cards introduced into the Association by Godswill Akpabio and in which Buffer Eyo had been installed (by Akpabio) as an agent of divide-and-rule and as a promoter of Godswill Akpabio’s propaganda mouth-piece in United States.
 
Before the National Convention in Akwa Ibom State was held in Miami, I had called for all sons and daughters of Ibibio to boycott the Conventionand leave it for Akpabio, Buffer Eyo, and all those who are ready and prepared to play the ethnic sentiments with them. Some members of Ibibio community attended the conference, hoping it will bring understanding which may cement the spirit of brotherhood among all the ethnic groups that comprise Akwa Ibom State. The dismissal of Bassey Okon has revealed that such hopes were being hung on nothingness; Akwa Ibom State Association has been turned into an ethnic play-ground for Godswill Akpabio. The only best alternative is for indigenes of Ibibio to leave AKISAN for Buffer Eyo and Godswill Akpabio.
 
First, in 2010, with help from the agents of Godswill Akpabio, Mr. Edet Udofia was manipulated out of the Presidency of AKISAN. Next, when Dr. Tom Mbeke-Ekanem and other Ibibio intellectuals submitted articles for publication in Mbuk Akwa Ibom, the articles were rejected under a flimsy and nonsensical excuse that it did not meet “their” standard. Now, they have ganged up against an Ibibio son, who has been relieved of his position as the National Secretary of AKISAN, simply because he attended a meeting of Ibibio People’s Union, an organization which he attended out of his birth-right as a true and bona fide son of the Ibibio.  The question is, how far do the Ibibio have to wait, while a few Annang men, such as Buffer Eyo, are hi-jacking the affairs of Akwa Ibom State Association for their selfish gains and the whims and caprices of a failed leader by the name of Godswill Edward “Obot” Akpabio?
 
After all, what does Akwa Ibom State Association has to offer the Ibibio people, other than insults and discrimination? For years most of the revenue collected at every annual National Convention has been from contributions made from the sweats of the Ibibio. Yet, all they receive has been a constant insult and abuse. The Ibibio can no longer afford to remain the “stupid majority” in an organization where they are not respected and in which they do not feel dignified. There is so much insult a group can continue to tolerate. Enough should be enough.
 
We should thank God that the Ibibio has a viable alternative they can turn to, unlike in the past when AKISAN was the only organization left for the Ibibio to join with a feeling of belonging. Since Buffer Eyo is taking membership of Ibibio people in AKISAN for granted, I hereby call on all Ibibio sons and daughters to leave AKISAN and come to Ibibio People’s Union (IPU) —an organization of the Ibibio, by the Ibibio, and for the Ibibio, where no discrimination can be meted to any member.
 
Written by
Thompson Essien
President, Ibibiobio People’s Union, USA inc.
A native of Ibibio Nation

 

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