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Inside Account Of How Bishop Ante Emerged Oro Leader

By Joseph Atainyang, Uyo


The 2019 edition of the biennial election into the Office of the President-General of Oron Union has sprung surprises, as the emergence of Bishop Etim Ante as the new leader of Oro people had least been expected.

Etim Ante was the first among the four candidates listed for the topmost office by the Union as the Annual General Meeting (AGM)/Conference commenced last Friday, December 27, 2019.

Ante who is the pioneer International President of Esu Nlap Oro Development Organization (ENODO), the appex youth association in Oro Nation who later became the Special Assistant to former Governor Godswill Akpabio on Youth Matters, is currently the South South Geopolitical Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Bishop Ante, an accomplished businessman who hails from Akai Ebugu in Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, holds a Bachelor Degree in Law.

After the election on Saturday, December 28, 2019 Bishop Ante came out victorious scoring fifty percent of the total votes ahead of three other contestants.

According to the Chairman of the election committee, Chief Effiong Uwe, who declared Bishop Ante winner of the polls with 208 votes against Prince Offong Ntofon who garnered 118 votes, Dr. Asuquo Anwana scored 63 votes while Dr. Inyang Atting, 28 votes, respectively. He said the outcome of the election was a true reflection of the wishes of Oro people.

Bishop Ante who was magnanimous in victory expressed joy, thanking the delegates for finding him worthy to carry the Union’s baton of leadership for the next two years.

Promising to build on the gains of the Union’s past leaderships, Ante called on all Oro patriots, including his opponents in the last election to join hands with him in the service of their fatherland.

With tenacity and a sense of responsibility, the new PG paid a solidarity visit to the immediate past President-General, Chief (Mrs) Janet Amba at her residence in Oron, where he thanked her for the service she rendered to her fatherland.

His words, “I am here to thank you for all you have done for Oro. We have been in coma for a while, you came, did your best and I am happy to have taken the baton from you after two years of successful leadership, God bless you”.

While pointing out that she was relentlessly committed in realizing a generational shift in Oro leadership, Chief Amba, in her response, pledged her support towards the success of the new administration and prayed God’s guidance on the new leadership.

Also speaking, the Police Commissioner in Charge of Ekiti State, CP Asuquo Amba who is the husband to the immediate past PG, commended the new leadership on her emergence and wished the tenure a huge success in her mission towards serving Oro Nation.

The new PG had also on Sunday, paid a visit to one of his opponents, Associate Professor Inyang Atting in his hometown of Ukuko, where he officially sought his wealth of experience in the running of the Union’s affairs.

Ante called on the former Secretary-General of the Union to join hands with his leadership in the overall interest, growth and development of Oro Nation.

He acknowledged the dreams and aspirations of a rebuilt Union as encapsulated in Prof Atting’s manifesto and pleaded that the academic Don who had been the choice of Oro elders for the PG post to remain patriotic and selfless in lending his deep knowledge and experience in the success of the new leadership.

Inyang Atting who was delighted to receive the PG, congratulated him and his team on the election victory and assured the new Central Executive Committee of his willingness and availability to support them.

Meanwhile, the President-General led members of the new executive and leaders of Oro Nation to celebrate the Thanksgiving service to usher-in his administration.

Etim Ante, during the service, which was attended by the Chairman of Oron Union Board of Trustees (BoT), Sir (Dr) Edet Amana, KJW, Ikpoto Oro; the outgoing PG, Chief (Mrs.) Janet Amba, and other notable personalities, including members of the Council of Oro Traditional Rulers (COTR), inaugurated a Peace and Conflict Resolution Committee led by Apostle John Anso of the New Testament Ministries to investigate and make recommendations towards the settlement of the rift in the COTR.

However, Bishop Ante, has within 24 hours of his emergence, made five distinct appointments to Oro youths, in line with his promise to encourage cerebral Oro youths for maximum productivity.

In a release signed by the new Publicity Secretary of the Union, Mr Evans Asuquo Esifa, the appointments are those of Mr Victor Onomo as the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Asukwo Robert as Personal Secretary to the PG; Obong Kendy Aduak, Personal Assistant on Media, Lagos Laison Office; Effiong Edemumo, Special Assistant on Students’ Matters and Cyril Bassey Jr, Special Assistant on Print Media.

Other offices contested for, during the election were the Office of the Vice President General 2 won by Mr Ita Omunam who polled 212 votes against Engr. Emmanuel Sam with 184 votes.

The Office of the Secretary General was won by Mr Abraham Anlak with 197 votes against Lion Esu Amba who scored 190 votes while the Office of the Director of Welfare was won by Mercy Okon Ating with 256 votes against Arit John Peter with 105 votes.

Other offices clinched unopposed were the Office of the Assistant Secretary General 1 and Assistant Secretary General 2 as occupied by Dr. Esu Monica and Barr Godwin Etta respectively as well as those Offices of Treasurer, Financial Secretary and Publicity Secretary as clinched by Dunikan Bassey, Sunday Eyesin and Evans Esifa respectively.

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