The quest for unity and development of Atai Uyo – a conglomerate of the four local government areas of Uyo, Nsit Atai, Uruan and Ibesikpo Asutan, which were under the old Uyo LGA, has earned the support of notable political chieftain and former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk.
The political bigwig, a former Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while hosting executives and members of the Atai Uyo Peoples Forum (AUPF) in his Nung Udoe, Ibesikpo Asutan hometown on Wednesday, suggested that prevailing realities in the polity make it necessary for Atai Uyo to return to the drawing board and re-strategize as a united and progressive front.
Recalling that Atai Uyo used to be a frontline bloc even before the creation of Akwa Ibom State, Prince Etuk lamented that greed, hatred and retrogressive political antics contributed to its redundant status in recent past.
Labelling the bloc as the “carburettor of Akwa Ibom State,” he appealed that henceforth Atai Uyo’s leaders and people must ensure that they regain a piloting and pivotal role in the politics and general affairs of the state.
“The old Uyo Local Government Area was a voice and force to reckon with, time is high for us to be heard and seen again as a force to reckon with. For this to happen, we have to eschew divisiveness and speak with one voice. We have to stand for what best serve our interest and bury selfish political interests,” he implored.
He also suggested that Atai Uyo people, irrespective of political leanings, will have to officially convey a compendium detailing their position and demands to the state government.
The President General of Atai Uyo Peoples Forum (AUPF), Rt. Hon. Tony Asikpo, whose speech preceded that of the host, reaffirmed that the group exists to rekindle the common heritage and unity of the Atai Uyo bloc.
Asikpo said the visit to the political chieftain was in recognition of his status as a distinctive stakeholder of Atai Uyo. “You have made substantial contributions to our polity as a former chairman of Ibesikpo Asutan LGA, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Akwa Ibom State; Commissioner for Lands, Akwa Ibom State; Adviser to the Governor on Food Sufficiency; Chairman, PDP, Akwa Ibom State Chapter. We cherish your spirit of boldness and sincerity at all times,” he added.
Rt. Hon. Asikpo also briefed him on the group’s plans to dole out scholarship grants to indigent students, engage in empowerment and skills development for youths and other categories of persons, promotion of professional excellence through awards and intervention in medicare.
He went down memory lane to decry that the labours of Atai Uyo and Akwa Ibom heroes like the late Chief Effiong Okon Eyo and Obong Nyong Essien have not been appreciated, proffering that “immortalization of the aforementioned icons and other notable men and women of Atai Uyo will serve as an inspiration to others.”
Vice President of AUPF, Rt. Hon. Tony Essien, in a vote of thanks, appreciated Prince Uwem Ita Etuk for always being a strong pillar in Atai Uyo, and reassured him the group will always back his people’s oriented efforts.
Also present at the event were: Barr. Godwin Bassey James, Legal Adviser; Elder Patrick Albert, Publicity Secretary; Dr. Roberta Edem, Woman Leader and Elder Ini Umoren, Glory Patrick, Mrs Aniedie Udofa, Anthony Effiong Ufe, Obonganwan Mfon Udokpo, Chief Fabian Emmanuel, amongst others.