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Ekpo Okon started Koyong-Qua-Ejagham ethnic division - Duke

Ntufam Ekpo Okon

Board of Trustees Chairman of the Efik Leadership Foundation, Mr. Richard Duke has asked Ntufam Ekpo Okon, running mate to Sen. John Owan Enoh, Cross River State All Progressive Congress, APC governorship candidate not to complain about the criticism that he's running under Ejagham-Ejagham ticket.

Duke in his reaction to media report credited to Okon said that he started the Okoyong Qua-Ejagham ethnic division.

He disclosed that Ekpo Okon has used to the sentiments to his advantage before therefore cannot recount his words now that it's counting against him.

Recall that members of the APC from the Southern Senatorial District have rejected the nomination of Ekpo Okon as Owan Enoh running mate saying because according to them they are from the same ethnic stock, Ejagham.

APC leader from the South who spoke on anonymity for fear of being punished by the party said that "We are bringing Enoh's ethnic irredenstism to the attention of the Efik people and Cross Riverians in general because we feel this obvious insensitivity should be exposed; Cross Riverians should know what is happening in APC.

We dont lack eminently qualified sons and daughters for the exalted position of running mate but Enoh prefers his fellow Ejagam man for the position.He will hear from us, Efiks"

Reacting to the development, Ntufam Okon warned that those propagating the ethnic sentiment should beware of the long time consequences.

He said that "Yes, Ekpo Okon is from Okoyong and he is tagged Ejagam because of being a running mate. Yet how many of these people would identify Essien Ayi, who also is from Okoyong, as an Ejagam man. Essien Ayi  has been representing 3 core Efik LGAs  in the National Assembly. It is easy to unreasonably create mischief. I wish that these people are mindful of the long term consequences"

But Duke now has defended Essien Ayi saying that he identifies himself as Efik but Okon doesn't.

According to him" Ntufam, your argument doesn’t hold much weight. Hon Essien Ayi self-identifies as Efik, you don’t. Hon Essien Ayi is Efik maternally.

"Your Ntufam Chieftaincy title is in recognition of your contributions to your people, not the Efik people.

"You have publicly used this Okoyong-Qua-Ejagham sentiments to your advantage when it suited you in the past. Now that the stakes are different you can’t easily recant your steps. You started this ethnic division.

"Let people know that you are proud of your unique Okoyong-Qua-Ejagham heritage instead of cheekily comparing yourself to Hon Essien Ayi".

He added that "If the Efik people love you, they’ll gladly accept you irrespective of where you come from".
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