By Emma Una
ENIONG Abatim community in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State has insisted on the confirmation of Justice Akon Ikpeme as the Chief Judge of the state because the delay in confirming her is setting dangerous precedence in legal and political parlance.
Speaking to Vanguard at the weekend after a meeting of the Eniong Abatim Community Meeting, Elder David Okon, President of the Association said the continuous swearing-in of acting Chief Judges in the state by Senator Ben Ayade, governor of the state is not the solution to the legal stalemate but the confirmation of Justice Ikpeme as recommended by the National Judicial Commission.
“We have witnessed the dramatic intrigue surrounding the confirmation of Justice Akon Ikpeme as the Chief Judge of Cross River State since March 3rd 2020, and wish to state that what is going on is jeopardising the legal efficiency and political unity of the state, we, therefore, call for her confirmation to avoid setting a dangerous precedence in the state”.
Elder Okon said the people of Eniong Abatim are appealing to the conscience of Governor Ayade and the State House of Assembly to do the right thing by looking beyond politics to see the contribution the woman has made to the state in the past thirty-five years and confirm her so she could serve out the remaining two years of her career in the state civil service.
“Today somebody from the northern part of the state is governor but someday someone from another zone would occupy that position and it will not serve posterity right if the person decides to take decisions based on ethnic biases or seek to favour one section above the other”.
According to the President of the Eniong Abatim Association, since the woman has merited the position of Chief Judge as part of her career, she should not be denied since there is nothing incriminating against her.
“We frown at the tagging of our daughter as ‘security risk’ in a state where she was born, grew up, married and spent all her productive years to build simply because she merits a position in the state civil service.
“We will not fight government because it is our government but we ask that the right thing be done to avoid exacerbating political and ethnic tension in the state”