– As Gen. Etukudo, Sen. Etang Umoyo, ors dismiss endorsement claim – Insist Eket Fed Const has not endorse anybody By Franklyn ISONG
It is not yet uhuru for the immediate past secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government and one of the Peoples Democratic Party’s 2015 governorship aspirants, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as his bid to secure endorsement of his Eket Federal constituency has hit the rock.
This follows a press statement issued by some major stakeholders and elders of the area under the auspices of “Eket Federal Constituency Elders Forum, Akwa Ibom State- Nigeria”; titled; “The purported adoption/endorsement of Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the sole gubernatorial aspirant (2015) from Eket federal constituency: An open lie” which was made available to RADAR newspapers this morning.
In the one-page advertorial, the elders asserted that they were aware of the reception ceremony organised by the four local government council chairmen of Eket, ONNA, Ibeno and Esit Eket which made up the federal constituency on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, in honour of Udom Emmanuel, which the sole purpose was to present him as the only governorship aspirant from the federal constituency in the 2015.
The strong worded statement signed by Gen. Anthony D. Etukudo OON (Rtd), Senator Etang Umoyo, Pastor Abang O. Abang, Prof. Etie B. Akpan, Chief Bassey Essien and Dr. Etuk Essien Etuk whipped the former minister of Lands and Urban Renewal, whom, according to them, was the chairman on the said reception event, saying that “Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien who was visibly in pains to present Mr. Udom Emmanuel as the sole aspirant from Eket Federal Constituency did so only to justify his benefits and personal interest, and so with every other person who spoke in that vein.
They stated that the people of Eket Federal constituency have not adopted or endorsed Udom Emmanuel or any other person for that matter as their sole governorship aspirant, maintaining that the former minister did not get their authority to speak for the federal constituency.
“Chief Nduese Essien has no mandate whatsoever and did not speak for or on behalf of Ekid people or Eket federal constituency but for himself and himself alone,” the elders stated.
They said that Eket federal constituency prides itself with the impressive array of very well qualified governorship aspirants who are seasoned politicians, fit to be governor and capable of leading Akwa Ibom state to a higher level of development, warning that; “even a cursory look at the array gubernatorial aspirants from the federal constituency reveals that the man the incumbent government is laboring hard to foist on the people cannot, by any imagination, be the best of them all to be so endorsed.”
They noted that all their sons and daughters including Udom have equal rights and have earned their approval to seek for any political office in the land, “but we caution that such aspirations and process should be devoid of underhand tactics. “We are constrained to issue this statement so that the gullible and vulnerable masses in Eket federal constituency, in Akwa Ibom state and in Nigeria would not be misguided and deceived by a few of their self-seeking elders.
“We further request the state, local government and ward chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state to comply with the directives of the national working committee (NWC) of the party that no aspirant should be endorsed by the party prior to the primary elections and that a level playing field should be provided for all the aspirants to test their acceptability by their people,” the press statement read. (See full text of the Press Statement): EKET FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY ELDERS FORUM AKWA IBOM STATE – NIGERIA
THE PURPORTED ADOPTION/ENDORSEMENT OF MR. UDOM GABRIEL EMMANUEL AS THE SOLE GUBERNATORIAL ASPIRANT (2015) FROM EKET FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY: AN OPEN LIE
We are aware that on Tuesday October 14, 2015, a reception ceremony in houour of one of our sons, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel was held at the Eket Township Stadium. The said reception was anchored by the Local Government Council Chairmen of Eket, ONNA, Ibeno and Esit Eket which constitute the Federal Constituency. The veiled purpose of the reception ceremony, though known well in advance by every discerning adult in the Federal Constituency and in Akwa Ibom State generally, manifested on that day. It was to present Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the incumbent Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government (SSG) as the one and only Governorship Aspirant (2015) endorsed by the people of Eket Federal Constituency. This is where the collective deceit of the known and the unannounced organizers and sponsors of that ceremony burst.
We hereby state categorically and unequivocally and wish to put on record that:-
(I) The People of Eket Federal Constituency have NOT adopted or endorsed Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel or any other person for that matter as their sole Gubernatorial Aspirant.
(II) The Chairman on that reception/deception ceremony, Rt. Hon. Chief Nduese Essien who was visibly in pains to present Mr. Udom Emmanuel as the sole aspirant from Eket Federal Constituency did so only to justify his benefits and personal interest, and so with every other person who spoke in that vein.
(III) Chief Nduese Essien has no mandate whatsoever and did not speak for or on behalf of Ekid People or Eket Federal Constituency but for himself and himself alone.
(IV) The Eket Federal Constituency prides herself on the impressive array of very well qualified Aspirants who are seasoned politicians, fit to be Governor and capable of leading Akwa Ibom State to a higher level of development. Even a cursory look at the array of the Gubernatorial Aspirants from the Federal Constituency reveals that the man the incumbent Government is labouring hard to foist on the people cannot, by any imagination, be the best of them all to be so endorsed.
(V) All our sons and daughters including Mr. Udom Emmanuel have equal rights and have earned our approval to seek for any political office in the land, but we caution that such aspirations and process should be devoid of underhand tactics. We are constrained to issue this statement so that the gullible and vulnerable masses in Eket Federal Constituency, in Akwa Ibom State and in Nigeria would not be misguided and deceived by a few of their self-seeking elders.
We further request the State, Local Government and Ward Chapters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State to comply with the directives of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party that no aspirant should be endorsed by the party prior to the primary elections and that a level playing field should be provided for all the aspirants to test their acceptability by their people.
THE IMAGINARY TRIPOD STRUCTURE OF AKWA IBOM STATE
We are also aware of the ludicrous claims by some misinformed people and sections of the state that Akwa Ibom State was created on the basis of and rests on a tripod of three ethnic groups only. Nothing could be farther from the truth. There are more than three ethnic groups (which of course we see as dialectal groups) in Akwa Ibom State and each and everyone of these groups has equal and in alienable rights to the highest political office in this State and in the Nigerian Federation. The claims of the tripod of Ibibio, Annang and Oron as the only ones to produce a Governor of the State are to say the least spurious. This claim would constitute a perpetual exclusion of others who do not belong to these groups from holding the office of the Governor of the State. It would amount to a condemnation of those other groups to lesser citizens.
It was to avert such atavistic and warped thinking that the Nigerian Constitution spells out the rights and privileges of Nigerian citizens. The constitution of the various political parties also make provisions not to allow political office remain in perpetuity in any particular zone. The Nigerian state is governed on the basis of Wards, Local Government Areas, State Constituencies, Federal Constituencies, Senatorial Districts, States and Geo-political zones. Appointments at the Federal level are usually done to reflect the Federal Character on the basis of States and Geo-political zones not ethnic balance.
In the present dispensation in Akwa Ibom State, the antecedents and natural justice demand that the Governorship position goes to Eket Senatorial District. In the Senatorial District the Senate position is for Oron Federal Constituency based on the established principle of rotation and the Governorship position sits four-square in Eket Federal Constituency. Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency has produced three successive Deputy Governors in the last eight years and Oron Federal Constituency had earlier produced a Deputy Governor in Akwa Ibom State. It is to be noted that since the creation of Akwa Ibom State twenty seven years ago Eket Federal Constituency has neither produced a Governor nor a Deputy Governor. The time to produce a Governor from Eket Federal Constituency is now.
There is so much avoidable tension in the polity and everybody feels it. We therefore plead that our governments at all levels, our elders, youths and women should not, by acts of omission or commission or through incendiary pronouncements exacerbate the already bad situation.
God save Akwa Ibom State Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
General A. D. Etukudo, Psc +; Mni, OON Senator Etang E. Umoyo – Fmr. Commissioner & Member, CRS Executive Council Pastor Abang O. Abang – Fmr. Commissioner & Member AKS Executive Council Professor Etie B. Akpan – Fmr. Special Adviser to AKS Governor Chief (Barr) Bassey Essien – Fmr Speaker, AKHA Dr. E. Nssien Etuk – Secretary of the Forum & Secretary BoT, EPU
The Radar Newspaper