Ahead of the local government council elections billed for Saturday, 31st October, 2020, the umbrella party stakeholders under the aegis of Eket PDP Elders Forum met yesterday at the chairman’s residence, to map out strategies and compare notes.

The forum under the chairmanship of Chief Nduese Essien, who also doubles as the helmsman of the entire senatorial district took far-reaching decisions that will definitely culminate to the success of the PDP candidates at the polls.

It was unanimously agreed that all chairmanship aspirants, preferably from Eket Central will be given a level playing field to actualise their ambitions without undue interference from any quarters.

Chief Nduese Essien made it clear that the issue of consensus candidature is completely ruled out as every qualified aspirant must surely stand for primary election.

Apart from the laid down constitutional and party requirements , set out for contesting chairmanship elections, the forum also listed other conditions to include higher qualifications, having enough presence within the locality and not belonging to any secret cult group.

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“Any credible aspirant wishing to lead Eket at this particular point in time must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from a reputable institution or its equivalent. He or she must have live for a considerable length of time within the locality, and may not be a secret cultist.”

They all supported and keyed into what Governor Udom Emmanuel said in his recent media chat, that he won’t hand over the reins of governance to a cultist, and vowed to replicate the same in Eket Local Government Area.

To press home their point, chairmanship aspirants would be required to tender a sworn affidavit affirming that they don’t belong to any cult groups, before standing for the primary election.

The issue of oath taking or ” mbia ” in local parlance was extensively discussed and it was condemned in its entirety , and advised players to discontinue with such ugly trend, since it does not give room for credible public office holders to emerge.

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These conditions will be made known to the chairmanship aspirants at a latter date , in an engagement meeting with some selected elders.

The elders also used the occasion to eulogise, pay glowing tribute and pour encomiums on the outgoing council boss, Hon Frank Archibong, now , a commissioner designate for doing a yeoman’s job and raising the bar in governance.

It is hoped that his successor will consolidate and even surpass his achievements while in office.

They wished Hon Francis Archibong well as he climbs the political ladder higher and higher.

Many notable elders were present at the brain storming meeting among whom were Senator Helen Essien ,Hon Frank Archibong ,Prof Etie Ben Akpan, Chief Hanson Udo Isong, Barrister Akpadiaha Ebitu, Hon Ayang Akanimo Ayang, Her Majesty Mandu Abia, Hon Ekanem Willie, Hon Aniediabasi Ikoiwak , Obongiwaad Emmanuel Mbong, Rev Barr Emmanuel Udoh, Group Captain ( Rtd) Etim Eno, Hon Kufre Imo Ekpe

The roll call also included Pastor Ita Umoh Udo, Mr Nse Atang, Mrs Abigail Edohoeket, Mr Kennedy Akwaowo, Mr Emmanuel Sammy,
Dr Emmanuel Ekot, Chief Sunny Akpadiaha, Dr Samuel Udonsak among others.

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©Emmanuel Paragon Mbong