…stakeholders Urged to Respect Incoming Governor

…Warned against Kangaroo Zoning Arrangement, Selfish Imposition, Nepotism

The stakeholders’ meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ibeskpo Asutan LGA held Wednesday ended in a fiasco and without resolution on a sinister zoning arrangement for the party in the forthcoming Local Government elections.

The meeting which took place at the party’s secretariat, Nung Udoe, was attended by all serving and former political office holders.

The circular for the meeting as sighted by our reporter, was signed by the Chapter Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Mbosowo Essien, who is also the Personal Assistant to Rt Hon Aniekan Uko, the representative of the area in the State House of Assembly, had invited all stakeholders who are still members of PDP in Ibesikpo Asutan for the meeting. However, the only agenda was the zoning of political positions for the forthcoming Local Government election.

The meeting which was slated for 11am, our reporter observed commenced at 3:10pm, with the chapter chairman; Pastor Uwem Etim, announcing its indefinite suspension, an order which came from the party’s hierarchy at the State level.

Among those billed to attend included the State Commissioner for Finance; Mr. Linus Nkan, member representing Ibesikpo Asutan in the State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Uko, former member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emmanuel Obot and Chairman of the Council, Mrs. Akon Michael, who our reporter gathered, had in the previous night (Tuesday), held a nocturnal meeting at Amity Hotel, Uyo, to rehearse their script for the stakeholders meeting.

Others invited to stakeholders’ Wednesday meeting were: the former member of the State House of Assembly, Hon Eyakeno Etukudoh, aides of the Governor who are natives of the area, serving Councillors, party officers and all other serving and former political office holders from Ibesikpo Asutan

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Our reporter learnt that full-scale trouble, uproar and brouhaha were averted with the calling off of the meeting due to the sinister plan of the political leaders of the area to read an already prepared list which had names of those they surreptitiously handpicked and written at Amity Hotel, for various positions in the forthcoming Local Government elections.

The order from the party’s hierarchy at the State level, which instructed Ibesikpo Asutan leaders to shelve every discussion pertaining to the local government polls at the moment, that the leader of the party in the State will give direction at the appointed time, was seen as lifesaving.

However, a leaked document obtained from the Chapter chairman revealed that the Local Government chairmanship position of the area was to be given to one mechanic, Hon. Effiong Okon Akpan popularly called ‘Udo Imo’ who served in 1999 as a councilor with the incumbent House of Assembly Member, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, while Mrs. Rosemary Emmanuel Obot, wife of the former House of Representatives member, was penciled down for the position of the Vice Chairman.

The document also revealed that Lady Emem Otonsek, the incumbent State Women Leader, Uyo Senatorial District of the PDP, was to serve in the next Local Government Council as the Secretary, while the name of the former House of Assembly member, Hon. Eyakeno Etukudo, appeared on the list for the position of the State party officer.


However, some elders in the area while making their way out of the venue expressed shock and displeasure over the desperation and selfishness of the political leaders who almost forced their cronies on the entire people of Ibesikpo Asutan for the forthcoming Council polls.

Highlighting that never in the history of the area, such desperate recklessness ever happened, the elders said it was a high degree of affront and demeaning to the office of the governor and Pastor Umo Eno, whose administration will conduct the next Local Government elections.

“The best thing our political leaders ought to have done in the first place would have been to gather all stakeholders who are still in PDP and thank them for having put their lives on the line before and during the elections and working tenaciously for the victory of the party and how most importantly, how to give maximum support to Pastor Umo Eno.

“The world can now see clearly that either our political leaders; Commissioner Linus Nkan, the House Member, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, Chapter chairman; Uwem Etim, Council Chairman; Akon Michael, Emman Obot and others have no iota of respect for the incoming Governor, Pastor Uno Eno or they are not interested in whether Ibesikpo Asutan supports his government. If not, why would they abandon the dream we all fought for and be chasing shadows?” One of the elders asked rhetorically.

They noted that even though Ibesikpo bloc is to produce the next Council Chairman, there are at least three wards that lay claims to the chairmanship slot. They are: Ibesikpo 1, 4 and 5. As a sign of respect and to accord the incoming Governor due regard, the elders opined that all status quo should be maintained even as they kicked against heating up the polity to enable Pastor Umo Eno’s administration to have a smooth take-off.

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Meanwhile, one of the principal officers in the Ibesikpo Asutan Legislative Council who did not want his name mentioned for fear of attack, reasoned that, if the zoning meeting was to be a sincere and honest arrangement, like how such meetings used to be under the political leadership of Prince Uwem Ita Etuk, all interests, yearnings, aspirations and developments would have been considered.

In his brief session with our reporter, a youth from the area thanked the party’s leadership at the State level for the timeous order which has aborted the clandestine plans of a few political leaders who were bent on coercing stooge and their cronies on the people, saying the evil plan might have either resulted in an uproar or truncate the existing peace in the area.

Our reporter observed that the development has indeed, installed a paradigm shift in the area, where all interest will be carried along in the ‘season’ of reward, especially members of the party who worked assiduously for the success of the Umo Eno project, and not allowing a few political leaders to use the forthcoming Local Government positions and settle those in their payrolls.

©Uduak ASSAM