Opinion polls results from Ikot Ekpene and Uyo federal constituencies monitored shows former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Patty Etete and Akpanobong Ituen taking the lead in Ikot Ekpene and Uyo federal constituencies respectively as the battle for the 2019 APC House of Representatives ticket enters its final lap.
In Essien Udim LGA, Etete remains the preference of over 75% out of the 10,000 registered party members who were already at their respective polling units as early as 8am in anticipation of the arrival of materials.
Many of them who spoke to reporters said, they are supporting Hon Patty Etete in order to end the era of irresponsible legislative representation that has been the lot of Ikot Ekpene federal constituency for the past three and a half years. Opinion poll results shows over 6000 potential voters are rooting for the Ikot Ekpene born lawmaker and businessman against Hon Emmanuel Akpan who is Senator Godswill Akpabio’s choice.
Ahead of the polls, one of the aspirants, Hon Joe Umoren agreed to a #10m deal with promise of appointment from Akpabio and withdrew from the race.
The former Ikot Ekpene Council secretary was quoted telling his close friends and associates that he stepped down based on the intervention Nsima Ekere’s loyalists who sponsored his nomination form and an immediate promise of settlement of his form expenses with a #10m cash upfront payment and a promise of the position of Commissioner when Nsima Ekere becomes Governor in 2019.
This was part of the resolution of a meeting between Akpabio and all House of Representatives aspirants for the Ikot Ekpene federal constituency ticket held at the Ukana residence of the former Governor.
Though Akpabio used the meeting to apologize and reconcile with Hon Patty Etete, attempt to get him back out from the race was unsuccessful.
The race many voters say is a straight fight between Patty Etete and Hon Emmanuel Akpan and owing by the zoning arrangement that has always existed in the area, 2019 is the turn of Ikot Ekpene LGA which explains why Hon Etete is having an edge even in Essien Udim.
Etete is also leading in a survey conducted in Ikot Ekpene with over 4000 APC members getting set to vote him. He is also set to clinch over 2000 votes from the over 3000 eligible voters from Obot Akara.
Many APC members who spoke said, it is only Hon Patty Etete who has traversed all the wards and Local government areas of the federal constituency to consult party members about his intentions while no other aspirant including the incumbent who is relying on a nonexistent automatic ticket, therefore not deeming it necessary to consult any one at all for the position he seeks.
Similarly, in Uyo federal constituency, Mr Akpanobong Ituen is leading with Hon Ekerette Ekpeyong trailing behind. Akpanobong seems set to sweep Uyo, Uruan, Nsit Atai, Ibesikpo Asutan LGA’s.
Over 80% of voters in Uyo are voting Ituen who is seen as a more visionary and result oriented candidate. APC members in the constituency are banking on his vast wealth of experience to provide purposeful legislative representation and a paradigm shift from what was obtainable in the past.
Many voters who spoke to our reporters insist their support for him is based on their conviction that he has what it takes to reposition Uyo as a leading federal constituency in the state with the prospects of placing the constituency on the national and global map.
Akpanobong is of the Udoedeghe political family that controls Uyo politics while his major opponent, Hon Ekerette Ekpeyong, a former Uyo council chairman is Nsima Ekere’s preferred candidate.
Many voters from Uyo federal constituency who spoke to our reporters said their choice of Akpanobong Ituen is borne out of their desire to ensure that competence and capacity takes precedence over money as the future of the constituency is paramount to Uyo federal constituency taking its rightful place of pride in the politics of Akwa Ibom State and the country.
As long as Uyo federal constituency is concerned, we in APC have decided to vote massively for Akpanobong Ituen. He is our candidate because among all seeking the party’s ticket for 2019, he stands out among all of them in terms of popularity, acceptability, competence and effectiveness”, said a supporter who simply gave his name as Friday Umoren, an APC member from Ibesikpo Asutan LGA.