By: Edifon ABASI-OBOT
Governor Udom Emmanuel has been exonerated from the claims that some politicians seeking elective offices at various levels in Akwa Ibom State have already been endorsed by the Governor.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Political/Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson made the defense on a live radio programme, the Akwa Ibom Mandate, on Planet FM, where he fielded questions from a popular radio host, Mr. Sampson Akpan (aka Politics Today) and the public.
Barrister Ekong Sampson stated clearly that Governor Udom Emmanuel has not endorsed anybody for any elective position against 2019. He said the Governor has only endorsed zoning.
The Special Adviser described Udom Emmanuel as a decorous democrat and father-of-all, but decried the increasing problem of name-dropping which, he said, has become part of the milieu in Nigerian politics.
In his words, “as much as I know, Governor Udom Emmanuel has not endorsed anybody. What I know is that the Governor has endorsed zoning”, Barrister Sampson stated, adding that campaigning on such mantra will amount to undermining the sensibilities of the people
Ekong Sampson said the Governor encourages aspirants to work hard and connect well with their people. He stressed that the zoning, to the Governor, is a consciousness that cannot be disregarded, expanding that the vision of zoning, in the Akwa Ibom context, is being strengthened through the power sharing principle.
Speaking on Governor Emmanuel’s commitment to accommodate every part of the State in the spread of infrastructure, Ekong Sampson maintained that the landmark in leadership encapsulates an attention to justice.
According to Ekong, the gamut of infrastructure is so well spread that every segment is carried along, adding that with such and the more that are underway, no part of Akwa Ibom State can genuinely complain of being left out in the Udom Emmanuel development plan.
Ekong affirmed Mr. Sampson Akpan’s recounting of the benevolence of Governor Emmanuel to his native Mkpat Enin and sojourning LGAs which included: construction of 5.5km Ikot Usop Ikot Edehe Ikot Ekpuk road with 30m span bridge, construction of temporary access to AKSU Campus, Ikot Akpaden, Construction of 13.5 km Ikot Ebiere-Ikot Edor-Ikot Iko Ibon-Okom road, Ukana-Apkabom-Ikwe road between Onna and Mkpat Enin LGAs, 12.742km Awa Iman-Ason-Ikot Edim-Ikot Emem, the coconut plantation, coconut refinery, adoption of Excellence Comprehensive Secondary School, Ikot Unya and several other Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour projects.
Ekong Sampson added that the planned construction of Ibekwe-Ikot Akata-Ekpuk junction road and the electrification of Ikot Ekpenyong, a location that saw no electricity for 50 years, but has now been electrified through the benevolence of Governor Udom Emmanuel, as wonderful interventions. He also highlighted the Ekim power sub-station as a project that will change the face of the power sector, not just in Mkpat Enin, but the adjoining LGAs and Akwa Ibom State.
These show of love makes Governor Udom Emmanuel outstanding and account for why the average Mkpat Enin person speaks well of the Governor, Ekong Sampson said.
The Political Affairs boss avowed that Mkpat Enin will provide a sure ground for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s massive winning in 2019.
Mr. Cyril Umoren, leader of the PDP Defenders, who also spoke on the programme, refuted the rumour that he collected five million naira and defected from the PDP, describing it as extremely disrespectful.
Cyril said the PDP defenders remain intact, giving a lot of support to the integrity of the party and Governor Udom Emmanuel, as they promised.
The Mkpat Enin born music artiste and political activist said the issue is not him being approached by any party, but what will form the basis of their discussion. According to him, his native home, Asong, a village in Mkpat Enin had existed for over 800 years with no roads, but Udom Emmanuel came and constructed not just the major road across the community, but also the adjourning streets. “I can’t see myself throwing away my relationship with Udom Emmanuel for five million naira. It doesn’t make sense”, Cyril posited.
He lauded the Akwa Ibom State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, for putting a lot of energy to the group and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Affair, Barrister Ekong Sampson for maintaining an open door policy and always defending the PDP defenders in return.