Youth, elders and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Esit Eket Local Government Area have cautioned against the unwholesome use of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s name by Elder Benji Udobia and his cohorts in “perpetrating selfish political agenda and laying political landmines that will cause disaffection, disunity and disharmony in the area.”
They gave the warning through a statement shortly after an enlarged meeting in Uquo, Esit Eket, at the weekend while reacting to the spate at which the political leader of the area, Elder Udobia; Chairman of Council, Hon. Iniobong Robson; Chairman of the PDP Congress Committee, Barrister Bassey Dan-Abia Jnr, and their cohorts are determined to put their representative in the State House of Assembly, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh, on collision path with Governor Emmanuel.
The statement, according to a signatory, Pastor Godwin Endinyang, further banned “the political leader of the area and Chairman of the PDP Congress Committee from parading themselves as representatives of Governor Udom Emmanuel for their selfish political agenda in the guise of carrying out his directives.”
The ban came on the heels of the public outcry against the unhealthy outcome of the Ward and Chapter Congresses where “electoral process, procedure as enshrined in the PDP Guidelines and fundamental rights of aspirants and majority of the electorates were abuse by a power-drunk cartel in the area.”
Another signatory to the statement, Hon. Imo Edet Jonah, maintained that it was imperative to separate personal and selfish agenda from the collective good of the people of Esit Eket, according to him, “a fusion of selfish agenda and the collective good of the people would breed crisis. Our political leader, Elder Benji Udobia, needed not to use his position absolutely to influence the political destinies of the people of the area.”
“A situation where our representative in the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh, a man that has shown capacity and an unparalleled representation, is being castigated and labeled enemy of our body polity just because he is upright and truthful is highly condemnable. We take serious exception to such act,” he stressed.
Speaking, Mr. Albert Obiowan, another signatory to the statement, appealed to the political leader and his supporters not to bring the Governor into the murky politics, saying “Governor Udom Emmanuel is a product of zoning, equity and justice. He has personally represented these through his actions and directives to the party leadership. He has been preaching political inclusiveness and zoning. Esit Eket cannot be an exception because the Governor is a man of his words and as such cannot go against what his stands for.”
“And if Rt. Hon. Usoro Akpanusoh stands for what the Governor Udom Emmanuel stands for, then why being unruly to him? For the sake of peace and oneness, the people of Esit Eket should be made to freely choose their representatives in the party from the Ward, Chapter and State levels. The Governor that I know cannot give the people of Esit Eket 14.7Km of Road Project and subsequently direct that 12.7Km of that road project executed in Elder Benji Udobia’s village alone and 2Km to the Council Headquarters. It is not possible,” he stressed.
“He claims the Governor has not paid him for any of the jobs he has done except N500million from a job done in Mkpat Enin Local Government. He is painting a bad picture of the Governor in Esit Eket and the people are also seeing the Governor in that light. This is not supposed to be but for Elder Benji Udobia’s cunningness. The Governor that I know has a good heart and good intention for the people of Esit Eket. The likes of our political leader are not allowing the Governor’s goodwill to trickle down to the grassroots,” he added.
The statement also alleged that Elder Udobia was determine to uproot PDP in Esit Eket, adding that “the scene that marred the selection process of the PDP leadership in the area was part of plots by Udobia to shortchange Esit Eket people for his own selfish interest.”
“We have lose the likes of Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, Hon. Bassey Dan Abia Jnr, Elder Bassey Dan Abia Snr, Engr. Imaobong, Hon. Bassey Essien and a host of others because of Elder Benji Udobia’s highhandedness,” the statement added.
Reacting to the stakeholders’ position, the member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Usoro Akpanusoh, said “the people of Esit Eket have the final say. For me, I do not think Governor Udom Emmanuel is aware that some people are causing disaffection and confusion in Esit Eket using his name. The Governor preaches and emphasizes internal democracy at all time, even at stakeholders’ meetings. It our responsibility, as followers of the Governor, to toe the path that he has set before us in terms of party structure. A situation where people who have the opportunity to work closely with the Governor are misusing that opportunity to rob the people and to restrain the people from exercising the franchise freely in the leadership selection process of the party, is unacceptable. The act frustrates the Governor’s effort for internal democracy. My greatest sin in Esit Eket is the fact that I stand for what the Governor stands for.”
When contacted via telephone call, Esit Eket Local Government Council Chairman, Iniobong Robson, said he was not in the mood to speak on the position of the stakeholders.
Also, all efforts to speak with the political leader, Elder Udobia, proved abortive as he neither pick nor return calls.