Leading aspirant to the just concluded Chairmanship Congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ibeno Local Government Area, Hon. Ekoakwaha Etteh, has lauded the leadership of the party, Governor Udom Emmanuel, supporters and members of EKONET-2020 Campaign Organization for the opportunity given him, saying “though the party’s decision is final, my steadfastness, commitment, loyalty and dedication to the party are unshaken.”
Hon. Etteh, who stated this on Saturday in his country home, Upenekang, thanked and thrilled a mammoth crowd of supporters and members of EKONET-2020 for their unprecedented support and solidarity during the campaign.
Recounting the support and goodwill he has so far enjoyed from the people of Ibeno, Hon. Etteh, an alumnus of the Polytechnic, Calabar (Electrical Engineering), spoke of his stewardship, dedication and loyalty to his people as he rose through the rank and file of politics from his days as SUG Director of Socials, to Ward Secretary of PDP to Ward Chairman of PDP to pioneer Welfare Officer of Ibeno Chapter of the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), to Transition Secretary of Ibeno Local Government Council to Chapter Chairman of PDP and to Special Assistant to the Governor.
He maintained that humility and patience have made him to be the leader that he is today, assuring that he will not quite service to the people of Ibeno and humanity, regardless of the circumstance that characterized the outcome of the Chairmanship Congress in the area.
Hon. Etteh further expressed delight and unreserved appreciation to his supporters and members of EKONET-2020, who, according to him, mobilized and handpicked the Director General of the organization way back in January 2020.
“I am here to sincerely thank you for the overwhelming support given me. My Chairmanship was initiated by all of you. I remain the first person ever called out by his people to aspire to Ibeno Chairmanship seat. Having laboured for over 20 years to build the party in different capacities, it will be very unreasonable to abandon my party after putting so much as a Ward Secretary, Ward Chairman and Chapter Chairman for 18 years. I know the call to lead you at the local government level was appropriate. I thank you for believing in me and for standing by me all the way, though the party decided otherwise for reasons best known to them. We cannot question that decision. I am not aggrieved by the circumstances that surround the party’s decision. I accept it in good faith and I will continue to work and support PDP,” he said.
He urged his supporters and members of EKONET-2020 to remain united, support the Udom Emmanuel-led administration and work for the progress and development of Ibeno Local Government Area.
In his remarks, Ibeno Chapter Chairman of PDP, Hon. Emah Ibok, commended Hon. Etteh for the feat achieved, stressing that “the decision of the party in the just concluded Congress is not winner takes it all.”
He urged the people to remain united for the progress of the area and assured that “every gray area and mixed feeling will be sorted out amicably. We will certainly ensure we continue to work as a family.”
Speaking, a former Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council and member of Akwa Ibom Technical Education Board, Hon. Henry Ekpe-Nko, charged the Hon. Etteh not to relent in his service to humanity and to the people of the area, stressing that “the call to serve bestowed upon you by the people of Ibeno has placed you at the top. Your reward is nearer.”
Also speaking, a former State Officer of PDP, Hon. Friday Ikpo (Sultan); Ward-1 Coordinator of Divine Mandate, Elder Ikoidem Ekong; Hon. Obong Smith, and Hon. Ubong Akwa, in their separate remarks, said the gathering was a signpost of a better future for the people and maintained that Hon. Etteh will remain the choice of the people.
Collaborating the position of the people, the immediate past State Officer of PDP, Pharmacist Ukpon Daniel Okon, and the Ibeno Chapter Woman Leader of PDP, Mrs. Naomi Peter, said “the support given Hon. Etteh is not in vain. The will of God will manifest soon.”
They also urged the people to be rock-solid in their support to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the party for the progress of the area.
Responding, the Director General of EKONET-2020, Elder Enyina Herkins, who described Hon. Etteh as a man of the people, said the Chairmanship outing was borne out of yearning and aspiration of the people of Ibeno for a people-oriented leader.
The Director General, a respected party elder, pioneer Chapter Secretary of PDP, pioneer Councillor of Upenekang (Ward-1) and former Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Board of Arts and Culture, said “the Chairmanship Congress had no victor and no vanquish. We never lose but were denied the mandate of the people. But that notwithstanding, we will remain loyal and committed to the present administration.”
The event was gracefully attended by State Officer of PDP, Mrs. Grace Ekpe-Nko; Special Assistant to the Governor on Project, Daniel Solomon; Hon. Grace Itohowo Ekpe, and members of Ibeno Legislative Council; former Vice Chairman of the defunct Uquo Ibeno and Chairman of Revenue Committee, Hon. Joshua Mkpat, and former Transition Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, Chief Ibok Etukudo.
Others included Pastor Henry Ufokiko; Deacon William Usen; Special Assistant to the Governor on Project Monitoring, Hon. Harry Ekong; Ibeno Chapter Secretary of PDP, Eshiet Francis Umoh; former Vice Chairman of Ibeno Local Government Council, Mrs. Esther Nnitor; Hon. Ikoabsi Uko; Pastor Tom Afia; Rev. Success Afaiko; Pastor Emmanuel Inam; Ibeno PDP Chairman of Ward Chairmen, Mr. Eshiet Akpanoluo; Elder Lawrence Akpan; Engr. James Utiaruk; Ward Chairmen, youth and women groups among others.