Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Rurual Development and Public Utility, Dr Usoro Akpanusoh, has raised alarm and concern on the highhandedness of the Chairman of Eden Hotels, Elder Benji Udobia, in the body polity of Esit Eket Local Government Area.
Dr Akpanusoh, who represents Esit Eket/Ibeno State Constituency in the House of Assembly, said Elder Udobia’s thirst for absolute control of power in Esit Eket has threatened the existence of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the area.
“For instance, the likes of Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, Hon. Bassey Dan Abia Jnr, Elder Bassey Dan Abia Snr, Engr. Imaobong as well as Hon. Bassey Essien, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, all left the PDP because of Elder Ben Udobia,” he added.
He said he has remained Elder Udobia’s object of ridicule over the years, saying “In fact, my own mentor and leader, Chief Bassey Dan Abia, left PDP for APC. I would have followed him but position was very clear, I am a member of the PDP. So, my relationship has remained a basis for their blackmail.”
Regarding the just concluded PDP Ward Congress, Dr Akpanusoh said it was another mess as a result of Elder Udobia’s fraudulent disposition, maintaining that “They did otherwise because they were thinking the party structure is for the local government election that is coming up sometime this year. Local Government election is at the discretion of the people and the party, whoever they want as their candidate wins. Unfortunately, they hijacked some Wards in the local government, took the materials to their houses and entered names of their supposed loyalists. In the end I protested. They even came to my Ward to do same without any iota of respect, not minding my status as an elected member of the State House of Assembly and a financial member of the party since 1999.”
“Elder Ben Udobia, is the one that is aiding those people. He is the one that gave them the confidence to do what they did. And this is always coming up during election period. In 2015, Elder Ben Udobia sponsored his brother, late Imo Udobia, to contest election against me. By the grace of God, I got the party ticket and everyone then turned and supported me during the general election. In 2016, they ran away with the entire Congress materials during the Party Congress and that did not bother me because I knew I could always go back and use the structure for any purpose that I want to use it for. In 2019, he brought Barrister Aniefiok Ekwere to contest election against me and but for the intervention of Governor Udom Emmanuel, who insisted on my second term.”