Immediate past Secretary of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, Lady Ekaette Usip, popularly known as Mma Usip, in a brief chat with Managing Editor of Ibom Telegraph, says her aspiration to the Council Chairmanship is divine. She also gives insight on why the alleged sponsorship of her aspiration by the Governor’s wife is natural. Excerpt:
Why aspire for the Office of the Council Chairman, knowing that Mkpat Enin Local Government Council has never been headed by a woman?
There are so many things that have made me to aspire for the Office of the Council Chairman in Mkpat Enin Local Government Council. First of all, we need credible women in politics. It might interest you to know that during the just concluded International Women’s Day, if you had listened to the Governor, Deacon. Udom Emmanuel, he really encouraged the participation of women in politics.
Secondly, I see myself as being qualified; having been in the system for awhile and I have had all the experiences needed to lead and that is why I have offered myself for service to my people in a bigger capacity.
Will the people of Mkpat Enin give you the chance to serve them when there are other aspirants to the office?
I do not think my people will say no. they want me to serve them in that capacity having been tested and trusted in other capacities. Mkpat Enin is not the first local government area where a woman is being given the chance to serve as a Local Government Council Chairman. It has happened in other Local Government Areas and judging from the experiences we have had, we have seen that they have not disappointed the people and I will not be different. I will not disappoint my people. They know that and that is why they are in total support of me.
Godfatherism has been a part of Nigerian politics. As an aspirant, are you on any godfather’s shoulder?
I have the Almighty God only and I am standing on His shoulder. In this my Chairmanship Project, it is only God that I have and I will only follow his design and arrangement.
There is an allegation that you are being sponsored by the Governor’s Wife, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel. How true is that allegation?
Well, I do not think that is true. I only believe they think it should be so. Her Excellency, the wife of the Governor is a woman and by virtue of that, she should have a soft spot for any woman whom she has seen that has worked hard, even during the last general elections. But I tell you, circumstances have not allowed me to sit one-on-one with her. I have not even consulted her formerly. So, for people to say that she is the one sponsoring me is natural.
Peradventure you become the Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Council, what should the people expect from you?
Mkpat Enin people know me. They know what I can do and this will not be the first time they have asked me to serve them. I have served them as the first female Education Secretary and I did not disappoint them. I have equally served them at the Local Government Council as a Supervisor and just in the last regime I was again asked to serve the people as a Council Secretary, a position everyone said no woman has occupied before and that it will not work. I did not disappoint the people of Mkpat Enin because I have God and the people stood by me. So, I do not think my people will have any cause to say I will not perform even better this time. They should expect the best from me, and i shall do new things in Mkpat Enin.