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HomeEditorialOpinionIBESIKPO ASUTAN AKHA RERUN: THE PEOPLE v UWEM ITA ETUK

IBESIKPO ASUTAN AKHA RERUN: THE PEOPLE v UWEM ITA ETUK

uwem ita etuk
By Andikan Godswill

Once again, how to put an end to reign of impunity and horrendous excesses of Prince Uwem Ita Etuk in Ibesikpo Asutan over the years became a vital point for discourse, when indigenes gathered on Friday March 4, 2016, at Primary School grounds, Ikot Obio Offong, Ibesikpo Asutan local government area, venue of official flag off of All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, AKHA, rerun election campaign.
Judging from interactions with several participants at the rally, it is certain that the people are completely appalled at why a single individual, at every given opportunity, would work against collective interest of the people.
One respondent after another had one thing to say against the continued political dominance of the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, expressing their conviction that this rerun election will finally dislodge him.
Issues raised include stealing council funds to enriched himself while serving as chairman, using his position as state chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and relationship with former governor Godswill Akpabio to oppress all other politicians in the area as well as using this connection to build a quasi political empire around himself while ensuring that any dissenting voice is smashed completely.
Based on findings, Prince Etuk’s nuisance value is well respected in PDP just as his involvement in election violence and fraud in Ibesikpo Asutan is a dreadful legend among the people. It is a scary tale that reads like horror literature. Many recount how he camps hordes of criminal gangs and reprobates, who have formed a club called street boys in politics.
These gangs are nurtured by the commissioner solely to maintain his iron grip on Ibesikpo Asutan politics space. At every election, his attack dogs are armed and dispatched in buses, cars and motorcycles to polling units across the area to molest voters, cause confusion and snatch ballot boxes.
They reportedly do so in active collaboration with security agents and INEC staff and anyone who dares to resist is beaten to pulp or may lose his life like late Richard Okon, allegedly killed on orders of Uwem Ita Etuk, during the last general elections. Uwem, himself rides like a thug lord leading a convoy of motorcycles, visiting all polling units to supervise ballot box snatching.
True to type, the commissioner abhors intelligent people and works against them because they operate at a higher level and refuse to recognize his thug rule. Evidently, people in the mould of former governor, Obong Victor Attah, federal lawmaker, Hon. Emmanuel Obot, former chairman, Apostle Ekpe James and many others are sworn enemies.
He therefore uses his connections to impose political misfits and half witted fellows on political positions to spite his supposed enemies. Some of his beneficiaries have shown their class in public office. A major example is Elder Aniekan Uko, an embattled lawmaker whose election was annulled by the courts and his current reelection bid is very bleak.
The latest among Uwem Ita Etuk’s excesses, which appears to be the most rankling issue currently is that he allegedly influenced the renaming of Ibesikpo Asutan council secretariat after himself with brazen impunity, using his political godson, Mr. Ita Udombom, a transition chairman, a mere appointee imposed on the people.
Incidentally, the tide has turned, ushering in a year of jubilee for Ibesikpo Asutan people. According to Ibesikpo Asutan APC State House of Assembly candidate, Hon. Gabriel Akpan, the forthcoming rerun election is a battle for the soul of the area between Ibesikpo Asutan people and Prince Uwem Ita Etuk.
While calling on his constituents to seize their chance and come out in their numbers to vote him as their state legislator, the former councilor, who won a sitting Speaker at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, maintained that the time to unshackle Ibesikpo Asutan from the stranglehold of a selfish taskmaster is now.
“The election on March 12, will herald the liberation of Ibesikpo Asutan from a selfish politician, who corners every opportunity meant for the people to himself. We must free ourselves from these shackles of political servitude and reclaim our local government from a man that does not mean well for our people”, he appealed.
Hon. Gabriel Akpan informed the people that the difference between him and his opponent lies in the fact that while he aspires to offer people oriented representation to his constituents; his opponent’s primary concern is to return to the State House to fight a lost cause of reclaiming the post of Speakership of the State House of Assembly, to continue in his personal aggrandizement.
He therefore urged his people to take their destiny in their hands and fight their way to liberty and freedom with the power of their votes on March 12.
In a massive show of solidarity with the people of Ibesikpo Asutan, the APC Governorship candidate and symbol of Akwa Ibom liberation, Obong Umana Okon Umana, accompanied by the State Chairman of APC, Dr. Amadu Attai, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, APC BOT member, Atuekong Don Etiebet among other party stalwarts, flew in from Abuja to attend the rally.
In their solidarity messages, they collectively charged the people to come out to exercise their overwhelming political power, reclaim their stolen mandate and secure their political future by voting APC.
They assured the people that rerun election of March 12, 2016 will be remarkably better than that of April 11, 2015 because criminal minds like former Commissioner of Police, Mr. Gabriel Ashong and INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Austin Okojie, will not be there to aid and abate election fraud, intimidation of voters or rig the results.

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