By TOROBONG EKPO
Some days ago, I observed online how the picture of the Political Leader of Ikono Local Government Area, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, popularly known as Macaire was placed on the front page of a local tabloid he knows nothing about the report.
The report of abscondment of Ikono Lawmaker (Hon Victor Udofia) over six months from the hallowed chamber was a general assessment of all lawmakers by the Appraisal Journal Magazine.
In reaction, a local tabloid report, which conducted an interview on the Ikono State representative in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Udofia also “imposed” Sir Sunday Udo Akpan as the political leader of the area.
Mine is not to rant on who is the political leader of Ikono, neither do I have intention of drawing enmity between the two Ikono natives as the latter was decided by Ikono people on the 18th July 2015 during the formal reception of Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-udo.
Like I said earlier, political leadership of a state or local government is not an issue that should raise dust unnecessarily. We all witnessed when Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo was installed as the political leader of the area. An event which all the same electorates of Ikono who voted in all present political office holders including state functionaries, political stakeholders attended In person, while the present Transition Chairman of the area, Hon. Itoro Columba was in charge of the publicity which he did excellently well.
Some months ago, we were also in the Cradle of Ibibio, when the Political Leader marked his one year in office by visiting motherless babies, held solemn Assembly et al.
Within this one year in office, I am in the know that, he was among the three representative of People’s Democratic Party Congress in Ikono Local Government Area. He was nominated into the political structure and remains in primary control of all the party structures as well as political activities of Ikono etc.
In the recent appointed Transition Committee members, he also took the lead nominations and memberships.
Several times, the political stakeholders in the area have paid courtesy calls on the State Chairman of PDP, Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo is usually addressed as the Political leader to even the state Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo. So what is the much talked about who is the political leader of Ikono and who is not?
Anyway, I may not know when the other person was installed and when he celebrated his years in office (if any). I want to be proven wrong by any Ikono Indigene otherwise he remains a personal leader to few including the Lawmaker (Hon Victor Udofia).
I wish to say that, some personalities in Ikono have ridiculed the area in the eyes of the public by virtue of some ranting publications on the pages of newspapers.
Initially, it was Hon. Asuquo Nana (Mbakara), who was castigated on the pages of newspapers. Thereafter, Obong Emmanuel Ukpongudo was bastardized almost on weekly basis by those suspecting him to be a threat to their political destinies.
I could recall when they claimed he was booed at the state secretariat of PDP, yet he ended up being the face of the area during PDP Congresses etc.
To me, I don’t see any reason why the image of Ikono Local Government Area should be battered on the media more than other local government areas. For quite sometimes now, we are yet to read anything good about Ikono. Does it mean nothing good can come out from there, except blackmail and infantile propaganda?
I pause to commend Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo who despite the gimmicks and political abracadabra levelled against him since he assumed office as the bona-fide political leader of the area, he never for one day venture into such dirty games.
As a humble man, he made himself available for all and sundry as well as put smiles on the faces of the less privilege and the downtrodden. He never shot his friend or Ikono indigenes to death like others, neither did he challenge his senior citizen like others who was nearly beaten for challenging Senator Aloysius Etok during chairmanship election sometimes ago.
Rather than engaging in such inhuman activities, Macaire was/is hell bent on catering for the less privilege. Via him, many indigenes of Ikono, cutting across the entire wards in the area and rest of Akwa Ibom have been employed in oil and gas companies.
This article was not to enumerate those who have benefitted from his numerous empowerment and life lifting gifts. That may be topic for another day.
Ikono politicians should try and possibly shun this idea of who is a political leader and who is not. That to me is balderdash.
Political Leadership is by exemplary services, impacts, activities to the people of your area and how people benefit from you economically, morally, politically and otherwise. It’s not by age or grey hairs.
In Etinan and Uyo Local Government Areas, since Otuekong Sunny Jackson and Dr. Maurice Ebong defected to APC, I doubt if there has been any installation of another political leader, yet the local Government Areas is so quiet. None has brought such talk to public glare.
It is obvious that the entirety of Ikono politicians have bestowed the political leadership on Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, anyone who wants to cue behind should do so immediately, those who intend to kick against should understand that, no one has monopoly of casting mud on another.
Let’s bestow peace on Ikono, like it was in the days when Rt Hon (Dr). Clement Bassey was the House of Assembly member and was was responsibly leading Ikono people.
We should understand that, the duty of a political leader is to oversee the political dynamism in the area. Off course, Macaire has been doing this since assumption of office.
We should also be reminded that, a legislator, whether Federal or State has three basic functions namely: Lawmaking, oversight and representative. Let’s go in tandem with our jurisdiction so that it won’t cause anyone to go back to Egypt.
A word they say is enough for the wise.