A leading aspirant for the Esit Eket Local Government Council Chairmanship, Prince Ubong Akai, has lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s effort to enshrine governance at the grassroots.
He said the directive by the Governor for strict adherence to zoning in the forthcoming Local Government Election was to ensure that development and democratic dividends get to every area of the state.
According Prince Akai, who made this known while addressing youths of Esit Eket at the weekend, Governor Udom Emmanuel had directed that zoning, up to the Ward level, should be strictly adhered to in the forthcoming elections. That Zones and Wards that have not had the opportunity should be given one.
He charged the youths to shun vices that will militate against the progress and development of Esit Eket and appealed that they act on the Dakkada philosophy of the Governor for prosperity of the area.
Meanwhile, the age long peaceful and harmonious political clime in Esit Eket Local Government Area was again brought to the fore on Friday when stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) converged at the residence of their political leader, Elder Benjamin Udobia, to chart a course ahead of the forthcoming local government elections in the state.
At a well attended meeting moderated by the Esit Eket Chapter Chairman of PDP, Elder Eddy Etangkanga, the stakeholders agreed to support Governor Emmanuel for two terms, running till 2023, and also agreed to abide by zoning as advised by the Governor and the party leadership in the state.
The meeting further confirmed the zoning of the November 11, 2017 Chairmanship election to Zone A, a decision which was generally accepted by all the stakeholders.
Speaking, the convener and political leader of the area, Elder Udobia, informed them that Governor Udom Emmanuel has concluded plans to kick start some roads projects to open up the area to more economic opportunities, saying the projects will commence as soon as the heavy rainy season gives way.
He thanked his people of Esit Eket for their unalloyed support to the Governor and the PDP, assuring them that “the Governor is not relenting in his promises to the area, and the state in general.”
The political leader, who could not hide his joy over the recent Supreme Court victory by Senator Ahmed Markkafi as the Caretaker Chairman of the PDP, assured that the PDP holds the ace as the only party visible in Akwa Ibom State and expressed hope that the party will soon return in 2019 to provide quality leadership at the center.
He further admonished all aspirants to be cautious of their expenses while campaigning to forestall unwarranted indebtedness stressing that no position at the level is worth anybody mortgaging the wealth of his family.
“I want to advise all intending aspirants to desist from heavy spending, so that if they fail, they won’t count their losses and get agitated. Even if they win, I want them to know that there has been a tremendous drop in revenue, and local governments are no longer getting huge revenue from the federation account. So in 3 years one may realize that the amount he spent during campaigns can never be recovered.”
Elder Udobia recounted that the Governor has insisted on zoning to be strictly observed at all levels of the election, and called on all stakeholders to be properly guided by this call for justice and equity.
Corroborating the position of the political leader, the member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno in the State House of Assembly, Dr. Usoro Akpanusoh, admitted that the Governor was planning big for the area in terms of projects execution and commended the political leader for always sacrificing his time and resources to sustain the existence of PDP in Esit Eket.
Dr Akpanusoh stressed that it was for the interest of Esit Eket to remain in PDP because PDP and support Governor Emmanuel for two terms as he continued to build capacity and enhance the economic base of the area.
On the issue of zoning, he advised that equity, justice, fair play and party’s decision should be followed by all contestants to give way for development and harmony.
Also Speaking, Elder Ibanga Etang; Pastor Victor Isangedighe, and Hon. Nkereuwem Akwaowo, Commissioner in the Judiciary Services Commission, affirmed their support to the zoning arrangement and the need for low budget campaigns by contestants.
Others who spoke included the Chairman of the State Secondary Education Board, Hon Imoh Udobia, who called on all qualified aspirants from Zone A to prepare themselves ahead of the selection committee which will be constituted in tandem with zoning procedures and the party principles.
He admonished the contestants running down Esit Eket in a bad light to desist from such act of political calumny, while the women representative, Obongawan Grace Ikot advocated support for women in the available positions.
In his remark, the Transition Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government Council, Mr. Iniobong Robson, commended the Governor’s feats in development and advised prospective leaders at the grassroots to be selfless in their service to the people.
High point of the event was the request for all aspirants to the chairmanship position, to step forward and salute the gathering, with only indigenes of Zone A coming out in total consonance with the zoning agreement.
Others in attendance were the Special Assistant to the Governor on Projects Monitoring, Pastor Isaiah Abia, the State PDP Youth Leader, Comrade Enobong Harry, Sir Samuel Itama; Akparawa Utitofon Edoho; Elder Anietie Elijah; Hon. Urua Urua Akpe; Mr. Ubong Akai; Hon. Grace Ekpo; Hon. Friday Ukpa; Jackson Jackson; Ebenghe Atakpa; Comrade Akan Etteudo, among others.