By Mfonobong Ukpong
The political Leader of IKONO, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo, popularly called, MACAIRE, has described as malicious and mischief, an online and newspaper publication linking him as sponsor of a blackmail story against the Commissioner for Works in Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Ephraim Inyang.
Reacting to the purported story, Mr. Ukpong-Udo Udo who warned those he described as detractors and mischief makers to stop heating up the polity by creating imaginary stories with a view of creating discord between him and the Works Commissioner, told news men in Uyo on Tuesday that he knew nothing about the said publication, and would not even contemplate such.
“There is no feud between me and Ephraim Inyang. I have received a lot of blackmail since i joined politics. Iam being attacked for championing the cause of Governor Udom Emmanuel in Ikono which is to ensure that he wins in 2019. My hands are clean”.
He said there was no time in Ikono that the Works Commissioner was Commissioner was stoned with rotten eggs as carried in the publication, and enjoined members of the public to discountenance such reports, as they we mere fabrication.
When asked whether he was nursing any political ambition in Ikono, Mr. Ukpong-Udo who is currently the Regional Manager in charge of Health and Safety, West Africa Region, in an Oil company, INTELS, said he was contented with his private sector job, pointing out that his emergence as Political Leader of IKONO was a unanimous decision by stakeholders and people of IKONO who beckoned on him to lead them as their political Leader. “I am not vying for any elective position neither am I seeking any appointment. Rather, what I’m interested in, is in ensuring that we secure Ikono votes in 2019 for Governor Udom Emmanuel”.
Distancing himself from the news story, Obong Ukpong-Udo in a statement said “My attention has attention has been drawn to an online and print stories entitled ‘How Macaire sponsored Blackmail against Works Commissioner which has been credited to me”.
Part of the statement reads” As a good citizen of Akwa Ibom State, i had initially doubted the information upon first alert, but was eventually prompted to check online and other print sources for confirmation, following relentless apprehension from my friends and other well-meaning Akwa Ibom citizens and Nigerians who have been calling to express their outrage. I said. I discovered, to my chagrin that the malicious publication was actually posted on the Internet by a couple of shadowy online new sites and newspaper publishers.
“Clearly they had done this out of mischief as was evident in the story lines and portraying name and interest of an aspirant vying to occupy the office of elected Chairmanship of Ikono LGA. It is quite telling that both the print and electronic media as well as the mainstream online news sources which are very conversant with my personality had deliberately ignored the information, knowing that it couldn’t be anything else other than a contrivance of the wicked”.
“Anybody who has followed my exemplary career and record will attest to the fact that Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo neither speaks the language of abuse to Hon. Ephraim Inyang, or anyone else in office of authority. Mostly, iam often referred to as a younger brother to the Commissioner of Works, Hon. Ephraim Inyang, and never have i engaged in trite talks. I have shared some good and personal relationship with him and enjoying for many years. There is no FEUD between us as printed by the imaginary posts “.
” I have a solid relationship with the Commissioner and respects his person most especially for his lofty contributions to humanity and the administration of His Excellency, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State “.
” I wish therefore to categorically state that I know nothing about this invidious and treacherous statements that has been attributed to me through a fake writer and social media accounts. Let me place on record that in the history of numerous character assassinations and aspersions cast on me by detractors, this is the first rejoinder i have personally endorsed owing to the respect and value i place on the personality of Akparawa Ephraim Inyang who i can describe as “An An Elder brother from another mother”.
“While i urge the general public to disregard such irrational claims, iam also inclined to warn the originators of the fake report to desist from such actions. This is because it is pure evil, criminal, cowardly and designed to ultimately consume the perpetrators “.
” It is my general advice that those indigenes of Ikono favoured by the current zoning arrangements should pursue their interest and ensure they are popular ; that the grassroots and voters are happy to reward them with their votes at the poll. The general interest should always supersede any individual or selfish interest especially for the growth and development of Ikono L.G.A.”.
“It is natural justice that no crime will go unpunished, and it is only a matter of time before the perpetrators of this heinous fabrication will be exposed. To ensure that this is done, i have put the security agencies and my lawyers on notice, and we have no doubt that they will diligently do their job”.
Also reacting, the Deputy Chapter Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Ikono, Mr. David Akpantuk, who was present at the press conference, attributed the attack on the Ikono political Leader as the handiwork of those he described as ‘Urban Political Leaders’ who regard themselves as ‘first class citizens’ and see the rest of the people as ‘threats’.
He hailed Mr. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo for his sacrificial leadership in the political space of Ikono , saying he was being unjustly persecuted for by those who are envious of his political sagacity, for commanding large followers ship in Ikono and for always insisting that the right thing be done.
Mr. Akpantuk disclosed that the political Leader has empowered so many Ikono people, and described him as a grass root politician. He wondered why he was being attacked for being on the side of the people.
On his part, a former Council Secretary in Ikono, Prince Inem Inyang Ette, warned detractors to desist from causing unhealthy political rift in Ikono ahead of the forthcoming local government election holding in November. He argued that what should be of uppermost concern in the area is for everyone to join hands with the Political Leader, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo and work towards securing Ikono for PDP in both the November local government election and 2019 governorship election.
Prince Inyangette urged the public to disregard the publication as it was a mere fiction intended to cause rift between Macaire and Ephraim Inyang.