-By Unwana Assam, Esit Eket
In a certain town, there was a grocery store. In the grocery store lived many mice. Food was abundant for them. They ate everything and spoiled all the bags. They also wasted the bread, the cookies, and the fruits in the store. The grocer was worried. So, he thought, “I should buy a cat and let it live in the grocery store. That’s the only way I can save my things.” He bought a big, fat cat and let it live there. The cat had a lot of fun chasing the mice and killing them. The mice could not move freely now as they were afraid that the cat would eat them at any time. The mice wanted to do something about it. They held a meeting and everyone tweeted, “We need to get rid of the cat. Can anyone make a suggestion?” All the mice sat and pondered.
One smart mouse stood up and said, “The cat moves quietly and that’s the problem. If we can tie a bell around its neck, then everything will be all right. With that, we can feel the cat’s movements”. “Yes, that is the solution,” said all the mice. One old mouse slowly stood up and asked, “Who will bell the cat?” After a few moments, there was no one to answer that question.
The story of the mice, the bell, and the cat may sound unrelated to some people, but this article represents the current state of the Eket Senatorial District. It tells of how people frequently ask questions that bother the senatorial district. It tells about the process of recruiting our representatives. It tells about those who have represented the senatorial district in the Red Chamber from the past to the present. People keep asking for that person who will come in and decisively change the narrative. They ask for that person who will come and bell the cat to save the mice.
The truth is that Eket senatorial district is hungry for effective representation in the Red Chamber. The people need a senator who will come and salvage the situation craving for attention. A senator who has good plans that have direct benefits to the people and alleviate their immediate needs. They need someone who will not be sectional and sentimental and doesn’t interpret the desolate state of the constituents into a jamboree display of dancing with t-shirts. Yes, the people no more need a senator who is only good at dancing to the tune of the brass band, giving wrappers to women in a primary school field, and be cheered around by widows and the female youths.
Besides, Akwa Ibom South senatorial district women have enough wrappers in stock already. The tradition of empowering women with wrappers should stop before 2023. 2023 should usher in the fresh air of effective representation in all spheres. The people are tired of electing senators who never cared about their immediate needs. What the people of the Eket senatorial district need now is not just a senator, but a senator who will have a position in every national discourse that affects his people. Enough of electing a “sidon look” senator into the red chamber.
This piece is not meant to judge or downgrade any senator who had served or is serving in Eket senatorial district. The truth that may not sound so pleasant to some people is that Eket senatorial district had had it bad and low side of representation in the Senate than any other senatorial district in the state. In short, Eket senatorial district has not been fortunate enough to produce senators who represented the people effectively and as expected. Many of them, except a few, have disappointed and frustrated the trust that the people placed in them. Apart from answering the nomenclature “senator” many of them who had represented the senatorial district have no achievements related to the people that they can talk about.
However, another time to elect a senator is fast approaching and some people have already expressed interest to represent the senatorial district in the Red Chamber. The question is: Who will bell the cat? Will it be the same as always? Will it be the same mold of people?
This time, the narrative should be changed. It is time to elect a senator whose top priority, once elected to office, will be the people and nothing but the people. A senator that will be heard from home speaking passionately for his people. And to the People, may you not allow yourselves to be deceived or carried away by empty promises anymore. Stand up to your right by voting for a person and not just a party. Remember, it is not just about you but also about your future generation.
In 2023, Akwa Ibom South should endeavour to elect a Senator who will fight poverty among the constituents. The people should, in the end, be able to stand to say; we are proud we elected you because you have been able to rise to wrestle and defeated the prevalent poverty among the youths, men, and women in Eket senatorial district.
Comrade Unwana Assam is a good governance advocate, a media activist, the CEO/Publisher of newsline9ja.com, and writes from Urua Okok, Esit Eket LGA.