- By Unwana Assam- Eket
On the 10th day of September, 2022 at his residence, Ibeno LGA, Akwa Ibom State, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, a former three-term State House of Assembly Member, a former Senior Special Adviser to the Governor, and the immediate past Commissioner for Special Duties declared as quoted “I’m not going to the National Assembly to be chairman house committee on boundary to start altering land borders, but to fight for the betterment of the federal constituency through bills, and motions”. The passionate declaration by Etteh, the PDP standard bearer for Eket Federal Constituency 2023 was clear, succinct, and apt.
In fact, the thoughtful statement re-energized the spirit of faithfulness in his supporters and those who have hitherto expressed doubt in his NASS candidacy.
Since Okpolupm won the ticket for Eket, Esit Eket, Onna, and Ibeno federal constituency, 2023, some people have said all sorts of things. Tongues have been wagging both what is true and that which is not true.
A lot of people have manufactured all sorts of propaganda and lies to discredit the candidacy and personality of Etteh. In fact, his candidacy has led to the calling of names and abuses in such a way that even the devil may be shocked.
The criticism has even delineated into personal attacks on his person. But then, nobody is to blame. It is once again that period where hallelujah people say all sorts of things and abuse politicians. By coming out to contest for the position, he knew that a time like this will come and truly, we are in the season.
But the truth is, this is not the first time Okpolupm is going to represent the people in Parliament. He did it before for a good three-term. Since then, he has been representing the people in different fora in government, and in all these, there had never been a time Etteh was found wanting. There was never a time he proposed a bill that tantamounts to creating conflicts in the federal constituency or Ekid Nation.
Although he had the prerequisite capacity as the House Leader to have done that, but since he is not a selfish politician, being a man of peace and has always promoted same, Etteh never toed such a pedestrian.
If there is one politician that craves peace and unity in Eket federal constituency/Ekid Nation and has always done his part to maintain that notion is the Ibeno-born politician, Etteh.
It is pertinent to note that the underlying issue before the Ekid nation as being flurried by the people, which the Akwa Ibom Map that will accentuate the de facto ownership of the Stubbs Creek Forest (Okoiyak) is exclusively a State or State House of Assembly issue that does not only require a competent member of the State House of Assembly to tackle but also, someone who is bold and daring enough to stand for the sole interest of the people with deep knowledge of the host communities.
It is not an issue that Etteh will go to the National Assembly and start lobbying for Ibeno to claim sole ownership of the ancestral land of Ekid because same can never be a one-man show even as London Privy Supreme Council had long given judgment on the matter with which documents to back it up are still intact. Hence, the need to stop dragging Etteh over what it is not even on his agenda and start examining the caliber of people we will send to represent us in AKHA in 2023.
Ekid Nation can not take it all every time. Ibeno has always stood still to support Eket, Esit Eket, and Onna for the house of representatives. So, as 2023 approaches, it can only be wise, equitable, justifiable, and fair for the three sisters’ local government areas to stand in one accord and support Ibeno man in the person of Okpolupm Etteh to represent the federal constituency.
Etteh is a human with a conscience. Judging from his inner voice (conscience), he has not disappointed his people in the past. He won’t fail them this time as such, he should be supported and voted for to go and represent the people of EFC in the Green Chamber. His inner voice is that of good, and not of betrayal.
Moreover, if by God’s orchestration he wins the upcoming federal house of representatives election, which he shall, he will still come back to seek our support to go for a second term. And as a man who has always stood for peace and unity, he will not be that treacherous to betray the confidence Ekid people and the people of Eket federal constituency will repose on him.
In a time like this, it can only be advised that the people of Ekid should tread with extreme caution bearing in mind that, sooner or later, the support of Ibeno as a local government will be definitely sought after by either Ekid as a minority lineage in Akwa Ibom or individual.
Devoid of sentiments and hatred, this article calls on the people of Eket, Esit Eket, and Onna local government areas to join hands and support Etteh, an Ibeno man to win the 2023 house of representatives election.
A stitch in time saves nigh!