Eket Federal Constituency and the Return of Eseme Eyiboh

“There is an interesting point about the price of success: it must always be paid in full – and in advance. Success, is not like a restaurant where you pay after you have enjoyed your meal”. Brian Tracy

By Joseph Atainyang

The political race for 2023 had long been set on motion. Parties have selected their candidates. The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had long issued the election timetable. It becomes obvious that all mercenary is set in motion to drive the 2023 general elections. So are the people of Eket Federal Constituency ready to fill a trustworthy representative.

On Friday, May 27, 2022, the All Progressives Congress, APC, conducted the primaries for the Senate and House of Representatives across the country. The exercise for the House of Representatives, held at the Eket Police Station, produced Hon. Eseme Eyiboh as the party’s candidate. He emerged winner of the APC House of Representatives primaries for Eket/Onna/Esit Eket/Ibeno federal constituency, polling 180 votes out of 215, made up of 55 votes from Eket, 50 from Ibeno, 60 from Onna and 50 from Esit Eket.

Eseme Eyiboh, the Dean of a pro-transparency and good governance advocacy group known as ‘The Initiatives’, beat two other aspirants, Hon. Kingsley Edoho and Hon. Aniekan Akpan, who scored 15 votes and 20 votes respectively, in the federal constituency.

Eyiboh, who spoke with journalists after his declaration, expressed gratitude to all the delegates for their show of patriotism and sense of community development, saying that since he has been living with his constituents, his feeling for service and community advancement cannot be different. The former House of Representatives.member, however, called on other aspirants to come together and redouble efforts in community integration, noting that when elected, he would represent all the local government areas in the federal constituency effectively and equally, irrespective of political affiliations. Question is, who is this Eseme Eyiboh? It is important at this point to review the profile of the man who is simply known as the Dean of Ideas.

Eseme Sunday Eyiboh is a native of Akpautong village in Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He was born in Uquo maternity on January 28, 1960. Having gained his school certificate in 1980, he left for School of Basic Studies, Akamkpa, Cross River State, for his Interim Joint Matriculation Board, IJMB, study, where he was the Director of Socials of the Students Union Government, SUG. Eseme Eyiboh progressed to the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, where he served as editor in-chief of the Mirror Magazine. A dean of class of Course 52 at Said Business School, Oxford University, Hon. Eyiboh also obtained a bachelor of Law (LL.B) from the University of Uyo, and attended the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja.

A natural leader as evident in his secondary and tertiary education credentials, Mr Eyiboh didn’t find it difficult to be absorbed into mainstream politics to offer service to his fatherland. He was appointed as Director, Akwa Palm Industries LTD (a World Bank Tree Crop funded Project in collaboration with the Akwa Ibom State Government and Nigeria Agriculture and Co-operative Bank). He was a Public Affairs Consultant to Socfinco Indufina of Brussels in Belgium. Eyiboh, during Governor Victor Attah’s administration, became the Executive Chairman, Akwa Ibom state Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM). He was also a service Consultant to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited in Land Transport Logistics, One-Stop-Shop, Marine and Technical Training Centre departments.

Believing that “leadership is a responsibility that should be earned, not given, and must be accounted for”, Eseme Eyiboh aspired to represent Eket Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives in 2007. From a fierce party primary against the then State Attorney General and apparatus of state government, he emerged victorious under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, based on his character and acceptability.
Through “personal conviction and innovative salesmanship strategies, even against the parliamentary practice of ‘a must’ ranking membership status”, the first-time parliamentarian became the spokesperson of the House of Representatives. The fluent and passion driven member of parliament also emerged the Speaker of the Anglophone Regional Parliamentary Forum moderated by West African Institute of Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM).

Part of his huge resumé is his Chairmanship of Donor Agencies/Development Partners committee at the House of Representatives. He contributed to robust parliamentary developments and was a pathfinder to the birth of the intellectual wing in the National Assembly, where he presided over as its ‘Dean’. Again, Eyiboh was the Spokesperson for the 2019 Campaign of the APC in Akwa Ibom State. Earlier in 2018, he was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman, Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA), a position he held till 2020. He was also the Chairman, Forum of Chairmen of River Basin Development Authorities in Nigeria.

A strong parliamentarian who left the seat many years ago, Eyiboh’s return journey is well thought-out. A man with wide tentacles across the length and breadth of Nigeria, his second coming is a huge investment for the people of the area. A people flooded with many challenges across the broad spectrum of the economy, they are ready to leverage on Eyiboh’s rich profile to meet their needs.

His experience in lawmaking is novel. Eseme Eyiboh cannot be denied the description of a storehouse of ideas. Brisk, hugely talented and well endowed with unreserved intellectual capital, he would comfortably be seen as a superstar in lawmaking. Writing about his “unrivalled sagacity in parliamentary business”, a journalist compared Eyiboh only to the likes of Ita Enang, Ali Ndume, Farouk Lawan, Erik Osagie and Emeka Ihedioha. He was pictured as “virile, vibrant and resourceful to the extent that he broke into the first eleven and the caucus that ran things in the house”, just as a first timer. Of course, the experienced lawmaker had raised the bar in legislative engagements and was indeed being awaited by his people.

As captured by Brian Tracy, the price of success must always be paid in full – and in advance. Obviously, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh has paid his success price in full and in advance. His swollen profile tells more about his person. His experience and wealth of knowledge equally tells of what his constituents should expect. As Eyiboh flies the APC flag for the Eket Federal Constituency seat, it becomes clear that hope is dangling in the air. The return of Eseme Eyiboh is, therefore, a success story waiting to be told!

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