…as Onomkpoinam Mkpat Enin consults Eket Senatorial District Leader.
…Chief Udo Isong, ‘Maradona of Eket Politics’ says ‘Ekong Sampson deserves Senate seat’

By Samuel Udoma

More top marks came the way of a former two-term Member, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, Rt Hon.(Barr.) Ekong Sampson when he intensified his consultations yesterday.

Specifically, Dr Sampson, also a former Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources was in Eket to consult the leader of the Eket Senatorial District Elders Forum, Rt Hon.(Chief) Nduese Essien on his intention to represent Eket Senatorial District in the nation’s Red Chambers.

Chief Nduese Essien was in the House of Representatives representing Eket Federal Constituency when Barr. Ekong Sampson served as Special Assistant/Chief Legislative Aide to the respected Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, who at that time was Chairman, Senate Committee on Appropriations.

Presenting Dr Sampson to Chief Nduese Essien, a former Chief Medical Director, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Prof. Etete Peters described Dr Ekong Sampson as a ‘strong grassroots politician and an intellectual with capacity to win election’, praying upon the revered elder statesman to take Barr. Sampson under his wings and support his cause.

Addressing Chief Essien, who is a former Minister of Housing, and was flanked by Dr Ime Ekpoattai, former Commissioner in the state and some Eket elders, Dr Ekong Sampson said that it was only fitting and natural that he came to formally intimate Chief Nduese Essien of his intention to represent Eket Senatorial District come 2023, adding that the Senate was a familiar ground for him where he started his political odyssey.

‘I came here to present myself respectfully, and to formally inform you of my intention to represent Eket Senatorial District in the next dispensation.

Senate is where I began my active political journey. I intend to go back there now that I am even better equipped with the necessary experience and capacity to represent Eket Senatorial District in the Red Chambers. I am a natural bridge builder. In the Senate, I will work with you and other leaders in our senatorial district which with its huge endowments and pluralistic constituents needs a unifier with a track record’.

Dr Sampson paid glowing tributes to Chief Nduese Essien and other members of the National Assembly from Akwa Ibom State who worked tirelessly at the time to abrogate the onshore-offshore oil dichotomy. He said that he learnt a lot while working in the National Assembly and in the State Executive Council. He noted that Eket Senatorial District is confronted with environmental challenges and how to manage oil politics. He said that having served as Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources among other positions he has held, he has a deep understanding of the key problems facing the Senatorial District. Sampson, an author, journalist, also holds a Ph.D in Law.

He further spoke on the need for a senator to have what he called ‘a good grasp of the Nigerian sociopolitical matrix’.

He said: ‘For one to be a good senator, one must have a good understanding of Nigeria and I believe I am well equipped in that capacity.
I intend to build on the great legacies you and other Eket Senatorial District representatives left behind in the National Assembly.

Let me specially thank you for your prominent role in ensuring that the zoning arrangement in our senatorial district is adhered to, for that has brought us peace and the respect of the entire state’, Dr Sampson remarked, praying for long life and good health for the ex National Assembly South South Caucus Leader.

A former State Officer of the PDP, Barr. Ita Okpoyo, while speaking, recalled that Barr. Ekong Sampson did well in the State House of Assembly and will be bringing a wealth of legislative experience to the Senate. He said that Ekong Sampson enjoys a lot of goodwill in Oro nation because of his bridge building and accessible disposition.

In his response, the Leader of Eket Senatorial District Elders Forum, Chief Nduese Essien praised Ekong Sampson’s excellent personality, commanding legislative and Political resumé, saying ‘he was a highly sellable Senate material’.

‘Having known Ekong as a friend and brother over the years, I am very sure that he is a highly saleable Senate material. He has all it takes to be a great Senator for Eket Senatorial District. He is very marketable for our party and the district’.

From there, the consultation delegation berthed at the residence of Chief Udo Isong, widely known as the ‘Maradona of Eket Politics’. Chief Isong, after being consulted by Dr Sampson said emphatically that ‘Ekong Sampson with such background and credentials deserves the Senate seat come 2023’.

On Dr Sampson’s entourage for the consultation included his wife, Tina, who herself is a Senior Staff in the Nigerian Senate, a former CMD of Uniuyo Teaching Hospital, Prof. Etete Peters, who led the delegation.

Others were a former State Officer of the Peoples Democratic Party, Barr. Ita Okpoyo, Leader of Mkpat Enin Legislative Council, Hon. Ebong Akpan, former Vice Chairmen of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area, Hons. Etop Enang, Aniefiok Frank, former two-term Chapter Chairman of PDP, Eastern Obolo, Hon. Sampson Unyewaji, former President, Mboho Ikot Abasi, Hon. Ufok Frank, Oro Chieftains, Barr. Bassey Willie, Hon. Hamlet Emenyi, prominent Youth Leaders in Eket, Comrade Iboro Imose, Johnson Esenowo , a.k.a. Total, Mrs Eno Akpabio, the immediate elder sister to Barr. Sampson who came with some of her in-laws from Ikot Ataku, Eket, friends and other PDP Chieftains.

Wisdom Bassey

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