- Ubong David
On the heels of Governor Emmanuel’s decision not to contest for the Senate in 2023, PDP elders of Eket Senatorial District have unanimously zoned the ticket to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency of Akwa Ibom State.
In a well attended meeting held at the residence of Chief Nduese Essien yesterday in Eket, the former Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and a two term House of Representatives member confirmed that,
“In a meeting we had with Governor Udom Emmanuel last week, His Excellency told us that he was not interested in the Senate come 2023, that’s why, among other issues, we are meeting today to also take a decision that will continue to foster unity and peace of our Senatorial District”,
He commended the Governor for toeing the path of honour by not showing interest in contesting for the Senate seat “as is becoming a tradition with Nigerian Governors”, thereby scuttling the principle of zoning which has been the unifying factor in the body politics of Akwa Ibom State and Eket Senatorial District in particular.
The secretary to the State government, SSG, Mr Emmanuel Ekuwem, a former Attorney General of the State, Barr Ekpenyong Ntekim, Obong Chris Abasi Eyo, Barr Assam Assam, SAN, Obong Obot Etukafia, Elder Benjamin Udobia, Barr Akpadiaha Ebitu and host of others gave credence to the principle of zoning and maintained that the system should remain sacrosanct as it has curtailed rancor in a multi-ethnic Senatorial district for the purpose of equity, justice, peace and harmonious co-existence.
“Zoning has kept us together, it remains the only political mechanism of unity in the country and the State. Any attempt at changing the rules now will propel into motion events of disastrous proportion, so, lets stick to the principle of zoning”, Barr Assam Assam said.
Satisfied that the Senate seat should rotate back to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency from where it started in 1999, the “king makers” resolved to make the decision official by calling for a motion.
In a motion moved by Barr Ekpenyong Ntekim and seconded by Barr Assam Assam, SAN, anchored by a voice vote, the Stakeholders unanimously zoned the 2023 Senate seat to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency and called on interested aspirants from the three local government areas that make up the zone to prepare for scrutiny.
“We expect to have very competent persons from Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency and they will be subjected to scrutiny, out of which we will choose who to represent us in the red chambers, the Senate is a serious place and we want to send our very best there for effective representation”, Chief Essien said, adding that the aspirants are to meet with the stakeholders within two weeks.
The Elders also discussed on Governor Emmanuel’s worry concerning bottlenecks created by communities in Eket Senatorial District against investors and resolved to introduce a new matrix of engagement to flatten all community based impediments to the industrialization of the district.
Present at meeting were, Obong Obot Etukafia, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, Hon Peter Linus, Hon Felicia Bassey, Hon Mfon Nkanteen, PDP State Secretary, Mr. Harrison Ekpo, Jerry Akpan and Okon Usung.
Others are, Jerry Okpo, Prof Etieben Akpan, Hon Etim Okpoyo, Barr Assam Assam, SAN, Emmanuel Ekuwem, SSG, Barr Akpadiaha Ebitu, Elder Benjamin Udobia and Barr Ekpenyong Ntekim among others.