“I have the personal ambition, conviction, competence, and tested capacity to make a difference. Nobody is sending me. I have come to seek your mandate. It is not my right but a privilege which you hold the power to grant”. And I assure you that if you people send me I will not disappoint you” – Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, 2022.

                             By Destiny Akaiso

He did not join the race because someone sponsored him. He did not step into the arena because a god-father persuaded or cajoled him into it. Nor did he do so simply because he wanted to be part of the bandwagon.

He prepared for it. And deliberately stepped forward. And determinedly so. At the backdrop of this desire was the harmless anger and annoying history that the past has not favoured his people and when he gets to the National Assembly, he will be a game-changer and catalyst.

He will not give the least of his best. He will give all. He will change the story. He will set a new standard. He will give the people a new song to sing. And will prove that it is possible with the right person and mindset.

Not many doubted him. Massively, they instantly and steadily gave him overwhelming encouragement and corresponding solidarity. Till date, Inyang-eyen is the only one with a clear-cut and convincing reason for eyeing the Senate, because his character and antecedents support the claims.
Hear him: “After a carefully study and review of our stake in the National Assembly in the past fifteen years, I have decided to come out by myself. With a sense of humility, God has blessed me with what it takes to bring about a paradigm shift in senatorial representation in Eket Senatorial District in 2023.

“Sometimes we wonder if it is only Uyo and Ikot Ekpene that sent senators to the National Assembly. Those are the only senatorial districts in the State one can be proud of because of the quality noise they have been making and what has been tickling down in consequence which we all can testify. For 2023, we must begin to ask questions and put whoever aspires for the Senate on a scale, before making choices that will affect the Senatorial District”.

That has been Inyang-eyen’s message of hope. It was therefore no surprise that his entry into the race raised dust and storms and unsettled opponents and enemies who, having been profiteers of mediocrity over the years, never wished for change that will make for the good of the greater majority. They were comfortable with the old order that favoured only few individuals.

Expectedly, like news of a coming messiah to the Pharisees, there was nothing they did not do to kill the dream at birth – insults and assaults, threats, shenanigans, blackmail, and trump cards – etc.

When all evil plots failed, they deceived the electorate that they’ve chased the “protagonist” out of the race. To their excruciating dismay, on Tuesday, 20TH September, 2022, “AKPARAWA EPHRAIM AKPARAWA INYANG-EYEN boldly appeared on INEC’s list as a Senatorial candidate on the platform of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

By coincidence of divine design, one of the advantages Inyang-eyen enjoys is the fact that his ambition has not altered the status quo. Even the so-called zoning in the Senatorial District favours him.

Beginning with Senator Udo Udoma in 1999, all the three federal constituencies in Eket Senatorial District have all equitably benefited from the first cycle of rotation in the course of the last sixteen years. With Senator Akon Eyakenyi, the incumbent, bound to complete her tenure in 2023, the Senatorial District shall have produced five senators across the three federal constituencies by 2023.

Inyang-eyen therefore is a pioneer of a new order from ONNA, after which others shall follow. It is good that even those who initially were deceived and sponsored to trade conspiracy theories that Inyang-eyen’s ambition has altered the arrangement have now come to agree with bare facts. It becomes truer the postulation by Victor Hugo, French novelist, who said: “There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world. That is an idea whose time has come”.

Moreover, in spite of the combative argumentation that politics and sentiments usually promote, nobody from Eket Senatorial District today who is fair to history and record, has denied the fact that the senatorial district has been the weeping child of representation, in terms of impact and reach of dividends of democracy, in comparison with other sections of Akwa Ibom State.

Now, imagine that Eket Senatorial District will in 2023 once again have a senator whose voice will matter on the floor of the national assembly. Imagine that Eket senatorial will now have someone who, by way of person style, will make himself available to them on demand for regular interface and updates. Imagine that they will have quality empowerment that will compete with the best elsewhere.

This is the rebirth in view. This is the Inyang-eyen formula for a paradigm shift – to give Eket Senatorial District a name and a competitive voice in national discourse.

When Inyang-eyen ultimately takes up a seat in the Red Chambers in 2023, these moments will surely be replayed to prove what happens when ambition meets opportunity.

Then, that timeless statement by Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, will certainly re-echo: “The world makes way for the man who knows where he is going”.

Wisdom Bassey

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