It was an assemblage of some of the state’s most leading men and women faced with the collective threat of losing what they claim is the mandate they supposedly gave to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Eket Senatorial District
By Tom Moses
Last weekend’s ‘Mega Rally and Reception for Governor Udom Emmanuel’ at the Eket Township Stadium had the dark shadow of the recent Court of Appeal judgment that annulled the election that enthroned the governor.
The indignation of the people was fired by the fact that Emmanuel is the first governor from the senatorial district to achieve the office of governor since the creation of Akwa Ibom State. Even more vexatious is the fact that the threat against his election is coming from Uyo Senatorial District, which has held the office of governor twice since the creation of the state.
It was as such not surprising that men and women of similar minds from all sections of the state gathered at the stadium last Saturday to affirm what they claimed as the doctrine of rotation that made Eket to produce the next governor of the state after eight sixteen eventful years by Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts.
“It was a mandate that was freely given by the great majority of Akwa-Ibom people but for untenable reasons, have become subject of the shenanigans of agents of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress in their desperate march to capture by force, the oil-rich Akwa-Ibom”, the Chairman informed and hoped that the “judiciary through the Supreme Court would not succumb to the desperation by the APC in the dispensation of justice”.
The retired Brigadier-General also solicited the continuous support of their brothers from Uyo and Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial Districts who they supported in the past for the governorship not to allow their support to wane for justice and equity to be done to the Eket Senatorial District.
Also speaking, former Minister of Housing, Chief Nduese Essien warned that the people of Eket Senatorial District would do all that is possible and necessary to ensure the reverses of what he described as the injustice that was being planned against the people.
Women leader of the constituency, Dr. Ini Adiakpan also faulted the annulment of the election saying the people of Eket Federal Constituency would do everything within the ambit of the law to ensure that Governor Emmanuel serve out his mandate.
“28 years since Akwa-Ibom State was created, this is the first time Eket is producing a governor and we insist that our son must be there for eight years as was the case with Uyo and Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial Districts respectively.
“It is now our turn. Therefore, Uyo and Ikot-Ekpene Senatorial Districts must support us”, Dr. Adiakpan stated.
Speaking, Chairman, Akwa-Ibom State Elders Forum, Senator Anietie Okon, decried what he alleged as the plan by the APC leadership to forcefully take-over Akwa-Ibom State warning that any weapon fashioned against the collective will of the people of the state would be crippled.
Zoning of the governorship
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa-Ibom State, Obong Paul Ekpo also decried what he described as “the evil antics of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to create disharmony among the people of the state by not supporting the zoning of the governorship position to Eket Senatorial District.
Also speaking, former Military Administrator of the state and the Director-General (D-G) of the Divine Mandate, the campaign organization of Governor Udom Emmanuel, Atuekong Idongesit Nkanga stressed that “The mission of the APC is not for the welfare and well-being of the people of Akwa-Ibom State but for exploitation of the state’s resources as according to them, the leadership of the APC has been saying that they would not allow an oil-producing state into the hands of the PDP.
In his remarks, the new Speaker of the Akwa-Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Onofiok Luke threw his weight behind the agitation of the Eket Senatorial District describing the zone as the goose that lays the golden egg and the territory that that has made the state and Nigeria to be economically relevant in the comity of nations and as such, should be given the chance like others, to pilot the affairs of the state.
“Two individuals cannot serve as governor of a state at the same time. This is the time of Deacon Udom Emmanuel and the turn of Eket Senatorial District, so, every other person from other senatorial districts should wait so as not to cause confusion and crisis between the people of Eket Senatorial District and our brothers and sisters in the other senatorial districts”, the Speaker advised.
He condemned the Court of Appeal’s ruling of December 18, 2015 which annulled the election of Governor Emmanuel even as he expressed optimism that since the PDP is the traditional party of the Akwa-Ibom people, Governor Udom would win any election any time in the state.
Collective will and mandate
Speaking, the Special Guest of honour, Governor Udom Emmanuel gave credence to the resolve by his kith and kin to defend the collective will and mandate of the Akwa-Ibom people to Eket Senatorial District and therefore warned intruders to be ware of the dangers in trying to scuttle a Divine Mandate and the collective will of the people.
Governor Emmanuel thanked the people for standing by him at moments of trials and temptation assuring that he would remain undaunted by the antics of those who are opposed to equity and justice but focused and committed to serve the people from all parts of the state through the provision of worthwhile infrastructure, to establish industries, create jobs and generate wealth, to transform and advance the course of the state and consolidate the unity of all peoples of the state.