Akwa Ibom state governor, Emmanuel Udom
By Raphael Ekpang
Ahead of the April, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s state chairmanship election, Ikono-Ini and Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituencies have warned the people of Abak 5 comprising Abak and Oruk Anam federal constituencies in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District to bury its political ambition of seeking the Chairmanship seat of the party.
The people of Ikoni/Ikot Ekpene federal constituencies said that the Abak 5 is already boasting of a Deputy Governor who will serve till 2023. And will also benefit by producing the next Senator in 2023.
Inatnt Africa learn that this warning note to Abak 5 and her political gladiators became necessary as leaders of the two political blocs like Ukata Akpan, Otu Robert, The Asikpos, Engr. Inyang believe that if Abak five produces the next PDP state Chairman, they would have succeeded in shortchanging the two other political blocs that make up the Senatorial District especially Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency.
The understanding among politicians in these two Federal Constituencies is that Abak five as it stands has a Deputy Governor and in 2023 going by the zoning arrangement in the District will produce a Senator, therefore giving them the state party chairman would cause political imbalance in the Senatorial District which is capable of causing mass defection from the Party.
Stakeholders from Ikono-Ini and Ikot Ekpene are calling on His Excellency, Governor Emmanuel Udom, who is the leader of the Party at the State level to be circumspect and be politically clever as he continues the search for Paul Ekpo’s successor. They added that, already the news that Udom is looking the Direction of Udo Ekpenyong and Prince Ikim who are both citizens of Abak 5 is politically unsettling and not cherry news to Ikono Ini and Ikot Ekpene political blocs.
The PDP had since zoned the Party Chairmanship to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. But has not micro zoned it to any of the federal constituencies leaving it open for all from the senatorial district for contest.
The contention of Ikono/Ini and Ikot Ekpene now is that since there are three political blocs in the Senatorial District and Abak 5 produced the Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo, Ikot Ekpene took its turn to produce the Senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, Engr Chris Ekpenyong, it will be a cheat of the century on Ikono/Ini, if they do not produce the PDP chairman this time around, to make the sharing formula balanced.
Barr. Godwill Umoh, the PDP Legal Adviser in the State, satisfied that he is favoured by the zoning and well placed to lead the party as the next Chairman has sent strong signals into the political space to indicate that he is much available and ready for the task of succeeding Obong Paul Ekpo, the PDP Chairman.
Umoh is from Ikono Local Government Area of Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency.
A source close to Umoh said that the PDP Legal Adviser’s faith and strength to win the seat strongly stems from the fact that he has been in the party and has suffered for the party for decades and still counting as well as the fact that he has come to terms with the rudiments of party politics within these number of years, hence, these will afford him a successful and quick ride to the seat.
Another contender who has resolved to take his political career to the next level by opting to lead the hundreds of thousands of PDP faithful is the former chairman of Ini Local Government Area, Hon Etetim Anwatim. Anwatim and Umoh happen to share same Ikono/Ini political bloc.
Anwatim, a direct aide to Governor Udom’s 5&6 and Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, feels like a Prince. Supporters of the former Chairman have expressed strong convictions that their boss will walk into the seat already lobbied and conquered for him by his direct boss and god father.
Digging into the relationship level and edge the duo of Inyangeyen and Udom have over one another to ascertain the extent to which Inyangeyen can go in helping his son to be sworn in as the next Chairman, an insider in the corridors of power told our reporter that Anwatim’s chances appear to be expanding by the day as Inyangeyen has presented him to the Governor as Someone who is not desperate for the Seat. And that the Ex Ini Local Government Chairman will demonstrate clean and unparalleled loyalty to the Governor to a fault as the State Governor seeks to install his Successor.
However, Instant Africa learn that to underscore the readiness of Ikono/ Ini to produce the next Chairman of the Party, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr Glory Edet is said to be interested in the seat. But findings show that the rumour is doubtful because the Commissioner is more disposed to contesting the 2023 elections for Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency Seat.
Very strong feelers have it that Glory Edet may sponsor the present Chairman of PDP Ini Chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Umah for that exalted seat. Even as she is also likely to have Gody Umoh on her sponsorship list should stakeholders prefer a more experienced hand from the federal constituency.
Instant Africa check shows that Mr. John Asikpo from Ikot Ekpene Federal constituency and the Cmissioner of Youth and Sports in the state, Sir Monday Ebong Uko are also linked to the job.
Instant Africa further learn that the struggle for the party Chairmanship has always been the battle for the men and that a lot intrigues and politics will be displayed by stakeholders and political players in the build up to the final emergence of Paul Ekpo’s Successor.