AFTERMATH OF 3 YRS LEGAL BATTLE, SENATOR EFFIONG CONFESSES
Not many knew Senator Bob Effiong was under intense pressure in the last three years. At least not until the pronouncement of the Supreme Court few days ago, on a suit challenging his nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial district in the National Assembly.
The Supreme Court while ruling on the issues surrounding the elections held in April 21, 2007, dismissed the appeal and affirmed his candidature.
'It was like a stone rolled off my neck', Effiong declared in reaction to the victory given him by the apex court. The Chairman, Senate Committee on Services described as unimaginable that his valid nomination through a free and fair primaries preceding the election could turn out a bone of contention for so long.
Speaking to Daily Sun, Effiong described the case as a huge distraction to his legislative duties and that he knew he was going to win: 'I would never wish the worst of my enemies to have the kind of experience I went through over this case. It was tough but not summontable.' He said the case has renewed his conviction on the electoral reform which 'will not give room for unnecessary distractions as litigations arising from election would be quickly dispensed with so that those who instituted the case would have already known they are losers before the election candidate resumes office.
'In any case these people knew they didn't win any election but they just wanted to distract you with the litigations.' According to him, he was not bogged down by the case but rather he has been encouraged the more to continue to have abiding faith in the democracy and rule of law: 'I want to say that I stand to assert myself with the electoral reform, because three years for an elected representative to be in court is a big distraction in some ways from the representative duties.
I feel the reform will bring about credible election.
'I want to appeal to all that election is not a do or die affair. The Bible says to everything there is time. There is time to win and time to lose. People don't know should know its' my own time to be in the Senate and I will be there as long as God wants it and I can't force myself on anybody.
'I have passed through the process, not once, not twice. I have been in the system as a councilor, as a chairman of my council. I have been through the system as an elected member of the state House of Assembly. I have been the deputy speaker of the house. I have been into the system as the attorney general and commissioner for justice in my state for four years before coming to the Senate. I have been in the Senate for the second time. I think by my pedigree, I can understand what election is all about and sure of myself.
'I believe this country is a great country and we stand to benefit from the goodwill of our people if we jointly serve to lift Nigeria and move it forward. I urge Nigerians to support the government of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, support him in prayer, because the government at all material time needs the peoples' support to succeed.'
'He is a man that will continue to remember how he got to power and would do what is right always.When you look at where is coming from, you will believe it that Jonathan will do the best for this country. He is a man that would not allow ambition to becloud his sense of performance and good work for the generality of Nigerians.'
The lawmaker maintained that if President Yar'Adua is to give 2011 a shot, he knows he has to work and his works will speak for him more than campaign: 'This is one of the advantages he has over those that may want to contest with him. But by and large, Nigerians will enjoy him as the President.