Jitters in Akwa Ibom over move to substitute PDP Candidates
THERE is a simmering unease in Eket, the home of the American oil giants, ExxonMobil, in Akwa Ibom State, over alleged moves to substitute some of the candidates who were victorious at the primaries of the Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP).
Governor Godswill Akpabio, is alleged to be behind scheme to subvert democracy in the area. But his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Usoro Usoro, has denied the charge, claiming that his boss cannot do such a thing.
It is being alleged in some PDP circles in Eket that there are moves by the governor to use the Spokesman of the House of Representatives, Hon Eseme Eyiboh, to replace Mr.Bassey Dan Abia jnr., a lawyer, who won the National Assembly primaries for the Eket Federal Constituency.
In the mean time, supporters of Abia jnr, rose from a meeting in Eket on Sunday night, vowing to resist any attempt to upturn the result of the National Assembly primaries in the area.
They claimed that they are aware an alleged plot by Governor Akpabio to alter the result of the PDP National Assembly primaries in favour of defeated House of Representatives spokesman, Eyiboh.
At the primaries, the state Deputy Legal Adviser of the PDP, Bassey Dan Abia jnr., had floored Eyiboh with a wide margin of 586–179 votes to clinch the party's ticket as its flag-bearer for the April 2011, polls.
The meeting, attended by hundreds of PDP members and well-wishers of Abia jnr. drawn from Eket, Esit-Eket, Onna and Ibeno local government areas repudiated a newspaper report for associating the Akwa Ibom governor with an ''unpopular, undemocratic political tendency''.
Various speakers at the tension-soaked meeting, extolled Governor Akpabio's democratic credentials as unassailable and unmatched in the annals of political development in Akwa Ibom state. They rejected the content and intent of the newspaper report, describing it as alien to Governor Akpabio's “avowed commitment to honesty, transparency, equity and justice in our political culture and practice”.
The aggrieved party members, however, appealed to those managing Governor Akpabio's media interface to issue immediate clarification on the said newspaper publication to calm frayed nerves within the party fold in Eket Federal Constituency.
High feelings of excitement and celebration reigned among Hon. Eyiboh's supporters while calls to Abia's cellphone were picked by an aide who declined comment on the matter.
Senior Legislative Aide to Hon. Eseme Eyiboh , Lady Jayne Essien had declared a few days ago: "the lawmaker has provided and continues to give impeccable service to the PDP and the nation through value-added representation in the House of Representatives. Nigerians still need him".