Eket Stakeholders Have Not Shortlisted Guber Aspirants—Nduese Essien
The leadership of the Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District Assembly says it has never shortlisted any aspirant or aspirants ahead of the 2015 Governorship election in the State.
Reacting to a recent online and national news media reports that the Assembly has shut the door in support of three aspirants, the Chairman of the Assembly Chief Nduese Essien said the report was not only false in its entirety, but also mischievous and ill-intended.
Chief Essien who spoke with our reporter over the weekend, said the Assembly was so shocked to see such a news reports and advised members of the public to discountenance such purported endorsement.
On the contrary, Chief Essien maintained that the Assembly has always encouraged all eligible sons and daughters of the Senatorial District to come out and present themselves to the generality of Akwa Ibom people so that the best among them can eventually be chosen to consolidate on the achievements of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio in 2015.
The aim of the Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District Assembly, according to Chief Nduese Essien was to work with other stakeholders in the state in ensuring that Governor Akpabio's successor emerged either by zoning or rotation from anywhere in Eket Senatorial District in the spirit of fairness, justice and equity.
He once again applauded the decision of Governor Akpabio and the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in the State to zone the hilltop slot to the Akwa Ibom South senatorial zone, maintaining that the zone which produces the bulk of the state's wealth deserved to also lead the state for the first time since its creation in 1987.
The group maintained that eventhough it is pleased with the aspirations of the trio of Larry Esin, Nsima Ekere and Effiong Abia as competent sons of the zone, the Assembly had never met to decide that only three of them were eligible “to contest the 2015 governorship election on behalf of the zone,” as falsely presented in the report.
“At our last count, we had no fewer than 23 of our people who have indicated interest to present themselves for the election, and we have encouraged all of them to continue consulting widely and develop blueprints that will win them the support of the State.”
The position of the Assembly, the former lawmaker maintained, was informed by an erroneous postulation by political jobbers that Eket Senatorial District did not have capable hands that can succeed the current leadership in the state, and also commended the ongoing town hall meetings which has seen the people overwhelmingly throwing their weight behind Eket Senatorial District in 2015.
“If you look at the report, it quotes us as releasing the statement after a meeting in Uyo, but I can tell you categorically that we have never held any meeting outside Eket, Oron and Ikot Abasi, and our position remains that Akwa Ibom tripod is anchored on the three senatorial districts of Eket, Uyo and Ikot Ekpene and not ethnic groups.”
The former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development warned media practitioners to always crosscheck facts before going to press, adding that with the unfolding political season, there is going to be an upsurge in blackmail and mischief by political jobbers.