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By NBF News
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The chairman of the Senate Service Committee, Sen. Effiong Bob has challenged royal fathers and other elders in his Uyo Senatorial Zone to aspire for elective positions instead of waiting in the background to preach the gospel of a non-existent zoning formula.

Bob, who is aspiring for the Senate for the third consecutive term, was reacting to the recent frenzy in the district where the traditional rulers and other groups are asking him to drop his aspiration to give other persons, especially, those outside his local government and the federal constituency, the opportunity to aspire for the senate.

He told journalists on Monday that it was curious that while members of the National Assembly from the state are joining their colleagues to make laws that would ensure good governance, some members of the political class in the state have been busy in their efforts to run them down and take them out of the game.

'Information made available to me shows that they have spared no effort and that no method is too petty, dirty and demeaning for them to employ, including but not limited to blackmail. It is for the purpose of addressing the issues they have raised in their many publications that I scheduled this interaction with you today.

'First of all, let me make it categorically clear that Section 65 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spells out qualification for election into the National Assembly while section 66 states conditions for disqualification from election.. No part thereof makes coming from any part of the state a condition for disqualification. Therefore, I am qualified just like any other person to aspire to run for election.'

Bob said election to the senatorial seat had always been open to all irrespective of local government area or federal constituency of origin and had never been regarded as a national cake which must go round.

'My position is zoning should be left for the people to decide. In a democracy, it is the voice of the people that counts. In order to take me out of the game, a lot of sponsored articles have been written to damage my reputation, question my integrity and drag my name in the mud.

Let me make it abundantly clear that that I do not prevent anybody from any part of the senatorial district from aspiring or even contesting in the forthcoming election.

'If the members of my party, the PDP, nominate me, I shall fly the party's flag in the district. If they nominate another person, I shall be glad to work with that person to ensure the party's victory in the election proper.'

The senator threatened to take legal actions henceforth if any individual or group, in their effort to seek nomination impugns on his integrity by writing damaging articles about his person or tries to rub mud on his reputation.

There has been a lot of campaigning for and against Bob's return to the senate by individuals or groups in Uyo senatorial district. While some see his return as a blessing since he is a ranking senator, others think going there for three terms would deprive other people or local government areas the opportunity of taking a shot at the office.