Akwa Ibom 2019: OBA’s comic deceits

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2019: OBA’s comic deceits

Abasifreke Effiong

Obong Bassey Albert fondly called OBA, senator representing Uyo senatorial district is at his comic deceits again. On Thursday, Febraury 8, 2018 at 7:18 p.m., OBA’s media aide, Anny Micheals broke a story with the headline, “Automatic ticket for serving NASS members of PDP”, on his timeline on facebook.

In the four paragraphs conjecture which Ini Ememobong, the Akwa Ibom State publicity secretary of the PDP calls a “grand ruse”, OBA’s aide claimed that Prince Uche Secondus, national chairman of the PDP “told [national assembly] members that they have the first right of refusal (sic) [to a return ticket] except where they decide not to seek re-election”. The position, according to OBA’s man emanated from Uche’s meeting with national assembly members held on Wednesday, February 7, 2018.

However, Mayorke Asuquo’s version of the report on Uche’s meeting with the lawmakers says Uche “chided lawmakers on the platform of the party who have not carried out constituency briefing despite collecting monies for that purpose”. Mayorke is said to be a citizen of Cross River State working in Abuja as a correspondent with one of the dailies.

Unlike Anny Michaels’ story, Mayorke’s account of the event is credible and verifiable. He quoted Uche copiously, thus ‘It is disheartening that despite huge sums received by lawmakers as reflected in the budget, only few have been able to conduct constituency briefing in their various states’. The “party tickets ahead of 2019 will not be on a platter of gold. It will be decided by the people because ‘the restructured PDP has come to stay as a true democratic party'”, Mayorke’s account reads.

Consequently, the Akwa Ibom State secretariat of the PDP has issued a statement stating that Anny Michaels’ story was created. Barr, Ini Ememobong, state publicity secretary of the party said the story on the “automatic ticket” didn’t emanate from Uche Secondus as OBA’s aide wrote.

“It is worthy of further note that the said misleading news item did not emanate from the office of the National Chairman of the Party or from the National Publicity Secretary, who possess the official channels of communication of the National Leadership of our party, but was rather floated online by a media aide of an intended beneficiary of this wishful thinking.

“I reached out to the National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, who informed me and I verily believe him, that to his knowledge, there was no such promise and that any reliance on such alleged promise will be deeply misleading as all politics is local”, Ini Ememobong statement added.

Anny Michaels lives in Uyo. He must have been called by the “oga at the top” and told to fly the fake news. It’s a shaming tale that a party’s representative of OBA’s standing can sanction a team to blackmail and ambush the party whose flag he desperately wants to fly again. That tweak by OBA’s man against the leadership of his party is a crude, familiar and outdated weapon often used by OBA and his gang. But as usual it failed!

OBA’s cronies have used several means to falsely and forcefully manipulate the citizenry into their master’s divisive second term pursuit. In other climes, this is a serious crime for a public office holder.

Did you know that last month OBA’s hirelings attempted to blackmail and ambush Uyo senatorial district students worldwide presidents into the senator’s second term project?

On 8 January 2018, at 4:07p.m. Anny Michaels served up a report on facebook claiming that “Akwa Ibom North East Students Leaders [have] endorse[d] Senator Bassey Albert” at a meeting with Rose Ekong, OBA’s defacto secretary. The story, as though it was a special meal was celebrated by OBA’s aides with Rose Ekong, who is now seen as OBA political adviser and campaigner -in- chief, leading the pack.

Surprisingly, before January 15, the student’s group dismissed the report as false. The students in a statement said it was “saddening, shocking, disheartening and out of place” for OBA’s men to make such false claim. A statement served up on facebook by Enwongoabasi Akpan, the coordinating worldwide presidents to the purported endorsement, says:

“USDCWWP is not aware of the Senator’s intention to run for a second term, let alone endorsed him as falsely claimed by Anny Michaels on his Facebook page.

“Various strategies are normally the indicators or pointers for proper adoption and endorsement: placards, communiqué, verbal speeches etc, are parts of those strategies in any political platform. While on the visit to the secretary, none of those strategies were employed when we made our speeches”.

Obong Bassey Albert has sought endorsements from every ragtag group after the state caucus of the PDP resolved that zoning principle will be followed strictly in 2019. Recently, it was in the news that a group of job seekers who operate from Edet Akpan Avenue, Uyo, endorsed him for second term. With the way fake news fly from his end, who knows, those job seekers may write a rebuttal soon. OBA is out to slit the cords of unity within his party and among the people of Uyo senatorial district.

Why would Obong Bassey Albert want to blackmail the leadership of his party? Has OBA forgotten that the national chairman of the party whom he wants to put on a collision with members in Akwa Ibom State is a product of zoning?
OBA knows that the senator that will represent USD in 2019 will come from Uyo federal constituency, but I’m worried that he has for very mischievous reasons been reluctant to tell his followers the truth. His fear is that he might lose face before his court-jesters who have now raised the bar of sycophancy from OBA to “OBA of Africa”.

Howbeit, OBA should not think that the old crooked strategies he used in 2015 will fetch him good results in 2019. It won’t! Why can’t the senator refract his strategies?

In 2015, OBA wanted to be the governor after all his inconsistencies and misleading political calculations. Some of those who contested the governorship with him are now idle and often seen jogging away time in shelter afrique; but God showed OBA mercy and Senator Godswill Akpabio took him to the senate against all odds, in spite of OBA’s betrayals.

OBA did not contest for the senate seat in 2015. He said that times out of number. At Ikpa pavilion, Ibiono Ibom local government area where he rounded off his consultation tours, he said, “Ibiono iyemé aba senate…we do not want the senate seat, Ibiono Ibom wants the position of governor in 2015. What a governor can do, 15 senators can not do.

So let those who want to take the senate seat do so, what we want is the governorship seat”. I know that distinguished Senator Bassey still remembers this. But I am not surprised that he wants to perpetuate himself in the senate. Men of honour are few!

Senator Bassey Albert is not known to protect group interest. It’s always his interest first. That is why he finds it difficult to manage his team of workers. Team management is a serious discipline – “The Rules of Management” by Richard Templar could be a useful empowerment to deal with the abundant amount of stress building up for the remnants of my senator’s team.

Someone once said “OBA is selfish”. That was in 2011. I rebuked him because I took the word “generosity” at the superficials, involving giving cars and cash to people. My understanding has since shifted to more deeper considerations, and OBA’s generosity is not found there. OBA launched out his governorship consultation after allegedly blackmailing Ibibio people whom he presumed could be Akpabio’s possible choice for the governorship, because he feels he should take the highest shot in Uyo senatorial district. OBA has since 2013 shown this tendency which a friend accused him of in 2011.

On Tuesday, 18 November 2013 during an Uyo senatorial district youth consultative assembly meeting at Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio auditorium, convened by Isantim Kenneth Okon, OBA supported zoning because perhaps he anticipated that the position of deputy governor would come to USD. He didn’t know that his friend Obong Paul Ekpo would negotiate it out for a second term as state chairman of the party.

At that meeting attended by more than 4000 youth, OBA spoke after his then local government chairman, Godwin Ekpo, now aspiring to represent Ibiono Ibom in the House of Assembly, was almost lynched. Bassey said, “…I will be seven years as commissioner for finance within a couple of months. It was not an Ibibio man that made me commissioner, it is an Annang man. The Ibibio people that were there were fighting me to ensure that I am removed”. Senator OBA has built his empires by the benevolence of his party, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the people of Uyo senatorial district, hence it will be selfish of him to use his empire to fight his people.

Honestly, I am concerned, it’s unfortunate that a negative public opinion is building around Senator Bassey Albert because his propaganda tact- particularly using the media to run down people who stand against him- is exposed day-by-day as they are launched. The latest is the “automatic ticket” saga.

Recently, a member of one of Bassey’s political support groups who is reportedly hunted by the senator over an indicting disk, claimed that OBA’s team were behind the pseudo political groups that published abusive advertorials against respected Akwa Ibom persons from Uyo senatorial district.

That was the second time OBA’s supporter alleged that the senator was privy to the Akwa Ibom Progressive Forum’s media attack on Prince Uwem Ita Etuk who said “Uyo federal constituency won’t negotiate Senate in 2019 with any other federal constituency”, and the Ibom Conscience Group’s media onslaught on Mr. Akan Okon.

This crude, overused strategy has lost steam. It’s a pity that it is the national chairman of his party that was hit this time around.

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