DAY EKET STAKEHOLDERS VISITED GOV EMMANUEL, SENATOR AKPABIO
By Essien Ndueso
The biblical aphorism, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God,” was Friday brought to fore when stakeholders of Eket Senatorial district moved to show solidarity to their own, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr Udom Emmanuel, and to appreciate the senate minority leader, Senator Godwill Akpabio.
Coming under the aegis of Eket Senatorial District Leaders Forum, the group led by Chief Nduese Essien went out with olive branches to preach peace, love and unity across the entire state, as the necessary traits that can sustain the development of the state. It was a move that was considered important in the wake of the persistent media reports that there was a crack in the relationship between the Governor and his predecessor.
At the office of the Governor, they expressed delight with Mr Emmanuel for showing maturity and statesmanship and not allowing the misrepresentations on the media to push him to act in anger. They were of the opinion that the opposition elements have perfected plans to fuel an imaginary feud between him and the senate minority leader as a way to gain some of political power in the state, and thanked him for not dancing to the tunes of the evil drums. They passed a vote of confidence and restated their support to his administration, urging the entire state to remain supportive of the Governor till the end of his second term in 2023.
Responding the Governor thanked the Eket leaders for their show of love and sense of belonging they accorded him with the visit. The Governor wanted continued peace and love in the state, advising that it was unnecessary for people to start instigating crises in the name of politics. He called for caution and maturity from all, saying that the only message that was best for the state was that of unity, peace and love.
Later same day at the country home of the Senate Minority leader, the Eket senatorial district leaders told Senator Akpabio that they had been greatly worried and disturbed by the numerous negative comments on the social and print media in the state, which painted a picture of a misunderstanding between him and the governor of the state.
Chief Nduese Essien told him that at the meeting of the leaders in Eket, they were greatly disturbed by what looked like an unnecessary ethnic war orchestrated by fifth columnists to destroy the peace enjoyed in the state.
“We were very relieved when you issued a statement, announcing that the concocted media reports were mere misrepresentations and that you were unequivocal in your support to our son, the governor and that you will lead your people in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district to support his re-election in 2019.”
“Your Excellency, we recalled that on Sunday after our meeting in Eket, we put out a call to you and you informed me that you were already in Abuja. However the next thing we started seeing again on the social media on Monday was that you just held a meeting with Annang youths, urging them to withdraw their support for the governor,and so on.” Chief Essien said they never believed such reports because the former governor who was already in Abuja the previous day could not have been at his hometown at the same time for such a meeting, as was peddled in a section of the media. “We are totally against the supposed disunity fueled by the opposition elements of the state, who are desperate on setting the state on fire for the purpose of cashing in and ‘capturing’ the state.”
“I don’t know if they want to capture our state, and chase us out so that the can use the land for their cattles, or whatever purpose. But we cannot fold our hands and allow them to succeed. That is why we are appealing to everyone in the state to remain in peace and show remain in support of our son, Mr Udom Emmanuel and by extension, Eket senatorial District” Nduese Essien said.
The senatorial district, Chief Essien re-iterated, remained appreciative to Senator Godswill Akpabio for his role in the emergence of Governor Udom Emmanuel and maintained that they will always work to harmonise the relationship between all the ethnic and geo-political blocs in the state.
On his part, Senator Akpabio was quick to point out that the media has a way of twisting and misrepresenting people’s opinion in order to create disorder. He said it was entirely untrue that he could have contemplated destroying a house he contributed immensely in building.
He commended the Eket Stakeholders for their show of love and urged stakeholders in the state to always take out time to verify issues before reacting.
What I said was more of an advice through our son, who is the deputy governor, on how to strengthen our people’s confidence to make the governor’s re-election to be much easier.”
Akpabio said he had seen no need to go with his people to the governor with the concerns raised by the youths and stakeholders in his zone about pace of work on the Uyo to Ikot Ekpene road, the completion of the hotel and lasting peace in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo, since they had a deputy governor who could easily pass their message. Senator Akpabio was of the belief that the meeting he and his district leaders had with the Governor on January 4, ought to have convinced everyone that their support for Governor Emmanuel was intact.
Akpabio recounted how misrepresentations by the media had previously misled him to break up with his close friends and associates and vowed never to be moved by such antics again. He said he has no regrets for supporting the emergence of Governor Emmanuel and promised to work for the success of his re-election in 2019. He urged the entire state to continue supporting the Governor who he maintained was performing well.
“The other day, I was driving to Ibeno and I saw the road which the Governor built and I also saw other projects he is executing, and I commended him. But the media refused to report it. When the Governor’s effort led to the killing of the notorious criminal ‘Iso Akpafid’ that was said to be behind the insecurity in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo, I was very happy and I also commended him, because I was not happy with the several reports of innocent lives he wasted.” He said most journalists only wait for comments you make which they will twist and accentuate to cause crises.
Making inference from the adage that no one can claim to love a child more than his parents, Senator Akpabio said he was surprised that people who never supported the aspiration of Governor Emmanuel, where the ones flooding the media with comments that tend to heat up the polity, under the pretense of loving the Governor. He wondered why people thought their relationship was not smooth, when the Governor calls him most time to intimate him on some of his plans for the state. He said he was in support of the reshuffling in the executive as it affords the governor opportunity to get the best hands in the best positions to actualize his vision for the state.
He said his representation in the Senate was not just for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, but for the entire state, maintaining that very soon he will invite the stakeholders from Eket to accompany him to commission some of his own constituency projects in Eket, Onna, Oron and other parts of the state.
With the assurances from Senator Akpabio, who was flanked by a cross section of political stakeholders from the zone led by Chief Michael Afangide, the stakeholders from Eket went home that night with their heads high, knowing that nothing short of peace and harmony can enable progress in the state.