Eket rejects David Lawrence, his protégé *Says we won’t negotiate 2019 Assembly seat with a failed lawmaker.
Stakeholders of Eket Local Government Area in the Peoples Democratic Party say the position of David Lawrence seeking a second term to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is not only laughable but quite insulting to OKON people.
To this end they informed THE INK reporters in Eket over the weekend that they will not and cannot support the second term ambition of Mr. David Lawrence.
In separate interactions, the likes of Sanko, ward Chairman of OKON urban ward one Mr. Augustine and Hon. Umoh, Councilor for OKON Urban one as well as some youth leaders of the party in OKON said, David Lawrence should not forget that he is only being tolerated and that at the appropriate time, he will be kicked out of Udo Udoma chambers of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
Others who spoke while exchanging views with newsmen on the state of politics in Eket Local Government Area described the Assemblyman as a politician that if given the opportunity would seek to perpetrate himself in power.
They argued that collectively, the people of Eket Local Government Area will chase out Mr. Lawrence for an OKON indigene to replace him especially as that region is to produce the next House of Assembly legislator for the next eight years.
Those who share in this school of thought are, Emem Nelson of central 5, Roseline Obong of central 2, and Mrs. Emem Okon-Okon Dev2 amongst others.
They informed THE INK reporter that David Lawrence cannot allow his greed, mischief and political selfishness to decide the future of Eket politics.
Stakeholders said, the determination of the Eket Assemblyman going by the words of David Lawrence against 2019 is even doubtful the clear intentions of the man.
They understand that the Eket Assembly man’s position ahead 2019 is selfish and against the laid down rules of political engagements in Eket State Constituency and maintained further that since zoning does not favour Mr. Lawrence, then the Eket Urban man should repackage himself and return home at the end of this legislative session as the people will not sit down to negotiate their political future with him.
“Zoning in Eket Local Government has always been sacrosanct and a rep in the maker of Mr. David Lawrence should not think of attempting a second term. He should understand that Eket people have tolerated his very poor and below par representation for so long a time. We cannot afford his further stay in that chamber.
He should quietly pack his bags and vamoose. He cannot perpetuate himself beyond his time limit and he cannot also nominate anyone to replace him.
Eket people will choose whom they want and definitely cannot come from the stock of David Lawrence who so far has carved a niche for himself as a very unproductive legislator”.
THE INK understands that David Lawrence took over from Ayang Akanimo Ayang in 2015 to complete the tenure of Eket Urban and had earlier promised to do one term since an attempt at second term will mean robbing OKON zone of their turn. Both Ayang who did one term at the House of Assembly and David Lawrence who is currently serving out his tenure hail from Eket Urban.
It could be recalled that more than a fortnight ago, David Lawrence was quoted to have said that he is interested in a second term to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly despite the existing zoning arrangement that recognizes OKON geopolitical zone as the region to reproduce the next legislator for Eket State Constituency by 2019.
And to justify his interest, Mr. Lawrence is quoted to have added that the process of zoning must be reconsidered to suit him and his wishes for 2019.
This decision by the lawmaker had seriously aroused curiosity from stakeholders of Eket especially of OKON region who had made it clear that either OKON produces the next legislator otherwise move enmasse to the opposition party to actualize their dreams.
Amongst early birds seeking the Assembly seat from OKON are; Emem Nkereuwem, Ekanem Willie, Dr. Nsidibe Akata and Aniekan Akpan of the APC.
In the coming days, THE INK gathered that more aspirants will indicate interests.
Meanwhile, in a related development, political watchers opine that all is not well in Eket politically as the zoning crises instigated by the insistence of David Lawrence to go for a second term eats the fabric of the unity of the council area deeper, causing tension and uncertainty in Okon-Eket geo-political zone.
The youths of Okon clan in Eket local government area on Saturday petitioned the Akwa Ibom State Governor, deacon Udom Emmanue to intervene in the ensuing crises caused by the member representing Eket in the State House of Assembly, Mr David Lawrence for scuttling the long existing zoning principle in Eket which by right has given their zone the opportunity to produce a State House member in 2019.
In a communique sign by over 50 youth leaders from across Okon clan and endorsed by Comrade Vincent Emmanuel, Okon youth President, the aggrieved youths said they were ready to die for their right.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel has at various fora explicitly and unequivocally emphasised the need to maintain and sustain the principle of zoning in order to stabilize the State polity”.
“But unfortunately, now that it is the turn for Okon zone to produce a House member in 2019, Mr David Lawrence is name dropping the State Governor as having exclusively anointed him as our representative for the State House of Assembly come 2019”, the communique read.
The youths said it was their firm belief that His Excellency the Governor of Akwa Ibom State is irrevocably committed to the maintenance and sustenance of the zoning principle in order to maintain equilibrium in the polity, adding that the State Chief executive can not have any anointed or favoured aspirant in Eket against his philosophy.
“The Okon zone does not and has never at any point in time deciding or agreed on any “exclusive” aspirant to represent the zone. We therefore urge the political leadership in Eket to respect and maintain the age long zoning principle for the sake of equity, justice and peace”, they said.
The youths said further that any attempt by some powerful politicians to scuttle the zoning arrangement will be met by stiff resistance possible with violence, if that is the only language that will bring about justice and peace.
They insisted that all other zones in Eket had taken their turn into the State House of Assembly and that should Okon be deprived of its chance in 2019, it will take the zone another 32 years to get justice, a situation they said can not be tolerated.
“As earlier stated, we hereby unanimously endorse out industrialization driven Governor, Udom Emmanuel for a second term in office, come 2019 as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State for his superlative performance but wish to appeal on him to call Mr David Lawrence to order now that is not raining”, they said.