WHY AKWA IBOM PDP SHOULD REWARD PARTY LOYALISTS
By Idorenyin Umana and Aniefiok Christopher
Loyalty is a rare virtue in Nigerian politics.
At present, some politicians have come to terms with the trend of hobnobbing from one political party to another, either to curry favour from their benefactors or simply, to actualize their political dreams. In most cases, these acts of criss-crossing from one party to another occur when those involved might have loosed their aspirations in the parties they are defecting from.
The big question here is; what becomes of those party loyalists who have chosen to stick to their guns with their party irrespective of their huge sacrifices in the cost of their aspirations? It is on these premise that I wish to draw the attention of the PDP family in Akwa Ibom State, in particular and the leader of the party, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, to see the need to recognize and reward loyal party men and women who have paid their dues in the field of politics. It is a fact that most aspirants across the state had caved in their aspirations for the interest of the party and the state at large.
It is equally important to note that most of such politicians may have had followers and dependents who may have played major roles to the success of the party in the state especially during the 2015 general elections. It would be rewarding for these party followers to see their leaders, benefactors or masters being compensated at the appropriate time rather than wait for a season when another election is at the corner.
At the risk of sounding partial, I wish to list out a few party loyalists across the three Senatorial Districts of the State who have paid their dues in the party and are in my opinion, are still to be rewarded.
Take the case of Mr. David Etuk, from Nsit Ibom Local Government Area for example. Etuk is a great mobilizer and broad minded politician who served in the last administration as Special Assistant to Ex-governor Gosdwill Akpabio on Project Monitoring. Mr. David Etuk later aspired to represent his people at the National Assembly but lost the bid to Hon. Samuel Ikon but still remain faithful to the PDP.
Next on my list is Hon. Okpolupm Ette who aspired for the plum job in the state but was defeated by the incumbent Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel. He is reputed to have coordinated a faction of the G-22 PDP Governorship Aspirants back to the system and has since then remained loyal to the PDP family and the incumbent Governor Deacon Udom Emmanuel.
The last but not the least is Hon. Nsikak Ekong former Lawmaker who contested for the House of Representatives but lost to Hon. Emmanuel Akpan, the incumbent Lawmaker for Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency. If I wish to go on, the list will be in exhaustive for those who staked their neck to ensure the success of the PDP in their respective areas.
A look at the last Local Government elections which took place on December 2nd 2017 revealed that most of politicians who hover around Barracks Road end are not grounded in their respective local government Areas which informed must of them conducting online voting with physical ballot materials ( You know what I mean ).
Having been involved in elections n politics since 1999 I am in a better position know when the narratives have changed. I want to advise my party the PDP not to base its dominance of the State on the last Local government elections because I went on private monitoring on the said date to so many LGAs and saw how the elections where conducted.
Some of the younger people who are not given bigger positions in this government showed capacity on the elections day by taking the voting materials to the polling units and their people who have had relationship with them voted the PDP and the party won.
Most of the Commissioners never reached their villages that day not to talk of polling units except very few like those from Ibiono Ibom who fought Senator Ita Enang to standstill because he has the goodwill of his people,( In Ibiono we were lucky because OBA was on ground,Bar Ime Okon ,Ini Ememobong, Aniefiok Wilson Iwaudofia and other appointees are rooted n they fought and won ), Itu who after voting hosted the villagers to a dinner party,Ikot Ekpene who worked SSA on SDGs to withstand the firepower of APC there ,Ibesikpo who showed capacity this is just to mention but a few. Our next edition will X-ray others.
As we work the tight rob to 2019 elections without INEC in our right pockets, Police in our left pockets, Army in our back pockets the only magic our party needs for the 2019 Olympics is the grassroots and this will function when popular candidates are allowed to win nomination at every available position to be contested for.
Zoning should be adhered to but streamlining where it’s advantageous will do us good .
Also Rewarding these party loyalists and their supporters by extension on time will go a long way to rejigging the strength of the party as they prepare for the 2019 general elections.