Disturbed by what they described as ‘lopsided’ in the distribution of appointments into Governor Udom Emmanuel’s cabinet, People Democratic Party (PDP) stakeholders in Etim Ekpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have threatened to decamp to the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governor Emmanuel had dissolved the cabinet last month but in the reconstituted cabinet, the representative from Etim Ekpo, Emmanuel Enoidem was dropped without replacement, forcing PDP chieftains in the area to protest.
A protest statement signed by Comrade Inibehe John Ukpong, on behalf of other stakeholders, accused the Governor of bias in the distribution of political offices, warning that “if the anomy is not corrected, we will deliver Etim Ekpo Local Government to the APC”.
“With a population of about 300,000 people, Etim Ekpo is one of the strategic Local Government Areas in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District with 76 villages and 10 political Wards”, he noted
He recalled that since the return of democracy in 1999, the local government had never danced to the tune of opposition, but warned that the current development could warrant a romance with the APC, if completely left out in the political scheme of things in the State.
“In the 2015 governorship election, Akwa Ibom witnessed about the toughest and most turbulent electioneering campaigns in the current dispensation.
A lot of party chieftains defected, but in Etim Ekpo, youths, women and party stakeholders remained resolute for Governor Udom Emmanuel and PDP till the final victory at the Supreme Court”, he recalled.
“The recent list of Commissioners-designate sent to the House of Assembly for screening Etim Ekpo is conspicuously missing and there is widespread anxiety as to why such a strategic local government should be omitted. This has caused a grave imbalance in the sharing of political offices in Abak Federal Constituency comprising Etim Ekpo, Ika and Abak Councils because the two other Local Government Areas are well represented”
According to him, “this singular act would create serious political disharmony and disaffection that is likely going to mar the chances of Governor Emmanuel and the PDP when he seeks re-election in 2019”.