By Asuquo Edem
“If Etinan was to get a third term, the council reasoned that a dangerous precedence would have been set in the political arrangement of the district as each of the other constituencies or local government areas……………. To realize the dream of having a representation from the area in the senate.”
Major General Edet Akpan (Rtd), chairman Uyo Senatorial District Elders Council, Nov. 2010.
True to the above quote from Major Edet Akpan, Uyo Senatorial District today is sitting on a time bomb waiting patiently to detonate. Major Akpan who was one among other numerous Elders and stakeholders while addressing a world press conference in Uyo in 2010 rose up to stamp their feet against a third term bid at the senate by Etinan Federal Constituency.
Senator Effiong Bob then was about completing his second term at the senate and began in earnest in nursing a third term ambition in defiance with the arrangement of two terms for each constituency that make up the district. The elders council which comprised of traditional rulers and political leaders from the district had noted clearly that any attempt by any of the aspirants (referring particularly to Effiong Bob) to exceed two terms would be setting a dangerous political precedence in the polity that would be difficult to sustain.
The elders had argued that considering that each of the nine local government areas (Uyo, Uruan, Nsit Atai, Nsit Ubium, Nsit Ibom, Ibiono Ibom, Ibesikpo Asutan, Itu and Etinan) that cut across the three constituencies had equal state and right to serve in that capacity, it would neither promote equity nor enthrone fairness among all stakeholders if Etinan was allowed another four years at the Senate.
It would also be recalled that Traditional rulers in the nine local government areas under the aegis of forum of paramount rulers in Uyo Senatorial District had also declared that as custodians of the peoples values, which abhor any act capable of infusing their oneness and brotherhood, two terms was more than enough for any Senator so as to preserve the spirit of unity, love, equity and justice among the people.
These were distinguished men and women, leaders and stakeholders from Uyo Senatorial District who acted then in the best interest of the district.
True to their agitation, Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency was given an opportunity to fly the Party’s (PDP) flag for senate in 2011 with Ita Enang as beneficiary. On completion of the Federal Constituency’s first term, another illustrious son still from Itu/Ibiono was called upon to complete the second term in the person of Obong Bassey Albert popularly called OBA in 2015.
However in a clear show of greed and in defiance to laid down agreement of the terms for eachfederal constituency, the incumbent senator OBA has again moved out seeking to give Itu/Ibeno a third term, same way Effiong Bob in 2010 tried but failed.
OBA in a very cunny way, hides behind the back of the fact that he has only attempted the Senate once and therefore should be allowed to go again as if representation was personal.
Political pondits have argued that since Ita Enang also from Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency same as OBA had flew the senate flag under the PDP, the Federal Constituency has therefore completed its two terms in OBA’s tenure and therefore it was the turn for Uyo senatorial district to take its turn. This is clear common sense as this is what would breed the much talked about justice, fairness and equity preached about on a daily basis.
Presently, Etinan Federal Constituency have sent signals to Uyo Federal Constituency that they would stop at nothing to take senate in 2026 should Uyo Federal Constituency give in to Itu/Ibeno Federal Constituency in 2019.
It is very pertinent to also note the disturbing stance of some leaders of Uyo Federal Constituency who instead of making frantic moves to claim what should belong to them have sold themselves out both for pecuniary benefits and personal interest.
The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel should make good his numerous claims of sticking to laid down zoning principles by noting that not one constituency holds claim to the senate seat.
Uyo Federal Constituency has men and women of impeccable character and capacity to steer the office of senate for the district. The time to act is surely now!