Close political allies and aides of Senator Bassey Albert Akpan a.k.a OBA are warming up to replace Rt. Hon. (Barr) Ime Okon in the State House of Assembly come 2019.
Hon Okon, currently serving as Deputy Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Member Representing Ibiono Ibom State Constituency in the 6th Assembly is doing his second term in the house and is eyeing the Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal House of Representatives Seat currently occupied by Dr. Henry Archibong.
Ahead of the PDP primary holding later in the year, 3 of OBA’s close men have indicated keen interest to replace Barr Okon.
They are Mr. Moses Essien, Rt. Hon. Godwin Ekpo, and Mr. Idorenyin Umana. They are all favoured by zoning.
Umana is a close media consultant to Senator Albert. He has worked closely with the senator for several years. He was heavily involved in the 2014/15 governorship bid of his boss which later metamorphosed into senatorial bid which he eventually won. He is a loyal but blunt ally of the senator. He is said to have declared his aspiration to some friends at his Shelter Afrique residence over the weekend
On the other hand, Moses Essien is one of the closest aides to have ever worked with the Senator. He was heavily empowered during OBA’s 6 year-stay as Commissioner for Finance in the Akpabio era, especially through InterMinisterial jobs. He has the ears of the man known as Enin Ibiono Ibom.
On paper, Godwin Ekpo is the most favoured amongst the trio. He served as Executive Chairman and Transition Chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area for several years. He is currently a member of the Board of Local Government Service Commission. He is also the leader of Forum of Past Elected Local Government Chairmen in the state. According to highly placed political sources in Ibiono Ibom who spoke to TheMail, Rt Hon. Ekpo has extracted serious commitment and support from OBA in his AKHA bid.
There are likely to be more entrants into the race but these are the early aspirants. It remains to be seen who will have the upper hand at the PDP primary later in the year.