Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in the state, the Senator Representing Uyo Senatorial District in National Assembly, Senator Bassey Albert Akpan has rejected the role of adviser in Maintain Peace Movement, TheMail Newspaper reports.
Bassey Albert popularly known as OBA rejected a planned announcement of his name as one of the advisers of MPM in Ibiono Ibom.
“Let me say here, do not announce me as adviser. If I am not in the inner circle, do not announce me as adviser”, OBA said while giving a speech during the inauguration of the Ibiono Ibom Chapter of the group in Okoita on Thursday.
OBA is the highest political office holder in Ibiono Ibom. By virtue of his office, his political loyalists had expected he should be the natural leader of the Ibiono Ibom chapter of the group. He was also neither included as secretary or member of the group. Sources inform TheMail Newspaper that he was included as one of the advisers. The adviser position in the group is largely seen as redundant and ceremonial. Sources in government told our reporter that big names in politics who could not be accommodated in the decision making cabal (made up of chairman, secretary and members) because their divergent political interest are usually relegated and “compensated” with the adviser role.
Most of the governorship aspirants who are not favoured by the governor are either included in the group as mere members or advisers in their LGAs. The only Governorship aspirant who has so far been made Chairman of the Coordinating committee in his LGA is Pastor Umo Eno. Umo Eno who is from Nsit Ubium is reportedly the governor’s preferred choice at the moment.
Speaking further, the two-term senator reiterated that for the sake of equity and justice, the governorship in 2023 should be micro-zoned to Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency.
“There is no body that loves the governor more than me. In 2014, I came out to run for the governorship seat of this state. And it was said for Justice and equity and for the sake of peace that I should step down. And I stepped down.
“By the special grace, in 2018 I was the only serving PDP senator in the state. I was the only senator standing in this state and I stood for justice and equity and peace because I insisted that the governor must do second term.
“I stand here to be quoted and God bears me witness that before President (Goodluck) Jonathan, I was asked to step down in 2014. That is when the Party (at the national) issued a statement. Enoidem is aware. Hammer (Enobong Uwah) is aware. I am happy that the governor has not spoken yet.
“I am speaking the mind of Ini Ememobong, I am speaking the mind of Akan Okon, I am speaking the mind of the chairman of Itu, I am speaking the mind of Dr. Henry Archibong, I am speaking the mind of Dr. (Iniobong) Essien that it is the turn of Itu/Ibiono Ibom to produce the next governor.
Collectively, we can all sit down here and see how we can achieve sustainable peace that is anchored by justice and equity. This was the message Barr Enoidem preached to me in 2014, this was the message Senator Akon Eyakenyi preached to me in 2014. Have we lost our voices?
“We should bury this sentiments of blackmailing and conspiracy for the sake of peace. The Governor is a man of God. As advisers to the governor as we all are (pointing to those on the head table), I have a direct link with the governor, I spoke with him yesterday, we must know that a time will come that we will be required to give account of our leadership. I share in the sentiments of this group (MPM), that is why I am here. But I have not been given (an MPM) cap. I knew I will not be given. I am happy that we all know that we are all praying to that same God and He will give justice because He is a God of justice. He will give justice to the people of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency”, Albert said.
Maintain Peace Movement formerly Peace Maintenance Movement is a political group sanctioned by Governor Emmanuel to form political structure for the purpose of producing a successor come 2023. The Governor at a recent meeting with all his appointees announced that he is the grand patron of the group.