… Clear Air on why OBA’s Case of 2019 is not Unjust
By Ekemini Simon
Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency Youth Leaders Forum has said that the challenge of micro zoning in Uyo Senatorial District as it concerns 2023 gubernatorial election at some quarters is a public display of greed, perpetuation of injustice and move to plant a seed of discord and enmity in the State.
The youth leaders noted that since Etinan and Uyo Senatorial District has already produced a governor in Akpan Isemin and Obong Victor Attah, it would only be rational, just and fair for the Itu/ Ibiono Ibom federal constituency to produce a governor come 2023.
The Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency Youth Leaders Forum made this known, on Tuesday, during a press conference held at the NUJ Press Centre in Uyo.
Led by Hon. Bassey Bassey Etim, a former Leader of Itu Legislative Council and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Councilor’s Forum, Barr. Anietie Bassey, and Comrade George Akpan, the group stated that the Governor should have considered Micro-zoning and also consult with stakeholders across the State before coming up with his choice of successor.
They added ” “Zoning is stipulated in Section 7(3) of the PDP constitution and must be strictly adhered to, though many are saying that it is unconstitutional, we are bold to say that the jurisprudence behind federal character is derivable from the principle of zoning.
“The current Governor, like other governors, is a product of zoning. “Is he a product of micro zoning”?, you may ask. Yes he is, simple. And logically, when the Governorship position returns to Eket senatorial district, it would be unthinkable, injustice and rape on democracy to have another Onna indigene or even a son or daughter of that federal constituency take a shot without allowing the chance to members of other federal constituencies within that senatorial district”.
Offering insight into why the Itu/Ibiono Ibom federal constituency did push for zoning in 2019 when Senator Bassey Albert contested to represent the senatorial district after Itu/Ibiono Ibom federal constituency had served for two terms earlier, the group said ” That was an occasion where majority of the stakeholders because of the implications of the moment took a decision. The party was on a threshold when the senator representing Eket and Ikot Ekpene jumped ship to APC.
“The only Senator as of that time that remained in PDP was OBA. The governor used to call him the senator of Akwa Ibom. PDP stakeholders knew the necessity of sustaining that tempo for the majority of support he needed to ensure the election of that year scale through.
” They went and reached that agreement. I must say, he was a child of circumstance. So, it was the majority of stakeholders’ view that Ibiono Itu should return. Ibiono Itu did not force itself; it was an agreement that was most necessary to sustain the PDP.
They however admitted that it is within the right of Governor Udom Emmanuel to support whoever he chooses as his preferred successor, but stressed that he should not openly or secretly use threats of sanctions to force appointees and elected officers of government or use state resources and apparatus to further his succession agenda.
The youth leaders pointed out that if the practice is allowed to continue, it would not only signify imposition and consequently impact negatively on the governor’s image and throw the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) into confusion, but would bring the PDP to its end in the state, while giving other political parties opportunity to triumph.
They called on Governor Emmanuel to be democratic in his approach towards supporting his preferred candidate by separating and distinguishing his official position from his personal private capacity in influencing and imposing a person or aspirant on the state.
The youth leaders equally called on the state chairman of PDP to maintain a high level of neutrality in the forthcoming primaries, act and be seen and adjudged by his conducts as being fatherly to all shades of persons and aspirants devoid of biases of any kind.
They demanded that Governor Emmanuel allow Akwa Ibom people to choose who becomes the next governor.