In a shocking move, the immediate past Member Representing Okobo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon. Efefiong Antigha has thrown his hat into the ring to contest the forthcoming Local Government Election in Akwa Ibom.
Antigha who held sway as the Chairman, House of Assembly Committee on Information during his time in the Assembly is said to be upbeat about his chances of winning the PDP ticket for the Okobo Chairmanship seat.
In a bid to actualize his ambition of being the next elected chairman of Okobo LGA, the former Assembly spokesperson is said to have allegedly sold of the SUV he got as an official car during his time in the legislature. This, according to close political allies is to fund his purchase of the PDP nomination form.
His ambition has drawn utter surprise, consternation and even scorn from political gladiators and stakeholders from within and outside Okobo LGA, with pundits being of the opinion that such ambition of contesting for chairmanship seat after being the state’s legislature is rare and degrading. The norm has always been for Council chairmen to seek for House of Assembly or Federal House of Representatives seat which is seen more as an elevation in political office/status.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Felicia Bassey and the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Governing Board, Barr. Ekpeyong Ntekim are allegedly in a fierce battle on who to produce the next Chairman of the LGA.
TheMail Newspaper learnt on good authority that Barr. Ntekim is favourably disposed to having Dr Sylvester Attah as the PDP ticket while the Deputy Speaker is pushing for the incumbent, Ubuo Ubuo. We learnt that in Ekeya Okobo which is the village where Ubuo hails from, at least three aspirants have indicated interest in contesting for the PDP ticket.
Okobo has a total of eight PDP aspirants who are said to have all purchased the party’s nomination form. The paper understands zoning does not favour Ubuo. This development is has been gathered has left the Deputy Speaker with a Hobson’s Choice but to throw her weight behind Barr. Ekpenyong Utong as her trump card.
Felicia is said to have co-opted the Immediate Past President General of Oro Union, Chief (Mrs) Janet Amba in order to actualize her bid. Amba’s role, according to credible sources, is to talk her husband, AIG Amba into adopting Felicia’s man, Barr. Utong and presenting him to the governor as his preferred candidate. If that plot scales through, the governor is expected to present Utong to Ntekim, with the former Attorney General expected to be told by the governor to take Utong and present him to party stakeholders as his (Ntekim’s) choice.
We learnt on good authority that in the politics of Okobo, the governor has soft spot for Ntekim while Felicia has the ears of the First Lady. But Ntekim is said to have more influential stakeholders on his side. Those who are in Ntekim’s camp are former Speaker of AKHA, Chief Peter Linus Umoh, Chief Jerry Okpo, George Henshaw who is the immediate past Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Technical Schools Board and Chairman of the PDP election coordinating Committee in Okobo. The PDP Chapter Chairman of Okobo is said to also belong to Ntekim’s camp.
According to stakeholders from the area who spoke to TheMail, Ntekim is favoured to produce the PDP Chairmanship candidate and in return, the Deputy Speaker has been asked to produce the Vice Chairman, Secretary of Council and Leader of the Legislature.
CRISIS ERUPTS IN NSIT UBIUM AS EFIONG BOB, ONOFIOK COLLABO TO SCHEME OUT INOYO; FORMER SPEAKER SPONSORS SAMLAW’S SON
Crisis has erupted in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area over the decision of stakeholders to zone the Chairmanship seat to Nsit. The Southern part of Ubium believe that it is their turn to produce the next chairman.
The incumbent House of Assembly Member from the area who is Senator Effiong Bob’s son, Barr. Otobong Bob is from the Northern Part of Ubium. According to those who attended the caucus meeting recently where a position was taken on zoning, the decision has brought about more crisis in the area.
Mr. Owoidighe Ibiok who is the candidate supported by Udom Inoyo is said to have had the overwhelming support of Ubium South stakeholders. The decision by Senator Bob and former Speaker, Onofiok Luke, Captain Iniobong Ekong a.k.a Ikwa Afang (in collaboration with other stakeholders) to zone the chairmanship seat to Nsit is seen as a hushed plot to start from the homefront to cripple and destabilize Udom Inoyo’s 2023 governorship ambition.
Both Onofiok and Bob are seen as frontliners in the governorship race. Inoyo had the upper hand during the PDP Ward and Chapter congresses. Hence, the decision by Onofiok and Bob to align and zone the chairmanship seat to Nsit is seen as a way of throwing “below the belt” punches at Inoyo.
Apart from getting a political victory over Inoyo, Bob is said to have eyes on his son’s second term bid. A stakeholder who spoke to TheMail on condition of anonymity on Monday, said that if Bob allows Ubium South to produce the Council Chairman, it would hamper the second term ambition of his son who is from Ubium North.
The party stakeholder said if Ubium South produces the next chairman in the forthcoming LG election, Nsit would lay claim to the House of Assembly seat in 2023.
The stakeholder however pointed out that if Ubium wants to have both Chairman and House of Assembly Member simultaneously between 2020 to 2023, they would be justified that the LG Chairmen who were on seat during Onofiok two terms in the AKHA were from Nsit. Onofiok Luke is equally from Nsit.
Meanwhile, Member Representing Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium in the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. (Barr) Onofiok Luke has reportedly sponsored the aspiration of Nsidibe Akpan for the PDP chairmanship ticket.
Nsidibe is the son of the owner of the popular old hotel in Uyo, SamLaw. Nsidibe is said to be an APC returnee. The fate of the incumbent Chairman, Udeme Sylvanus is not known as TheMail could not independently ascertain if he had purchased PDP nomination form before the final day for buying of the form.
ASPIRANT ACCUSED OF BEING IDONG ITUEN’S MAN ADOPTED BY AKAN OKON, SET TO FACE ITU INCUMBENT CHAIR
Engr. Chris Daniel has reportedly been adopted by Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr. Akan Okon as his preferred candidate for the PDP ticket.
TheMail learnt on good authority that Akan Okon adopted Chris last week during a meeting at his Ewet Housing residence.
Chris is said to be one of first set of politicians in ITU who started drumming support for Udom when he came on board in 2013 as SSG.
He is also reckoned as being strongly rooted in grassroots politics in the area. The current secretary of Council, Sammy Essien who was previously the choice of Akan and those in his camp was asked to step down for Daniel.
Chris Daniel was recently accused of being an ally of Idongesit Ituen. Ituen, the immediate Past House of Assembly Member from Itu had a running battle with Akan Okon before he defected to APC and eventually lost his re-election bid in 2019.
Incumbent member Representing ITU State Constituency in the AKHA, Hon. KufreAbasi Edidem and Member Representing Itu/Ibiono Ibom in the House of Reps, Rt. Hon. Henry Archibong who are said to have had upper hand in the composition of the Election Coordinating Committee for ITU are supporting the second term ambition of Barr. Etetim Onuk.
Akan has the support of his uncle, Anietie Okon who is the Political Leader of ITU, State Party Officer, Effiong Ebong, Chapter Chairman among others.
Akan Okon is said to be in control of delegates in about seven wards in ITU and if the Chairmanship race goes to the primary, his camp may have the upper hand.
ENO IBANGA IN DILEMMA OVER UBON, OBOT
The Commissioner for Works and Fire Service, Prof Eno Ibanga is said to be in a dilemma on who to support for the PDP ticket. The immediate Past Vice Chancellor of the Akwa Ibom State University is said to have preferred Rev. Obot Ekanem, a retired Registrar of the College of Education, Afaha Nsit.
But prof’s decision to support Ekanem who is well over 60 years was not well received by many politicians in Mkpat Enin. Apart from his age, the reverend gentleman is said to be an APC returnee who is not fit to be given the PDP mandate to fly the party’s flag for the forthcoming LG Chairmanship election.
Now, those in the know told TheMail last weekend that Prof is looking the way of a younger aspirant in the person of Ubon Stanislaus. Prof is said to have considered both of them as his two choices as he would be okay if any of them flies as the PDP candidate.
STAKEHOLDERS KICK OUT INCUMBENT CHAIRMAN FROM RACE AS UWEM ITA ETUK BOWS TO LINUS NKAN’S POLITICAL LEADERSHIP
Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area is among the Councils that may not witness the return of a serving Council Chairman.
This possibility came recently when PDP Chapter Executive members, stakeholders among political leaders in the area unanimously adopted a retired School Head Mistress, Mrs. Akon Michael as the next chairmanship flag bearer of the party.
It was gathered that the Asutan Clan stakeholders who first arrived at a decision to adopt her before presenting to stakeholders from Ibesikpo said she is the only exposed and educated party faithful in Ward 3 which the clan political bigwigs agreed to zone the Chairmanship position to.
It is reported that they have been embarrassed by the performance of the incumbent Chairman, Sylvester George whom they see as not being grounded educationally coupled with what is generally described as abysmal performance by him.
Credible report has it that the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Linus Nkan is Mrs Michael’s Political godfather as he has presented the Retired teacher to the Governor with corresponding blessings received from the State Helmsman.
At the meeting, the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Linus Nkan, lauded other leaders for their readiness to accept the aspirant.
He said Mrs Akon Michael, was adopted for the office of Chairman, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Council, “because the seasoned administrator has demonstrated depth, experience and deep understanding of the critical need of the Traditional Institution, elders, the youth and women in the area especially at this time and has the capacity to proffer clear solutions in that respect.”
In a surprising twist, the Political Leader of the Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area and Former Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uwem Ita Etuk is reported to have consented to the aspiration of Linus Nkan’s goddaughter, Mrs Akon Michael.
Linus Nkan has been seen in some quarters as the new political leader of Ibesikpo Asutan who would retire Uwem Ita Etuk in politics.
In the past, consensus have been difficult to reach in political issues involving the two clans. Political battles are always fought along political camps of Uwem Ita Etuk and Linus Nkan.
At the early stage, Uwem Ita Etuk is reported to have been against the plot of Linus Nkan to retain the Chairmanship position in Asutan Ward 3 with claims that the ward already boast of several political office holders.
With the recent consensus reached, political pundits assert that Uwem Ita Etuk has bowed to the political leadership of the Commissioner for Finance.
However, sources close to the former PDP Chairman have said that the only reason Uwem Ita Etuk has agreed to the choice of a candidate from Asutan Ward 3 is his recent resolve to allow Asutan Clan decide their fate since the Chairmanship position has been zoned exclusively to the Clan.
The source revealed that Prince Etuk is concerned over the fact that he is always accused of interfering in matters of Asutan Clan. The Source said the former PDP boss has decided to silently return to his clan in other to plan for who would be chosen as running mate to the Chairmanship aspirant.
Meanwhile Uwem Ita Etuk’s political godson and Member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt Hon Aniekan Uko who is reported to have sternly opposed the possibility of Chairmanship aspirant from Asutan Ward 3 has finally bowed to pressure.
It is reported that Uko at a stakeholders meeting in his ward on Saturday said he was also satisfied with the choice of Mrs. Michael.
He is quoted to have said “I join other eminent and revered political leaders in Ibesikpo Asutan to say that we need a peace-loving, capable, intelligent and Christ-centric leader like our dear Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to oversee our Council. The gender does not come in at all. After all, were all of us not created by the same God?”
In attendance during the meeting of the adoption of Mrs Michael were Prince Uwem Ita Etuk, Rt Hon Aniekan Uko, Mr. Nsikan Linus Nkan as well as two former parliamentarians; Hon Emmanuel Obot and Obong T. O. Akpan, among others political bigwigs in the area.