Ahead of the LG poll in Akwa Ibom State, Governor Udom Emmanuel has reportedly disqualified Johnnie Ndukeebong as the Chairmanship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Uyo Local Government Area.
TheMail learnt on good authority that the governor communicated the decision to political stakeholders of Uyo LGA on Wednesday.
As at the time of filing this report, TheMail could not independently confirm why Johnnie was disqualified.
TheMail could not ascertain if the issue of cultism or fetish oath has anything to do with the disqualification of the grey-haired former candidate. The governor has sounded out stern warning repeatedly to aspirants and stakeholders that he will disqualify anybody who gives or swears to fetish oath. He also said cultists or those found culpable of affiliating with it would be disqualified from the election.
“Akwa Ibom, please the era of Mbiam is gone. I stood here, I promised the stakeholders, once we hear even as a rumour (that you have made people to swear to fetish oath) we will disqualify you. It is governor’s election. You can take me to court that I have disqualified you because you swore an oath or gave someone oath to swear. Let’s take these things away, I don’t know what people benefit from it. Why should you give someone Mbiam, are you God? Mbiam over what? Loyalty? Even you, are you loyal? Even to your own maker, God Almighty. You give people Mbiam so that if he does not do want you want him to do, he dies. What will you gain from it? If you like go and swear Mbiam, if that person was not meant to be, he won’t be”, Governor Udom said during the swearing-in of 2 Chairmen of council, their deputies and chairmen/members of commissions/boards last week.
“We are going to make sure that if any cultist is nominated in tomorrow’s (Monday’s) PDP primaries, the party will disqualify such a person. It is better for one person to lose out, than for an entire Local Government to be deserted because of infiltration of cultists into power”, Governor Udom Emmanuel stated during a media chat on Sunday.
Ndukeebong had emerged as the consensus candidate of the PDP at the party’s primary held on Monday at Christ The King School (CKS), Wellington Bassey Way.
He was reportedly, initially presented to Uyo political stakeholders by Chairman of the PDP LG Election Coordinating Committee, Hon. Pat Ifon as the choice of the governor. During the meeting where Johnnie was presented, none of the political stakeholders spoke against his candidature because of he was said to have been chosen by the governor. The stakeholders, according to a source who attended the meeting, didn’t want to be seen as ‘fighting’ the governor by disagreeing with his choice.
However, as earlier reported last week on TheMail Newspaper, insiders allege that Nduke’s candidature was a product of a political scheming by Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Permanent Secretary of Akwa Ibom State Government House who hails from ONNA LGA.
“Don’t think people will stop using my name. It didn’t start today. People will keep using my name, so you must live with it. It started long ago where people used the name of the leader, saying ‘Governor sent me’. It is not the governor that sent him/her but you have to live with it. Everybody will use my name. There is one elder that sent me a text, saying he doesn’t like what is happening in his LGA, stating that he heard that they said it is me that directed it should be that way. I said to myself, if as at today, this elder does not know that it is not me, well there is something wrong because I was even waiting for them to bring out who is going to be the chairman but they were sending me text. What do you want me to respond to that kind of text? I will just leave it. How can I come to your ward to produce a councilor? What am I going to do with a councilor? Even my ward I don’t know who is going to be the next councilor. Everybody belongs to the governor”, the governor said during the swearing-in exercise of the two council chairmen.
Meanwhile, Dr. Uwemedimo Udo, a lecturer in the University of Uyo has reportedly emerged as the new candidate of the party in Uyo.
Udo, a guest analyst on Inspiration FM’s popular morning program, ‘Paper View’ is a member of Qua Iboe Church, Oku (Ikot Ekpene Road), the branch of the church which the state governor worships in.
He is from Oku, the clan most favoured to produce the next Chairman of Uyo. He is also said to be the cousin of the disqualified candidate.
Some political stakeholders in Uyo who spoke to TheMail on Wednesday night said the academic doctor is a perfect fit for the chairmanship seat of the state capital as he is cerebral, urbane, independent-minded, development-oriented and an advocate of a sane and egalitarian society.