The increasing support of Rt. Hon. (Barr) Usenobong Akpabio of Young Progressives Party (YPP) by the Akwa Ibom elites, which is gaining wide acceptance amongst the electorates of Uyo Senatorial District is a good development in the politics of Akwa Ibom State, even in Nigeria as a whole.
Almost all the Senators, who at one time oranother, represented Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo Senatorial District) prefer someone of the calibre of Rt. Hon. (Barr) Usenobong Akpabio.
A Senator (not OBA) recently analysed that of all those in Contest, that it is only Usenobong, the YPP Candidate, that is a lawyer. That it is common knowledge the Senate require someone with theoretical and practical background in law making.
In this case, Usenobong is a practising lawyer, he has sound practical experience in law making with verifiable skills in all facets of Legislative business.
Akwa Ibom Elites seem to have all agreed on the fact that Barrister Usenobong Akpabio performed credibly well when he represented Uruan State Constituency, with unmatched records of achievements.
Usenobong Akpabio’s impact in Uruan State Constituency include but not limited to Constituency projects such as: Construction of a classroom block at Afaha Ikot Uruan, Construction of classroom block at Eman Uruan, Construction of classroom block at Ibikpe Uruan, Construction of a civic centre at Mbiaya Uruan.
Others include Construction of classroom block at Ekpene Ukim, Construction of a Building to IITA complete cassava processing plant at Mbiaya Uruan. Surface dressing of 3km Mbiaya – Ita Uruan Road.
Even in the provision of water, he undertook mini water scheme at Nung Ikono Ufok Uruan, mini water scheme at Ita Uruan, mini water scheme at Ndon Ebom Uruan.
Usenobong did Electrification at Ikot Udo Uruan, even in Mbiakong Uruan.
He renovated market at Adiadia Uruan and renovated a modern market at Idu Uruan.
Usenobong sponsored several Bills, Motions and Resolutions, which includes the Local Goverment Administration Law 2010.
Not to mention the numerous empowerment programmes, by donating several sewing machines, motorcycles, cars, as well as sponsored Uruan indigenes to acquire skills in computer, etc. Even purchase of JAMB Forms for distribution to several indigenes of Uruan.
Beyond the preference by Akwa Ibom elites, youths, women, and majority of Uyo Senatorial District constituents prefer Usenobong Akpabio because of his antecedents, capacity, competence but most importantly, he is preferred because he would represent Uyo Senatorial District better than every other candidate in contest.
If anyone puts the curriculum vitae of the government candidate of PDP, who is currently Speaker of the State House of Assembly, with little or no achievements, I mean Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, side by side with that of Rt. Hon. (Barr) Usenobong Akpabio, the difference is clear.
It would be difficult, if not impossible for anyone to fail to choose Rt. Hon (Barr) Usenobong Akpabio over and over again against Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, whose curriculum vitae and performance record in lawmaking is nothing to compare with a firebrand in the person of Usenobong Akpabio.
If we take away any form of sentiments, there are candidates in this 2023 Elections, that should not even attempt to aspire. Rt Hon. Aniekan Bassey is one of such candidates.
Hence, the preference of Akwa Ibom elites, regarding the aspiration of Usenobong over every other candidates is highly commendable.
This has shown that political awareness, especially, in the area of competency of candidates is very high in Akwa Ibom State.
Even as campaigns are ongoing, the quality of campaign speeches, in terms of content, candidates composure, as well as coordination and presence are all pointers to the better candidates.
The campaigns speeches of Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey allegedly insinuates that one can go to the Senate and not be able to talk, yet bring employment or attract development to his District. And he then prefer to choose role model from a non-existent ‘non-speaking’ Senators class is embarrassingly low for a Senatorial Candidate.
I challenge the Peoples Democratic Party’s candidate vying for USD Senate to give example of any such Senator in the world, who does not speak at the Senate, yet attract benefits to his people. He should note that Uyo Senatorial District needs Speaking Senator, as we have always had in times past.
Electorates should, please, align with the entire Akwa Ibom elites in their preference for the YPP candidate for Uyo Senatorial District, and vote for Usenobong Akpabio. Vote YPP.
Akwa Ibom elites are proudly discussing the fact that it is not a political party that speaks at the Senate, but the Senate require competent individuals.
Akwa Ibom elites therefore are in full support for electorates to vote individuals and not vote based on party lines.
Hence, if a political party presents a less credible candidate, as what PDP did for Uyo Senatorial District, then it is left for the electorates in Uyo Senatorial District to arise and vote for a more credible candidate, who is the YPP candidate, Usenobong Akpabio.
The advantages of voting credible candidates are enormous to the growth of our democratic process. This action would reduce political party’s impunity and other anti-democratic practices.
No one man should impose candidates in a political party and gain from such shallow mentality in a democracy.
This action would teach political party leadership a lesson in the supremacy of the peoples wish and desire on who should represent them. After all, this is what democracy is about, and not imposition in a mock democracy manner.
It is admirable how most Akwa Ibom sons and daughters are speaking about choice of individuals and not political parties. It is admirable to hear knowledgeable members of different political parties choosing to vote candidates of parties other than their own.
No wonder the trend encourages members of PDP, APC, etc choosing to vote for Peter Obi of Labour Party as President, Usenobong Akpabio of YPP for Senate, Distinguished Senator Bassey Albert of YPP for Governor, etc.
These mixed choices by knowledgeable individuals are indicators of a ballot revolution in Akwa Ibom State, informed by electorates enlightenment on voting trend that would bring benefits to the people.
The new Electoral Act has made it easy for every vote to count.
Hence, most knowledgeable people, like Akwa Ibom elites, without sentiments, would vote for Usenobong Akpabio against Aniekan Bassey. Because the difference is clear.
Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, who allegedly claims he does not need to know how to speak for his people to be a Senator, would then realise that the people are so enlightened that having seen his low performance at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, and also observed that he has no skill in advocacy, have seen that he should not be the choice of Uyo Senatorial District.
God bless all the Akwa Ibom elites in Uyo Senatorial District for their preference for Usenobong Akpabio, even as they have determined to vote credible candidates only, across political party lines.
By Marvel Essien
Marvel Essien is a human resources and organisation development consultant, from Mbiaya Uruan.