Following the release of the time table last week by the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) for the conduct of the Local Government elections, the tempo of political activities in the State has heightened within the period, as a result of this, Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen have been battling to clinch second term seat.
The Local Government elections according to the AKISIEC will hold on Saturday, October 31,2020 across all the 31 Local Government Areas in the State.
The State Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has consistently stated that zoning will be a major factor in the choice of candidates for the polls in order to ensure equity and fairness in the political equation of the various areas.
The zoning factor was further reemphasized last week by the Special Adviser to the Governor, Bureau of Political and Legislative Affairs, Pastor Sunny Ibuout. He reiterated that zoning will be a major determinant for Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen and councillors alike.
Last week, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State and main opposition Party, All Progressive Congress released guidelines for intending Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen and Councillors aspirants respectively.
PDP and APC Begin Sales of Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen and councillors Forms, See Price Difference
The Peoples Democratic Party pegged the sales of forms for Chairmanship position to close to N3million while aspirants for Councilors will cost almost N700,000.
The All Progressive Congress in the State fixed the cost of Chairmanship position for N150,000 while aspirants for Councilors will sell for N100,000.
The Peoples Democratic Party late last week suspended the sales of forms. No reasons were given despite the process which had started with some aspirants purchasing the forms.
Interestingly, the party has re-commenced sales of forms: details can be found here
Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen and Councillors Aspirants to Commence Campaigns August 2, 2020
Also, August 2, 2020 will see the commencement of electioneering campaigns by political Parties as required by Section 99(1) as Ammended in the Electoral Act which provides 90days before polling day.
The purchase of nomination forms is from August 18-21, 2020 while the date of the close of nomination forms is Friday, November 11, 2020.
The last day for campaigns is Thursday, October 29,2020 as required by Section 99 (I) as Amended prohibits advertisement or broadcast of campaigns 24hours to the day-of the election.
A runoff election is fixed for Saturday, November 7, 2020 in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
The State Electoral body on Sunday issued a press release increasing the number of Wards in the State to 368.
The Commission in the release also extended the conduct of primaries for Political Parties to August 26, 2020.
So far, with heightened interest of Incumbent Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen, Readers247 can authoritatively reveal that not less than twenty Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen have thrown their hats into the ring to seek re-election.
Our Editorial team undertakes a special report into the various Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen who are seeking a second term in Office.
ABAK: Hon. Imoh Williams , the incumbent Council Chairman is from Afaha Obong Clan. He is desperately seeking a second term in Office despite the rising opposition against his bid.
His tenure has been filled with Controversies. Recently, stakeholders have publicly stated that the seat be zoned to Midim Clan. His second term bid is dicey.
NSIT IBOM: Hon. Eric Akpan is From Afia Nsit, Asang Court Area which is favoured by zoning. He is on a steady path towards winning a second term ticket. Nsit Ibom Local Government Area has two Court Areas, Asang and Mbiaso.
NSIT UBIUM: Hon. Usenobong Sylvanus is the incumbent Council Chairman. He is from Nsit Area. He is seeking a second term thought Ndiya Area had laid a glaring case of its turn to ensure equity and fairness. The race looks challenging for him.
NSIT ATAI: Hon .Emem Ibanga is one of two female Council Chairmen in Akwa Ibom State. She is seeking a second term and from Afaha Clan. She has performed creditably well.
IBESIKPO ASUTAN: Hon. Sylvester George is the Chairman, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area. He is seeking a second term in Office. The zoning arrangement at present favours his area, Asutan Clan. He has been average in performance.
MKPAT ENIN: Hon. Ekanem Brown is the incumbent Council Chairman. He is from Ukpumminya Clan. There are four clans in the area. He has been rated as a visionary leader with strong content. Has bright chances to pick the ticket.
ITU: Hon. (Barr.) Etetim Onuk is a lawyer by profession and the incumbent Council Chairman. He is East Itam Northern bloc. Zoning has been a major factor in the area. He is seeking a second term ticket. A lot of aspirants have indicated interest.
ETINAN: Hon. Cletus Ekpo from Southern Etinan is the incumbent Council Chairman. His nomination will likely be a consensus arrangement. It is the home base of the outgoing State Party Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo. He is likely to re-emerge.
IKONO: Hon. Itoro Colomba is a Journalist and Politician. He is seeking a second term in Office. He has performed excellently in the discharge of his duties. He is from Ediene Itak Area. He has performed creditably. He is likely to win a nomination ticket.
ESIT EKET: Hon. Iniobong Robson, the incumbent Council Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government Area is a strong political force to reckon with. He hails from Zone A. He has performed excellently. A second term ticket is very certain.
INI: Hon. Israel Idiaisim, the incumbent Council Chairman has indicated his interest to seek re-election.
However, since his interest became public, the political peace in Ini Local Government Area has been on the edge of a gun powder.
Zoning clearly does not favour him. He has been running a lot of Political battles towards this cause in the last few months with rising opposition. The road looks certainly rough on his paths.
IKOT EKPENE: Hon. In-home Etim is seeking a second term in Office. He hails fro. Ikot Ekpene Urban. He is favoured by zoning. He has performed creditably. He has the backing of prominent stakeholders and the youths. Will likely win his renomination.
URUAN: Hon. Henry Udofia, the Executive Chairman of Uruan Local Government Area hails from Central Uruan. He is favoured by zoning to seek re-election. His agricultural revolution in Uruan has been massive in line with the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s Completion Agenda on Agriculture. He looks set to win the ticket for his renomination.
IKA: Hon. Anthony Udousung the incumbent Council Chairman is not having the best of times. He has been under recent barrage of political attacks for his insistence of seeking a second term in Office against the zoning arrangement.
He is from Odoro Clan while Ito Clan has sought for equity and fairness for the seat in the Council polls. There are about 11 aspirants from Ito Clan presently. Stakeholders have condemned his stance on seeking a second term. He is swimming against the tide of the wishes of the people of the area. He will likely not pick a second term ticket.
IBIONO IBOM: Hon. EkomAbasi Akpan is the incumbent Council Chairman of Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area. He is seeking a second term in Office.
ESSIEN UDIM: Hon. Raphael Isobara is seeking a second term in Office. However, the odds are clearly stacked against him to return as a more popular aspirant from the area looks likely to pick the ticket. It will be a rough race for him .
ORUK ANAM: Hon. Ubong Idiong wil certainly pick the ticket for a second term in Office. He has performed excellently. He is favoured by zoning.
For other incumbent Council Chairmen, the road ahead that may not have triggered their interest to seek re-election stems from outright zoning implications and other reasons.
Some Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen Will Not Recontest As Zoning Arrangement Does Not Favour Their Aspirations
Hon. Frank Archibong the incumbent Council Chairman of Eket Local Government Area has just been confirmed as a nominee of the State Executive Council. He is one of the Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen that would have had a smooth election at the polls.
Zoning is sacrosanct in Ukanafun and every politician in the area is conscious of it. Hon. Uko Idiong, who is from Ukanafun Zone, knows that it will be suicidal to go against the zoning arrangement in that local government area. It is the turn of Afaha to produce the next council chairman.Oron
Similarly, the Chairman of Oron Local Government, Hon. Anthony Etim knows that the zoning arrangement cannot be disrupted in his area.
He declared recently in an interview with the Coalition of Online Publishers Akwa Ibom, that he will reject a second term even if it is presented to him on a platter, because he would not want to disrupt the zoning arrangement in Oron Local Government Area.
According to Hon. Etim, who is from Zone B, it is the turn of Zone C to produce his successor in line with the zoning arrangement, which started with Zone A.
It would be recalled that Engr. Kpahabia Efretuei, who was elected the council chairman in 1999, was from Zone A.
He was succeeded by Hon. Oyong Asuquo, from Zone B, in 2004. In 2008, Hon. Victor Okon, from Zone C emerged the council chairman at the polls and was succeeded by Hon. Orman Esin, from Zone A in 2012.
The chairmanship race in Udung Uko Local Government Area is strictly for aspirants from Zone A. The chairman, Hon. Okon Oku, is from Zone B. But Zone A is further divided into two blocs, Osung and Ukukim. Ukukim has two wards, 1 and 2, while Osung has three wards; 3, 4 and 5.
Many politicians want the chairmanship position to go to ward 5 (Eyotai), in Osung political bloc, because it has not produced the council chairman since 1999.
They are also of the opinion that ward 4, has over the years had a fair share of political offices, while ward 5, waited patiently.
Uyo is another local government area with a strong zoning arrangement. It is not in doubt that it is the turn of Oku Clan to produce the next council chairman.
So, Hon. Imoh Okon knows that a second term is out of the way. His clan took the first shot in 1999 in the election of Arc. Essien Nkanga. Oku Clan produced Hon. Christopher Udofia in 2004 and he was succeeded by Hon. Christopher Nyong, of Offot Clan in 2008.
In practice, rotation of the chairmanship position is a settled issue in Obot Akara Local Government Area. The zoning arrangement has remained an essential ingredient that has sustained the three clans – Ikot Abia, Obot Akara and Nto Edino.
Nobody needs to be told that Nto Edino is the next clan on the line for the chairmanship position, which is currently occupied by Mr. Anietie Akpaettor of Obot Akara Clan.
This is another local government area with a sound zoning arrangement. It has been concluded that the next council chairman would come from Ikpa Nung Assang Ward 2.
The sitting council chairman, Hon. David David is from Ukpum Ete Clan, ward 2. By the zoning arrangement, political analysts submit that a second term for Hon. David could be difficult, if he decides to join the race.
Political stakeholders in Ibeno Local Government Area have resolved that the next council chairman should come from Upenekang, the acting chairman, Hon. Sunday Isokobo is from Mkpanak.
The zoning arrangement commenced in 1999 in the election of Elder NseAbasi Etteh, from Upenekang. Etteh was succeeded by Hon Okon Afaiko of Mkpanak, in 2004.
An appraisal of Akwa Ibom Council chairmen race from 1999, shows that the zoning principle has been sustained to a large extent in many local government areas, but not in isolation from other factors, which is the need to ensure that all sections of the society are accommodated at the sharing table.
Regardless, the benefits of this home-grown solution to our peculiar political problems are tremendous, overwhelming, and satisfying, although this isn’t going well with some Akwa Ibom Council Chairmen who would have loved to join the race.
It reduces to the minimum the intense elite struggle for power, which has characterised our political system over the years. It is most desirable, because it strengthens and deepens democracy.