With the ruling Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State set to conduct its primaries to select candidates for the Chairmanship positions in the Local Government Polls scheduled for Saturday, October 31, 2020.
The challenge before the Party at the Polls may not be the expected victory at the polls since the main opposition All Progressive Congress (APC) has opted out of the race, but the betrayals, intrigues and manipulations within the Party against the hopes of the people in the different areas.
The third tier of governance has always been the closest to the people and elections into Offices is family related at that level and is expected to generate concerted interests by all the persons.
With the stringent conditions of zoning approved by the Party to ensure equity and Justice in all the 31 Local Government areas of the State, the current squabbles internally rocking most of the Local Government Areas has given more concern on the betrayals and imposition which is also being resisted in some areas.
Despite several attempts on consensus arrangements for easy facilitation of the nomination process, most stakeholders and political leaders who have vested interests have suddenly become the albatross of confusion in the selection processes in most of the Local Government Areas in the State.
Most aspirants have vowed not to succumb to the personal and wishful selfish interests of some Elders within the Party and look forward to a fair contest this weekend at the Party Primary.
The Party Primary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party is scheduled to hold this weekend without any unforeseen circumstances to force a shift but the outcome will leave much to cherish.
As so much bitterness in some areas has passed under the bridge in the buildup against political leaders who have openly betrayed their followers thereby questioning their leadership capabilities to defend the interest of the people they lead.
The challenge of second term tickets has also been taken to the doorsteps of incumbent Council Chairmen seeking a second term as the resistance against their ambition has generated much controversies and mistrust.
Readers247 takes a look at the projections in most of the Local Government Areas.
In Etinan Local Government Area, the stakeholders including the statutory delegates have unanimously endorsed Hon. Cletus Ekpo the incumbent Council Chairman for a second term in Office.
The challenge before him at the forthcoming Local Government polls is minimal.
The immediate past state Chairman of the PDP, Obong Paul Ekpo is his elder brother, the member representing Etinan State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Aniefiok Dennis has endorsed him and just recently all serving Councilors in the area endorsed his second term bid. Hon. Cletus Ekpo is certain to fly the flag of the Party at the polls.
In Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, Hon. Eric Akpan from Asang Court Area is set to pick the nomination ticket of his Party this weekend. He is favoured by zoning. He is the incumbent Council Chairman.
Hon. Eric Akpan has performed excellently in the last three years in Office. Few weeks ago, he presented his scorecard to stakeholders at the residence of the Political Leader of the area, His Excellency, Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga where he was overwhelmingly commended for his brilliant strides in Office in almost three years.
His scorecard has touched on development strides in the health, infrastructure, human capacity, education, sports, political empowerment of his people and women development.
Also nine out of ten statutory delegates have endorsed him for a second term in Office; six out of ten political Ward Leaders have endorsed him while Journalists from Nsit Ibom Local Government Area led by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council commended his laudable strides in his first term in Office and re-assured him of their support for a second term.
He will pick the nomination ticket this weekend.
For the people of Nsit Atai Local Government Area, Hon. Emem Ibanga from Afaha Clan is strongly in the race and leads the pack of aspirants form the area.
Despite the challenges she has from Otuekong Raphael Bassey, a serving Commissioner in the State Executive Council and Rt. Hon. Mark Esset, the serving State House of Assembly member, she looks set to pull through the race for the nomination.
The uneasy calm in Urue Offong Oruko Local government Area has seen most stakeholders betray the people as the plot to impose a certain Mrs. Precious Selong has suffered a huge setback as she has been rejected by the people and other stakeholders who have insisted that they be allowed to choose their own candidate.
Majority of stakeholders and the people have settled for Mr. Chris Ante whom they believe in his sterling qualities to deliver on expected dividends.
The people of Uruan Local Government Area have dumped the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Henry Udofia who has jettisoned his second term bid. The political stakeholders led by the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly have settled for Surveyor.
Ini Ekpenyong as he emerged the best choice after an oral and written examination set for all the aspirants.
In Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area, the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Sylvester George is having sleepless nights as the stakeholders have found a new representative they believe will lead the area to greater heights for the next three years.
Stakeholders have settled for Mrs. Akon Michael Asuquo, a retired School Principal for the seat. It is certain she will pick the ticket.
She represents one of the slots per Federal Constituency in the State as facilitated by Her Excellency, Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Udom Emmanuel, wife of the Governor of Akwa Ibom State to give more women the platform for public service.
Hon. Sylvester George is still determined in contesting the race and has vowed not to step down.
In Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, Hon EkomAbasi Akpan the incumbent Council Chairman is in the race for seek a second term in Office. He has been consulting widely and has the support of most stakeholders.
In Ukanafun Local Government Area, a Journalist, Comrade Godwin Inyieng is the popular choice of the Party structure to win the nomination this weekend.
This is the home area of the State Chairman of the Party, hon. Udo Ekpenyong and he is widely accepted following commendations from his extensively consultations.
Few weeks ago, he was at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Akwa Ibom State Council were the Union assured him of their overwhelming support towards his victory. He is expected to fly the flag of the Party for the elections.
The people of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area cutting all strata of the Party political structure have unanimously endorsed Hon. Unyime Etim for a second term in Office. He will get the Party ticket unopposed.
In Essien Udim, Mr. Anthony Luke popularly known as Aluko is cruising to pick the Party ticket as stakeholders including the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Prince Ukpong Akpabio, political leader of the area; Chief Michael Afangideh and Sir Emem Akpabio have endorsed his bid.
This endorsement on Anthony Luke has dashed the hopes of the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Raphael Isobara who has been told to forget his ambition as his chances of scaling through at the Local Government polls stands slim.
Hon (Barr.) Etetim Onuk, the incumbent Council Chairman in Itu Local Government Area is making giant strides to seek his re-nomination. He has been consulting widely with various political groups who have commended his legacies in the last three years. He is likely favored.
For Hon. Ekanem Brown, the incumbent council Chairman of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, the moves by new political godfathers against his return is generating much tension in the area and he is not lying low in his bid to get a second term ticket.
He has performed creditably and has been gaining much ground towards realizing this ambition. Too close to call.
Hon. Iniobong Robson, the Executive Chairman of Esit Eket Local Government Area is set to return as his nomination ticket for a second term is a done deal. He is close to the seat of Government and presently is the State Chairman of Association of Local Government (ALGON). He is highly favoured.
For the people of Oruk Anam local Government Area had to contend with the raging controversy which has reared its ugly head with the ambition of Hon. Ubong Idiong for a second term in Office. He is the incumbent Council Chairman.
Unfortunately, he didn’t scale through the party screening exercise, by implication he’s chances at Local Government polls remains dim.
He is facing the biggest political battle of his life especially the resistance from his ‘’home front’’. Most stakeholders have told him to stand down his ambition. His nomination is too close to call except there is a consensus before the date for the Primary ahead of the Local Government polls.
Nsit Ubium Local Government Area has been in the news in recent weeks for the wrong reasons raging from controversies from the alteration of the zoning arrangement of the Party structure in the area. Stakeholders stirred the hornets’ nest by zoning the chairmanship seat to Nsit.
The issues raised have unsettled the political equation of the zoning arrangement of the area. It is not yet clear who will fly the Party’s flag at the local Government polls.
In Etim Ekpo Local Government Area, the choice of Mr. Ime Affia is the consensus of all the stakeholders in the area. It is the home front of the National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem.
In Ika Local government Area, the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Anthony Udousung will suffer a massive setback. He is not favoured by zoning. The plot against him continues to thicken daily over his selfish quest to seek a second term ticket.
There are four other aspirants in the race and they are favoured by zoning. The issues will be settled on the field obviously. No clear cut winner to emerge for now at the Local Government polls.
For the people of Eket Local Government Area, the choice of Mr. Akan Tommey popularly known as Alaba is scaling through successfully. He is the front runner in the race and has been widely accepted by stakeholders and stands a better chance if winning at the Local Government polls.
His nomination is certain to fly through successfully at the Local Government polls.
Abak Local Government Area is yet another hot zone. The opposition against the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Imoh Williams has been overwhelming.
Despite his purchase of the nomination form, stakeholders have resolved that he will not get the ticket. The choice is between Ekerete Inyang and Unwana Ibokette. The clearer consensus will emerge during the week before the primaries.
In Obot Akara Local Government Area, the women folk will enjoy a strong representation with the unanimous endorsement of Mrs. Agnes Enwemwem by stakeholders in the area including Hon. (Sir) Monday Ebong Uko, Commissioner for Youth and Sports and Senator Christopher Ekpenyong, Senator representing Akwa Ibom North west Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
For the people of Ini Local Government Area, the choice of who emerges as the next Council Chairman has been taken to God in prayers. The people of Ukwok Community have been betrayed by political stakeholders in the State Government.
Ukwok community is being hounded by some serving public officers from the area against the principles of zoning foistering the incumbent Council Chairman, Hon. Israel Idaisin against the people.
Tension is high in the area and there alleged insinuations that his certificate presented during the PDP screening exercise were falsified. He may not make it to the Local Government polls.
The primary for the conduct of the Peoples Democratic Party Primaries is scheduled for Saturday, August 22, 2020.