Monday, 15 January 2018

UDOM APPOINTS EKUWEM SSG

THE Akwa Ibom State Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel has approved the appointment of Mr. Emmanuel Ekuwem as the new SSG.

THIS appointment is contained in a release signed by the commissioner for Information and Strategy Mr. Charles Udoh.

The release appreciates the services of Etekamba Umoren to the State and welcomes Dr. Ekuwem on board.

The appointment takes immediate effect.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

YOU ARE A LIAR, Ibibio Elders tell Akpabio.

Elders of Ibibio nation under the ageis of Uyo Senatorial District Elders have taken former Governor Godswill Akpabio to the cleaners describing his sermon of All is not well in Ikot Ekpene senatorial District as a big lie and a cover up to the atrocities the ex Governor committed against Ibibio people while in government.

In a very long communique issued and signed by Idongesit Nkanga, Ekpe Atakpo, Nseabasi Akpan, Effiong Bob and many others, the group noted that the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel have been very fair to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District owing to the many infrastructural Renaissance witnessed in the area as well as the accompanying appointments of sons and daughters of the area into positions in the state Exco and beyond.

Ibibio elders however frowned at the question of how many percent of Akwa Ibom budget will accrue to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and warned Akpabio from making comments capable of creating ethnic crises in the state...

Below is the full version of the communique
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY UYO SENATORIAL DISTRICT LEADERS FORUM FOLLOWING A MEETING HELD IN UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE ON JANUARY 7, 2018.

Our attention has been drawn to a statement credited to the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio, in various national and state based newspapers and other media platforms, wherein he claimed among other things that Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is marginalized by His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel. Having objectively reviewed the social, economic and developmental realities in Akwa Ibom state before May 29, 2015 and the prevailing situation in the state occasioned by the performance of Governor Udom Emmanuel since his inauguration, we rise to declare that:

There is no truth in the allegations made by Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio: rightly, they are calculated statements of calumny, blackmail and arm-twisting. The claim by Senator Akpabio that projects he initiated in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District have been abandoned by Governor Udom Emmanuel is not thoughtful.

It heightens the growing public concern about his selflessness and offends the sensibilities of the people in other senatorial districts who live with the relics of various uncompleted yet continuing projects including, the Terminal Building at Ibom International Airport, Ibom Tropicana Hotel, Ibom Specialist Hospital, Eket-Etinan Road, ItakOkoita-Use Ikot Amama Road, etc, left by Senator Akpabio despite the favourable resources he received during the eight years he served as the Governor of the state.

Reality must admit that Senator Akpabio in the eight years as Governor of the state did not even complete and commission one kilometre of road in the core oil producing areas of the state where Governor Udom Emmanuel comes from. It is also pertinent to state that even the Four-Point Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene which was commissioned by the former governor cannot be called an abandoned project. His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has not abandoned any uncompleted project he inherited from Senator Akpabio’s regime; all such projects are being prudently funded and meticulously implemented as funds become available.

This is evidenced in the recent release of funds to Julius Berger for the ongoing construction of Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road project among others, despite the receding national economy and diminishing resources to the state. As a response to Senator Godswill Akpabio’s demands namely “…let us have something from the senatorial district to use in talking about election; to use in convincing the people to stand by us”, we make bold to state that in addition to ongoing genuine efforts to complete uncompleted projects and even execute new ones in line with his administration’s focus, Governor Udom Emmanuel has magnanimously given more quality and choice appointments to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District than any other senatorial district in the state.

These include; the Deputy Governor; Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice; Commissioner for Education; Commissioner for Women Affairs; Commissioner for Youths and Sports; Commissioner for Science and Technology; Commissioner for Rural Development; Commissioner for Labour, Manpower Development & Cooperatives; Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs; Senior Special Assistant (SSA), Bureau of Technical Services and Due Process; Chairman State Universal Basic Education Board; Chairman, Ibom Power Company; Chairmen and Members of other key boards and commissions; Senior Special Assistants on Inter-Ministerial Jobs in the state; Senior Special Assistant on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and a large retinue of prime Senior Special Assistants; Special Advisers, Personal Aides and recently, the National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) etc. Even the Ministry of Commerce and Investments which was occupied by our late Sister Prof. Eno Ikpe is now being supervised by a Commissioner from
Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.


We note that the poser by the immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom state and Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in quote: “in the 2018 budget, what is the percentage for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District?”, is, sadly, less than a sincere demand for the rights of the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District which have already been appropriately accommodated in the 2018 budget. It is more a part of the well-known behind –the-scene efforts to accomplish his ulterior motives.

For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state categorically that there is no misunderstanding or problem between Ibibio and their Annang brothers as Senator Godswill Akpabio is attempting to create. It is ironic and unfortunate that the same Senator Godswill Akpabio who is a beneficiary from the age-long unity and togetherness existing in the state that is now fanning the embers of discord and disunity to advance his selfish interests. In the interests of peace and unity For the avoidance of doubt, we hereby state categorically that there is no misunderstanding or problem between Ibibio and their Annang brothers as Senator Godswill Akpabio is attempting to create.

It is ironic and unfortunate that the same Senator Godswill Akpabio who is a beneficiary from the age-long unity and togetherness existing in the state that is now fanning the embers of discord and disunity to advance his selfish interests. In the interests of peace and unity, the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District should caution Senator Godswill Akpabio to desist from making unfounded utterances intended to create ethnic conflicts in Akwa Ibom State to serve his personal benefit. We encourage Senator Godswill Akpabio to respect conventions, values and principles that would sustain the prevailing peace in the state and allow the sleeping dog to lie.

Wisdom dictates that anyone who lives in a glass house should not throw stones. We debunk and disagree totally with the insinuation made by Senator Godswill Akpabio that “all is not well” and declare boldly that it is well with us. We are strongly persuaded that despite Senator Akpabio’s declared fears and, uncertainty in the “route” he will take in 2019, it is well, and shall, indeed, be well with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state and His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Finally, we hereby reiterate our loyalty, commitment and overwhelming support for the re-election of His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel as the Governor of Akwa Ibom state for a second term come 2019. It is mandatory and the resolve of Uyo Senatorial District Leaders Forum (USDLF) to strongly continue to support His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel to complete his two–term tenure so that the Governorship position returns to Uyo Senatorial District come 2023.

For and on behalf of Uyo Senatorial District Leaders Forum:

TENSION AS UDO EKPENYONG AMBUSHES AKPABIO.

The last may not have been heard of the fall of the former commissioner for LG and Chieftaincy Affairs as the Ukanafun born politician has restrategized to mount a high powered opposition against Senator Godswill Akpabio's reelection in 2019.

THE INK was informed that Udo Ekpenyong had held a kitchen meeting with some of his loyalists who feel betrayed by the unceremonious relief given to Ekpenyong by Gov. Udom Emmanuel on the orders of Godswill Akpabio.

To this end, THE INK was informed that Udo's men had maintained that Akpabio needs to be cut to size especially as he is gradually growing to become a monster of some sort in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

Few of those who attended the meeting cutting across the Ukanafun/ Oruk Anam federal constituency told THE INK last evening in a location in Uyo that opposition against Akpabio's return to the senate will be intense especially as the Ex Governor had openly fight Udo Ekpenyong embarrassingly out of office. Those who understand the politics of the area maintained that Udo Ekpenyong who was working assiduously for Udo Emmanuel felt betrayed and jilted that he could not be protected against the pawns of Akpabio.

But the former commissioner it was gathered had realized that his colleagues in the Exco had intervened on his behalf and that it was Senator Akpabio who opposed his return even after much begging.

Udo Ekpenyong had however consulted other major players of politics in his federal constituency and constitute a fraction that will frustrate Akpabio's return bid to the Senate.

Udo Ekpenyong's group understands that if they consult and retain the confidence of Ikono-Ini Federal constituency, it therefore means that the move against Akpabio will reach a lasting limit.

A former commissioner from Ukanafun said, even though Akpabio enjoys the popularity of the people, his actions in recent times has proven to the world that he needs yo be tamed otherwise he will constitute a nuisance to the society of politics in the senatorial District.

Amongst those Udo Ekpenyong expects to use towards prosecuting the operation stop Akpabio 2019 include; Anny Asikpo from Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area, Chief Saviour Udoh, Obong Christopher Ekpenyong, Mr. Jack a former transition Chairman in Ikono Local Government Area amongst others

UDOM'S EXCO SPLITS OVER NWOKO'S DEFENCE OF AKPABIO

THE INK newspapers can report on matters of fact that not less than ten members in the Akwa Ibom State Executive Council have expressed displeasure with their colleague Barr Uwemedimo Nwoko over his defence of Akpabio when he mentioned to the media that the senate minority leader was not properly briefed on the strides of Governor Udom Emmanuel in Ikot Ekpene senatorial District.

A commissioner from Uyo senatorial district view Nwoko's comment as unceremonious and highly clannish.

He maintained in a meeting to his kinsmen that the position made by Uwemedimo Nwoko is highly provocative and added that Nwoko would have done well by shutting up and allowing the matter to die a natural death.

The commissioner had submitted that Akpabio is not God and inasmuch as the former Governor was highly instrumental to the success of Governor Emmanuel at the polls that the ex Governor should not make unguarded utterances that are capable of throwing the state into a line of chaos and ethnicity.

THE INK gathered from a very reliable source that some commissioners had maintained that Nwoko acted contrary to common sense and political protocols by taking over the duty of the Commissioner for information.

They however queried why Nwoko had not been speaking in defence of Government only to appear for a defence of Akpabio because of what they maintained as promoting ethnic interests.

THE INK gathered furthermore that Uwemedimo Nwoko's defence of Akpabio rather than ameliorating the problematic situation in the state as caused by Akpabio's all is not well swang song is exposing the tension and in fighting the State Exco have been known for overtime.

Another commissioner from Annang nation while pleading not to be named for fear of being given the Udo Ekpenyong treatment described Nwoko's defence as imbeccillic saying as Attorney General Uwemedimo Nwoko should have explored his knowledge towards ensuring that Udo Ekpenyong was nor relieved of his duties.

He maintained that where Nwoko failed to intervene, he lacks the morals to speak in defence of Akpabio whose action he described as clearly mischievous.

A ranking commissioner in the state Exco added his own that Akpabio feels because he was the forerunner for Udom to emerge as a Governor that he can talk and untalk Udom. According to him, Akpabio needs to be schooled on how not to be a predecessor.

The Dean of Commissioners Glory Edet could not speak on the temperament of his colleagues but her mien indicates that she has a herculean task to assuage frayed nerves even as staff of her ministry confided to THE INK reporters that the woman appear to have been under intense pressure reconciling her colleagues.

The commissioner for Information Charles Udoh refused further comments on the matter obviously an indication that he is not happy with political developments in the State Exco.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Akpabio/Udom face-off: Assam Assam blasts Akpabio

A former commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State Chief Assam Assam has fallen on former Governor Godswill Akpabio describing him as an ungrateful fellow who seeks to capitalize on fathom cases to score cheap political points.

Assam in a statement made available to newsmen and published virally online poured cold water on Akpabio's summation on Uyo Ikot Ekpene road saying if Akpabio was honest, that he would have completed the Ikot Ekpene Uyo road.

Assam maintained by inference that rather than cast aspersions on Udom that Akpabio should be grateful that the state Governor is the wedge between Akpabio and jail.

He promised that since Akpabio has opened up for war against Udom, that he should be ready to be exposed where his atrocities against Akwa Ibom People will be exposed.

None of Akpabio's aides were willing to comment of Assam Assam's expose. As at time this news was published. 

Assam press statement below 

AKWA IBOM: AN ERA OF POLITICAL SOPHISTRY  -Chief Assam E. Assam (SAN)


This is the wee morning of January 2018, and the political storm in Akwa Ibom State is already brewing. In this state, the electoral process is always rancorous but here the vista seems to be differently contrived. The new vista of which I speak is a threat by a Senator to truncate the second term ambition of a sitting Governor if he fails to address a ‘perception of the marginalization of his people.’! This Senator is a former Governor of the State who at one time was thought to be speaking for the whole state but now speaks for a section of it, and by himself deliberately abandons the platform of leading the State, which he had hitherto claimed. Chief Franklyn Isong in his very erudite contribution to the political development has dwelt extensively on this and so I decline any further adumbration.


 

The Vanguard Online, reported on the 1st of January 2018 as follows:


 

“AHEAD of the 2019 general elections in the country, former governor of Akwa Ibom State and a serving senator, Godswill Akpabio, has given conditions under which he will support incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term ambition. Speaking at the annual get-together organized by the deputy governor, Chief Moses Ekpo, to fete the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Akpabio insisted that he would only support the governor for a second term if perceived current marginalization of his senatorial district was addressed, warning that the era of ‘carry go’ politics was gone and charged the governor to brace up for the big task. ---- He lamented that some of the projects embarked upon by his (Akpabio’s) administration including the multi-million naira Four points by Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene and the dualized Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road, had been abandoned by governor Emmanuel, noting that the completion of the projects would form part of the recommendations for his re-election in 2019 ---- Akpabio asked and charged the governor to remove the wedge that stifles development in his zone or be prepared to face the consequences of such action in 2019.”


 

From the story, which has not been refuted, to my knowledge, the perception of marginalization stems from the non completion of the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road and the non utilization of the Hotel at Ikot Ekpene. Let me quickly say that non completion of projects in the first term of Governors in Akwa Ibom State has never been a condition precedent to re-election. If it were, the first victim could have been Godswill Akpabio himself. I will come to that anon. What is pertinent at this point is to go back memory lane, recalling those fantasy projects that Governor Akpabio would reel out at press conferences, birthday parties, wedding receptions, airport chance meetings  etc etc  as having been completed and commissioned by his administration and for which he was severally nominated for performance related awards. The endless list always had these projects he now claims are yet to be completed. This hotel, Akpabio commissioned on the 26th of May 2015 with so much fanfare, as ‘Four Points by Sheraton’, an international hotel brand with beds etal was uncompleted? Could ‘Four Points by Sheraton’ lend its name to this monumental fraud without any consequences? Now that this has been placed in the public domain by the distinguished senator himself, it may be worthwhile to seek the truth, using other avenues.


 

 The Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road, project, a 25 kilometer road awarded in February of 2012 to Julius Berger at an undisclosed cost, was to be completed within 12 months. The project was not part of the State’s appropriation for 2012. It was only after its award that as usual, a supplementary appropriation bill was sent to the House of Assembly. Which meant, other projects, as we shall soon see, in the approved budget for the financial year had to be ignored for the funding of this all important project. However, as usual, one lane of the dual carriage road was commissioned by the said senator, when he was in office as Governor. If this project was so dear to the Senator’s senatorial district, that he could hold the current administration responsible for not completing it, how come that for two and a half years after the award of the contract and the payment of huge sums normally attributable to JB contracts, the project was abandoned by Governor Akpabio himself? And if there is anything I can swear to is the fact that Akpabio had one of the most efficient Works Ministry; so what was the problem that needed to be fixed within 30 months of Akpabio’s administration which was left for the next administration, if the completion of the project was of such monumental value to him?

 


I know Akpabio well enough to say that if this project was important to his people, as he claims, he could have done everything within his executive powers to complete it, and it is on record that this is the ONLY uncompleted infrastructural works in the Senator’s district, taking into consideration the avalanche of multi-billion naira projects that the Senator, as Governor contrived for his district.

 


It is however instructive to note that the first and flagship project of Akpabio’s Administration was the TROPICANA PROJECT in Uyo, a complex that was to have a five star hotel, a shopping mall, a cinema complex, a conference centre for 5000 persons, a wet and dry park (said to be designed after a facility in Dubai) etc. In an extensively publicized contract signing agreement in July of 2007, the project which was to be completed in thirty months was at a cost of N33,000,000,000.00 (thirty three billion naira). Don’t forget this was in 2007 and as we speak I doubt if anyone knows the cost of this project.  At the same time, he awarded the contract for the design and construction of Abak-Ikot Ekpene and Afaha Obong –Etim Ekpo Roads in his aforesaid senatorial district. The wisdom of the road projects could not be questioned. They were roads which had become a nightmare and like a lot of roads in other senatorial districts were in great need of construction. The fact that the Governor started with his district drew no ire or condemnation from any body. It was a necessity. The said roads were completed within record time but the TROPICANA PROJECT in Uyo, outside the Governor’s community, was not completed within the 8 years of Akpabio’s administration nor has it been completed. Yet the Uyo people did not give the completion of the Tropicana as a condition precedent to his re-election.

 


In fact, to further rubbish the TROPICANA PROJECT, while the hotel in the project was nearing structural completion, Governor Akpabio abandoned it to build the hotel in Ikot Ekpene, two years to the end of his administration, in order that his community would not be marginalized. At the end he left Akwa Ibom State without a functional hotel. Could it not have made sense to complete one before starting the other.

 


The distinguished Senator made no bones about the development of his community. I use community in a very limited sense, not in the wider perspective of the senatorial district, which he claims to speak for. The Senator’s district is divided into three contiguous areas. The old Abak Division, the Ibibio Local Government Areas of Ikono and Ini and the old Ikot Ekpene which is his immediate constituency. Akpabio as governor built no road, bridge or notable infrastructural facility in Ikono and Ini the Ibibio Local Government areas of his senatorial district. NONE. All the projects in Abak were designed to channel development or traffic to Essien Udim and Ikot Ekpene, the immediate constituency of the Senator. Let me cite just a few.

 


The Uyo-Abak dualized road with a two hundred meter bridge emptying into a single carriage Abak-Ekparakwa road was designed to ensure that the Prisons in Abak was relocated to Essien Udim as a part of the prisons relocation exercise of the Akpabio Administration. The dualized Abak – Ikot Ekpene Road complete with street lights and drainage; the Afaha-Obong Etiim Ekpo Road which links the Etim Ekpo-Ika Road to Ukana East in Essien Udim Local Government Area the immediate ward of the distinguished senator; the Ikot Ekpene prisons relocation exercise on the pretext that it was within the immediate precincts of the city centre. While this argument may be correct, the senator, while Governor completely forgot or did not know that outside Ikot Ekpene and Abak Prisons, Eket prisons, which was the first in the state was within the immediate precincts of the city centre too but it behoved the Governor to construct an ultra-modern prison in his village. The Ikot Ekpene city centre is today a model in city reclamation programs in Nigeria. The entire roads in the town is asphalted with drains in the most qualitative way. Then the hotel, the first of its kind in the state though designed without an industrial kitchen and a conference centre and without the inputs of the brand whose imprimatur was used to commission it on the 26th of May 2015. Even the much vaunted fly-overs built in Uyo are all directed at traffic to Ikot Ekpene. The ever busy and traffic ridden Aka Road enjoys a remodeled roundabout and deserved no fly-over because it did not lead to Ikot Ekpene.  The Federal Government needed to cite a polytechnic in the State, HE took it to his village. To now accuse Udom Emmanuel of marginalization of his people makes the senator come across as a selfish, self conceited bigot. This a classic case of calling a dog a bad name to hang it.

 


When the Senator’s story broke, I was worried that maybe because Akpabio, during his administration did nothing of any substance in Eket Senatorial District, Udom Emmanuel may have decided to pay him by the same coins. I went with my friends from the district on a two day visit to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and this is what I found, by myself: the current government has completed a seven kilometer road with two bridges measuring about 50 meters in span from Nto Edino to the Abia State town of Ekwereazu. The administration has also completed a five kilometer road leading to the School of Arts and Science in Ikono, beautifully finished with drains and outfalls; and in Ini Local Government Area I saw a road project at Odoro Ikpe heading to Arochukwu, which was not motor able when I recently visited to commiserate with my friend who was bereaved. In the Ukanafun – Oruk Anam axis, I saw ongoing works on the 25 kilometer stretch road leading from Ikot Ekaide to Ikot Okoro and another project from Ikot Ibritam to wherever, I would not know. The Akwa Ibom State University Obio Akpa looks like Ikot Ekpene township – all the internal roads are asphalted. On the personnel in the State Executive Council, until now, the senator’s district has ten out of 20 members of the State Executive Council including Udo Ekpenyong, who the Governor recently sacked to please Akpabio. How do you spell MARGINALIZATION?

 


I hold the opinion that Senator Akpabio was not really intending to complain about uncompleted projects in Ikot Ekpene. He intended to send a message to Governor Udom Emmanuel that he has an alternative to him as the Gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party come 2019 elections. For me and a host of people who already know this for a fact he did not need to use tribal sentiments to buttress that point, though generally he has difficulty in thinking before speaking. In my earlier memorandum to the distinguished senator

 

 

I had assured him that no reasonable person would take his assurances of support for Udom as a statement from the scriptures because of his antecedents in such matters. He did not deny that assertion though I had a visitation which I could not fail to ascribe to that memorandum. One of his goons even pretended to insult me for calling his god by its name. But I still hold that view.

 


Why should my views on the matter change? No reason! Throughout Akpabio’s eight years in office no access road was constructed to any part of Eket Senatorial  District, where the entire revenue of the state comes from and someone is talking of marginalization! The Uyo-Uya Oron Road was abandoned; the Etinan-Eket Road was abandoned and as for Ikot Abasi Federal constituency, no effort was made to provide any infrastructure. Even the Eket to Ibeno road project, which was part paid for by ExxonMobil, was truncated by the Akpabio administration using all sorts of subterfuge until reason prevailed during this Government.

 


But to think that it is Akpabio who should threaten the Governor, publicly, is preposterous. According to the statement, there will be consequences if the Governor fails to abide his instructions! Hawk-wash. I am certain the senator did not mean that. I know that his supporters have always insisted that they will show Udom at the end when that time comes. But what has the young man really done to deserve the venom that is spewed to malign him on a daily basis. For me and those of us who are without the inner caucus of Government and have never been invited to the PDP’s caucus meetings even though eminently qualified, the opportunity to err views is said to be denied. But for Akpabio who sees the Governor at will, why the public vilification when you can discuss except the intention is to achieve an ignoble end.

 


The point is not lost on me, that all these may be because of the character, mien, carriage and natural attributes of Udom Emmanuel. I did warn him and even if he did not believe me then he does now, that Akpabio will try a last minute gambit on him. I also tried to persuade Akpabio not to be so completely predictable. But each day I find myself battling to resist the truth. But as the Efiks say “truth is like a goat-head; it cannot be lost in the soup pot and you cannot swallow it with your ball of foofoo’.

 


I think the main reason for the apparent disdain with which Akpabio treats Governor Emmanuel is because of all the Governors in Nigeria, Emmanuel is the only one who has not embarrassed his predecessor, particularly the self-styled godfathers. Governor Emmanuel has a permanent place in his public utterances for Senator Akpabio. He refers to him as his mentor. And he means it. He uses every opportunity to extol the virtues of his predecessor and squirms at criticisms of him. He struggles with excuses for him even in the face of very obvious gaffes. He does not leave anyone in doubt that he has a lot of respect for the Senator. What he has not done and will not do and perhaps that is what Senator Akpabio expects him to do, is to make a molten image of him to be worshipped as part of the State’s Calendar of events. But the Senator is not cut in that mold. He deploys any and every opportunity to let his audience know how he brought Udom and made him Governor and how Udom has not lived up to his bidding; putting it most urbanely.

 


A lot of people have spoken to me and feel angry that the Governor is exhibiting a great weakness in making himself Akpabio’s whipping object. They opine that what Akpabio, as Governor resisted most of all was control. They testify to the fact that Akpabio would not let his predecessor into the Government house and insulted and abused him whenever possible and generated enormous hate against Obong Attah. They feel that Governor Emmanuel must assert himself and paddle his boat. It is their opinion which I subscribe to, that remote control is good for electronics only. They believe that respect being reciprocal, and having not been reciprocated Governor Emmanuel has no business humiliating himself just to please a man who will never be pleased.

 


I know both gentlemen well. I am certain they too know each other well. They are in a position to evaluate each other’s strength and weaknesses. But to take an adult for granted is to take a risk. As adults in politics they can sort themselves out. My unsolicited advise to Udom is not to pretend to be me or somebody else. He has to continue to be himself, respectful, urbane, humble and focused. You know why Akpabio encouraged you above every one else to succeed him. It was because he believed you had integrity, and could enhance the development of the state based on the model he had set in the state. However, do not copy your predecessor’s model completely particularly the model which ensured that the development of the state should start from the home of the Governor and where possible other communities should be sacrificed for the sake of satisfying the Governor. Be generous in your disposition and accommodate those from without your family.

 


To Senator Akpabio, don’t forget the story of the frog and the snake, both of them are being advised by their mothers. Udom may not be that completely humble person you think he is and your insults could colour his attitude. You may be under estimating him. Do not forget the story of Nebuchadnezzar the King who played god. Your memory cannot fail you so fast that you cannot recall that you left office as governor with over N500 billion in debts and sundry financial commitments, N83 billion of which was due to Julius Berger, your choice contractor alone, in spite of the huge financial resources at the time. As you may recall, the situation was so bad that Julius Berger dared to lock up the Stadium for non payment of outstanding debts sequel to a crucial international football engagement. This is not to mention the cost of maintaining the stadium which you negotiated at the unbelievable sum of N600 million per annum for the same Julius Berger.

 


I will urge you not to exert too much pressure on your successor. The weight of the pressure may be too heavy and if he drops the pot it will break and spill its contents and that which you tried to hide may become public knowledge. As you well know, one man cannot be the sole custodian of the puerile game of blackmail. That others do not play it does not mean it is not available to them. The more you publicly malign him, the more people want to find out the history of your relationship and the revelation of what cover he has given you these past years become apparent. They even come to admire and respect him, leaving someone else the scoundrel.

 


I had in my earlier memorandum to you urged that you try not to be remembered as the father and mentor of political sophistry and double speak in Akwa Ibom State. You are still young. You can still change. But the first sign of change will be when you learn to think of what you want to say and its consequences before you speak. It is becoming a gaffe too many, dear Senator. In that same memorandum I told you that when you moved the motion for Udom Emmanuel’s second term in the PDP caucus meeting in Uyo, you intended to ensure that Udom was relaxed while you truncate his bid. You now deploy excuses to do so but have voiced no reason. Please do not be so predictable. Try and prove me wrong this time distinguished Senator.

 


 May the truth always prevail. Anwe Akpa Senyi!

 

 

Ambassador Assam E. Assam, SAN.

Abugh Ekid; Nkuku Idua; Adaha Ekid Afaha; Ada Idaha ke Efik Eburutu.

January 8, 2018.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

30 Days in Office: Uyo Council Boss presents scorecard


Coming thirty days, after being sworn-in by Governor Udom Emmanuel, the Chairman, Uyo Local Government Council, Elder Imoh Okon, has presented a scorecard of his achievements within the period, reiterating his determination to raising the bar in local government administration.

Interacting with news men in his Office, in Uyo, yesterday, Elder Okon hinted that he has heightened security within and outside the Council Secretariat, saying, the Secretariat had suffered incessant robbery attacks due to lack of internal security.

Within the period under review, he said he convened an emergency security meeting, where he reviewed all security situations within the Secretariat, stressing that some averaged security personnel have been replaced with vibrant ones, to meet up with security challenges within the Secretariat.

He said he had also met with the Police and other security agencies to partner with the council's internal security, to bar hoodlums from further breaking into the council premises.

On other gains of his thirty days stay in office, the Council Boss said he has fixed all conveniences within the Council Secretariat, stressing that none of the facilities were fully functional prior to his emergence as Chairman.

"Before I came into Office, none of the conveniences had water flowing, but as I speak, we have four functional conveniences in this secretariat, you can check for yourself", he said.

He also cited the provision of desktop computers within the Secretariat and grading of some roads in the area as other strides he has recorded within the period under review, stating that he has also motivated Council staff for greater productivity.

"In thirty days, we organised a Family Get-together for all Council staff. We hosted them, their children and even grandchildren because they all belong to us. The staff are happy, because on January 2nd, when I went round the offices around 3pm, I was shocked to see that all the workers were on seat", he added.

Other achievements he listed, include the recent burial of the Paramount Ruler of Uyo, Surveyor Edem Silas Akpan, signing and release of Certificates of Origin, stocktaking of public offices, and said efforts are underway, streamlining activities at the Akpan Andem Market.

He used the opportunity to announce the first Uyo Economic and Political Summit which he said is slated for January 18, 2018.

Fresh Trouble looms in Nsit Ubium ....as Victor Bob, Ekokoi Solomon, Don shade Cover dare Effiong Bob over 2019 House of Assembly seat

The decision by the Political Leader of Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, Senator Effiong Bob to back his son as the successor to Barr Onofiok Luke in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly come 2019 may have unsettled the political geometrics of the Local Government Area.

Two weeks ago, a section of Nsit Ubium politicians had gathered and declared total support for Barr Otobong Effiong Bob who is barely 24years old.

Those who understand the politics of this area maintained to THE INK reporter that the endorsement of the Junior Bob was masterminded by the father Senator Effiong Bob.

Although most other stakeholders from Ubium had exonerated the senior Bob from the endorsement, others have kicked saying that the senior Bob cannot impose his son on them.

Amongst those who are in direct opposition to Otobong Bob emerging the next House member for the area are Effiong Bob younger brother Victor who owns and operates a popular bar in Uyo, life power, Don Shade Cover and Ekokoi Solomon.

The trio who are the early contenders for Onofiok Luke's seat view Effiong Bob's son interest in the House of Assembly as a misplaced intention.

For Don Shade cover, whether Effiong Bob has brought out his son or not, he is interested in the race and as long as election will be free and fair, he is sure going to win.

Shade cover it could be recalled had eyed the position of the chairman of council but the zoning arrangement of the area that ceded the Chairmanship seat to Nsit axis of the area punctuated his efforts.

Those who are close to Don shade cover informed THE INK last night that the entrepreneur was however promised to be compensated by an election into the House of Assembly come 2019.

Senator Bob's younger brother Victor who was earlier promoted by the former Lawmaker has rejected the option of Otobong replacing him.

Those who are close to Victor Bob told THE INK that the younger brother to Bob is not happy with his Elder brother that he had to scheme him out after the family had agreed to him running for the office of member AKHA for Nsit Ubium State constituency.

Apart from the duo, a former aspirant to the seat of the Assembly from the area, a seasoned legal expert, Ekokoi Solomon is also very bitter with Bob that he wants to turn the LGA into his private property saying the people of Nsit Ubium will reject Otobong Effiong Bon for himself.

It could be recalled that in 2015 following a gang up against Onofiok Luke led by the Akpabio family, Ekokoi Solomon was tipped by government forces to replace Onofiok.

However, when the chips were down, Onofiok Luke brave all odds and conquered his political foes.

Sources say Effiong Bob was Onofiok's greatest asset at that time.

Whether Ekokoi was promised a seat in the Assembly by 2019/was as at Press time not clear to THE INK newsdesk but what we can confirm on grounds of authority is that Ekokoi feels this is the time for him to be compensated and supported to take over the position from Onofiok Luke.

While majority of Effiong Bob's supporters say on Otobong Effiong Bob they stand, others have continued secret meetings towards thwarting the efforts of Bob.

Meanwhile followers of Politics in Nsit Ubium are of the opinion that Otobong Effiong Bob will have his way especially as his father the ex senator remains one of the most reliable politician in Akwa Ibom State that Governor Udom Emmanuel and Obong Paul Ekpo do listen to.

Back home in Nsit Ubium, THE INK reporter was informed that when Nsit People presented the serving Chairman to Bob for endorsement, that Effiong Bob had willingly accepted saying that the Ubium people have accepted Nsit's nominee and that the people of Nsit extraction should also be ready to accept a nominee from Ubium when the extraction will be presenting her nominee to them for the position of the House of Assembly for the state constituency.

Sources added to THE INK reporter that this is perhaps why the rumpus in the area will not stop Effiong Bob's son from succeeding Onofiok Luke.

Our medium also understands that a lot of meetings have been ongoing in the area towards the 2019 seat for the state constituency and for now, head or tail, Otobong Effiong Bob, an overseas trained lawyer and son to Effiong Bob is in pole position to clinch the coveted seat.

THE INK understands that if an election is conducted today Effiong Bob and his son will encounter certain opposition but that they will triumph.

Certainly these are interesting times in Nsit Ubium and details of more plots shall be exposed as events unfold.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Orman Esin: I will step on toes to ensure God is glorified In the transport sector

The Commissioner for Transport and Mineral Resources, Mr. Orman Esin says he will continue to step on toes to ensure that the transport sector in the state remains the best in Nigeria and added that he is conscious of the fact that the presence of God must be felt in that ministry.

Orman Esin stated this when he led members of the ministry and transporters in the state to Qua Iboe Church, Oku for her new year thanksgiving and rededication of the transport sector ahead of the new year, 2018.

Esin while pouring encomiums on the State Governor Udom Emmanuel appreciated the leadership and members of the church and added that the church has over the years been a pillar of support and solicited for more.

He spoke briefly on the initial challenges he faced when he resumed office as a commissioner and added that God gave him the strength to overcome it.

The ex Oron council Chairman added also that he was ready to key into the blessings that will come from the church. He donated on behalf  of the ministry some sum of money to the church and promised to register the brand new bus that was donated to the church by the Akwa Ibom state Governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel last week.

He also promised to pay the taxes of all vehicles owned by the church.

The TOAN choir was on hand to also minister a song to the glory of God.

High point of the event was prayer offered by the Reverend Minister of Qua Iboe Church, Oku and also a donation of a drum set to the church by a transporter.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

EKET AKHA RACE: DR NSISIBE AKATA STANDS TALL

As the race to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly hots up, there are possible reasons that allude to the fact that a seasoned petroleum Geologist Dr. Nsidibe Akata will succeed Mr. David Lawrence.

In recent times a lot of major political players from Eket State Constituency have been meeting in Uyo and in Eket plotting strategies on how to ensure that Akata succeeds Lawrence.

These stakeholders believe that Akata holds the key to effective representation of the state constituency come 2019 and hence deserves  the support of all lovers of effective and quality representation.

In a meeting held in Eket recently, stakeholders outlined the importance of having a thorough breed professional to represent Eket people and maintained that it is on Nsidibe Akata they shall stand.

The likes of Ayang Ayang, Udo Isong, Prof Etie Ben amongst others are those pushing for Dr. Akata.

It could be recalled that the Petroleum Geologist was recently endorsed by his OKON royal fathers asking him to go and represent the people of Eket State Constituency.

In the coming days, it is expected that many more political and other groups will confirm their position on Dr. Akata.

When contacted, the media office of Dr. Nsidibe Akata said, the endorsement of Akata is a red pointer to the understanding of the people that the House of Assembly hopeful is a brand good for leadership.

The media office of the seasoned Geologist added that with Akata, Eket state constituency is assured of effective and quality representation at the Udo Udoma House of Assembly chambers from 2019

FRESH CULT CLASH CLAIMS ABOUT NINE LIVES IN IKOT EKPENE

Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is again in the news for the bad reasons.

This follows a renewed cult clash that has so far claimed not less than nine lives and more still to go.

THE INK gathered that this renewed cult clash began on the 31st of December, 2017.

Reasons for this clash could not be immediately ascertained.

But THE INK understands that it is a clash between the Debam group and vikings confraternity.

On January 1, 2018 A boy in his late twenties was served with terrible and so much matchete cuts while his attackers watched him bleed to dead along old ITU road close to a certain petrol station.

The victim was in his house obviously preparing for church when he was rounded up and consumed by his kinsmen because he does not belong to their cult group.

The reprisal attack have continued with members of both cult groups having a field day to create mayhem and holding the Local Government Area to ransom.

This crises began in a village called Uruk USO.

It could not be ascertained whether the spill over effects have accelerated to other communities in the area, but it could be recalled that clashes like this don't just stay in one location. It snowballs into the entire LGA and that is why the premier LGA has lost its innocency in the past one week

THE INK can report matters of fact that on the 3rd of January, 2018, the scoreline was brought to parity with both cult groups having killed 3 aside

As at late Saturday 6th January, 2018, it appears the Debam group had killed more people than their Vikings opponent leaving the later with fierce anger and thirst for more blood shed and revenge.

The council chairman Mr. Unyime Etim acknowledge that there is a clash in the area and maintained that the police are on top of the situation.

The council boss maintained that he is quite aware of the clash and that as the CEO and Chief Security Officer of the area. He has been getting brief on a daily basis and there is an indication that the police is getting to the root of the matter.

Mr. Etim however added that from what he has gathered, it looks obvious that politicians from the opposition party may be the ones sponsoring the clash.

He called on members of the opposition party to understand that the Local Government Election has since been won and lost and that governance has since begun.

The Police in Ikot Ekpene maintained to THE INK reporter that as soon as possible the cult clash will come to an end.

The Police said the culprits will be apprehended and brought to book at the appropriate time.

TENSION AS MACCAIRE JOINS 2019 RACE

The battle for Political offices in Akwa Ibom state has began to seriously gather momentum.

And Ikono Local Government Area is not left out with the MD/CEO of Maccaire Resort Obong Emmanuel Ukpong Udo leading the pack of the early birds.

THE INK reporter gathered from intelligent political sources that Maccaire had been weighing options and may likely opt for the House of Assembly seat in the coming elections.

THE INK understands that Maccaire's best bet is in the House of Assembly seat as the incumbent Victor Udofia is not seeking a third term and may not really be interested in who succeeds him.

Sources say Victor Udofia will be seeking a sojourn to the National Assembly.

This way Maccaire if he plays his card well will be the major beneficiary of that exit which the incumbent member will be creating.

It was gathered also that Maccaire will face a herculean task if he decides to go for the House of Representatives as the odds will not favour him since himself and Gloria Edet do not see eye balls to eyeballs. And again the incumbency powers of Iboro Ekanem will not give Maccaire a space to operate even as Victor Udofia's camp will move against the Ikono born philanthropist. Political analysts argue that Emmanuel Ukpong Udo is still inexperienced in politics as he has never contested any election before despite his financial investments in the politics of the area.

It was gathered by THE INK newsdesk that the only seeming challenge Ukpong Udo will have will come from a former transition Chairman of the area and SA to the PDP chairman known as Mbakara.

Sources say Maccaire is actually in a fix as the said Mbakara had earlier consulted and retained the blessings of the Intels man.

But since politics is never a story of morals, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong Udo has an option is jetissioning his blessings on Mbakara and move ahead to contest the election against his friend.

This political stakeholders of the area believe will throw both men into frenzy but they added also that the election if both men run into the ring will be interesting.

This is where Maccaire is said to be having an upper hand.

But the Ikono man needs to watch and look before he leaps as the PDP may look favourably disposed to handing their ticket to Mbakara because of the influence of Obong Paul Ekpo

Both considering the implications for the election, Maccaire's ambition as a legislator looks better with the House of Assembly contest, a PDP ward chairman told THE INK reporter in Uyo earlier today.

And added also that zoning in both the National Assembly and House of Assembly seat favours the Ikono philanthropist.

Federal Appointments tear Akwa Ibom APC apart *Udoedehe may turn down appointment

Federal Appointments tear Akwa Ibom APC apart
*Party Chairman Amadu Attai protest omission, blames UOU, ors
*Umana’s men dominate list
*Dora Ebong, Kufre Etuk, MacJoe angry over non inclusion
*Why Bishop Akpan was ignored
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR must have appointed about 27 children of Akwa Ibom State to Federal Boards, Commissions and parastatals but rather than those appointments generating love and affection in the Land of Promise, the reverse has been the case as most of the APC members in the state are at daggers drawn with some leaders accusing them of promoting and executing personal and parochial interests above national and collective interests.
Some members of the Party who feel short-changed in the new arrangement contested the nomination of those whom they described as old, tired and expired and wondered what those ones have to offer to the nation and Buhari’s administration.
They also sought to know the basis behind the nomination of certain persons by the Presidency.  Some of them who confided in our newsroom maintained that some people like Kufre Etuk, Amadu Attai, Michael James, Dora Ebong and few others all deserved to have been given such appointments but where it did not come, it means the change promised by the Party was fake. They also queried why, the junior Ikoiwak was.
One of them said, “look at the appointments my brother, it is rigged, it is skewed, it is crooked, it is barbaric.  Where is the position of the youths, what of the women?  Da, the matter is critical and it is beyond our understanding.  The list is highly dominated by Umana’s men.  And we are forced to ask; is it only Umana’s men that make APC?  These things make us worried my brother.  It is highly confusing and annoying that a party we worked for and believed squarely on would look the other way while old and expired men take over the positions available in the Presidency”.