Wednesday, 19 November 2014

OBA- A true symbol of modern democracy

OBA- A true symbol of modern democracy


The true essence of Democracy is to ensure peace and development of a state. In a true democratic setting, the interest of the masses, sustainability and continued transformation are seen as major parameters for sustainability.

In the past couple of weeks, Akwa Ibom has been through troubled waters in terms of political development. One man that has ensured stability in the polity ahead of the 2015 race is “Obong Bassey Albert” also referred to as OBA by his admirers, friends and political associates.

In 1999, Akwa Ibom people witnessed the emergence of Obong Victor Attah as executive Governor, the Ibesikpo born politician ensured continued peace and development of the state. Attah as an Ibibio man from Uyo senatorial district and Uyo Federal Constituency made way for Chief Godswill Akpabio in 2007. Akpabio, an indigene of Essien Udim in Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency and Senatorial district has brought about massive development to the state in various dimensions.

Few months ago, the race for the 2015 Governorship of the state geared. Many aspirants emerged with majority from Eket Senatorial District and a few from Uyo Senatorial district. Obong Bassey Albert (OBA) threw his hat into the ring, not just as a candidate from Uyo Senatorial District, but as one representing the interest of Akwa Ibom people at large.

Obong Bassey Albert hails from Ibiono Ibom in Itu/ibiono Federal Constituency, a constituency that has never produced a Governor or a Deputy since the creation of Akwa Ibom state from the first republic to the present political dispensation.

Aside from the general interest and transformation of Akwa Ibom people, the people of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal constituency found it fit and necessary to send one of their illustrious sons to join the 2015 Governorship race with the sole aim of giving people from the constituency a sense of belonging in the comity of constituencies within and outside the state.

Obong Bassey Albert was called upon to embark on the journey by stakeholders of the constituency to steer the course of his people and ensure their effective political categorization. This was evident in the huge support he enjoyed when thousands of people turned up for his home coming on the 30th of August, 2014 in Itu/Ibiono Ibom LGA.

In a bid to clarify and notify the people of Akwa Ibom of his willingness to them in the next political dispensation, OBA openly consulted the 31 Local Government Areas in the state to familiarize with the people, negotiate with them and get updated with the challenges they face in their various capacities. This was a clear indication that he was open to run a people-oriented Government that would ensure the average Akwa Ibom person a proud place in the political, social, economical and developmental aspect of the economy.

After successfully consulting the people, Obong Bassey Albert was prepared and ready to lead. That was why he assembled a team of professionals across different fields to enable him identify key areas that needed urgent intervention in the state. This was a major part of his blueprint for the people of Akwa Ibom.
OBA enjoys massive support from Akwa Ibom elders, women and Youths and this in turn placed him as the leading candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom state for the upcoming Governorship race. It is beyond reasonable doubt that Obong Albert is loved by the poor, rich and the middle class. This is why he was inspired by the Almighty to name his campaign Organization as “Akwa Ubok Abasi 2015”.

The popularity and acceptance gained by Mr. Bassey Albert became a major talking point in markets, schools, business premises, churches and political gatherings. OBA is not only loved by Akwa Ibom people, but he is seen as the bridge between the Youths and Elders of the state.

Several meetings reportedly held to plead with him to drop his Governorship ambition proved abortive as he kept pressing hard and looking forward to a free, fair and transparent primaries that will accommodate all Akwa Ibomites irrespective of ethnic affiliation or senatorial district of origin.

On the 29th of October, 2014, the National working committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officially through a press statement zoned Governorship of the state to Eket Senatorial District. The NWC’s decision was taken alongside other resolutions reached for different states’ of the federation as a build up to transparent primaries in the next couple of weeks.

Why some quarters in the state demanded for an open contest for all aspirants across the three Senatorial District of the state, the NWC of the PDP found it necessary to ratify/ and implement the recommendations sent about a year by the State chapter of the party for Governorship of the state to be zone to Eket Senatorial District.

In the words of Obong Victor Attah during a reception organized on his behalf by Ibibio people on the 6th of September, 2014 at Asan Ibibio. It was mentioned by the former Governor that: “Zoning will play a key role in the 2015 race, but at a time like this other key issues will not be sacrificed on the altar of zoning alone”. These words were quite captivating and placed the issue of zoning of the state’s Governorship on a 50-50 scale.

These words kept some of the candidates from Uyo Senatorial District in the race, with a view that the party’s NWC will declare an open contest for all aspirants across the state. Obong Bassey Albert having observed the political schematics, continued his consultation with the people to seek their opinion and support ahead of the 2015 race.

The decision of the National Working Committee of the PDP to zone Governorship of the state to Eket Senatorial District was in line with the agitation of state party exco that having had Governorship of the state occupied by Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts in 1999 and 2007 respectively, it was necessary and important to zone the position to Eket  Senatorial District in 2015 to allow for equity, justice and fair play. 

This position was communicated by the publicity secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh on several broadcast mediums to the people of the state. This was the turning point of the political race for Governorship of the state in the next political dispensation.

Obong Bassey Albert as a true democrat and a loyal party man in the midst of options, decided to stick with the position of the NWC for growth of internal democracy in the state. This was a decision too many. The news led to series of protest by supporters and fans within and outside the state.

Many were of the opinion that Obong Bassey Albert should defect to a new political party to contest for Governorship of the state in 2015. This was quite tempting a near possibility given the political mix and integration expressed by stakeholders across the state in recent times.

As tempting and enticing as these offers were, OBA considered his stay with the PDP as key to the emergence of the New Akwa Ibom and projected return of President Jonathan as commander in chief of the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a second term in office.
His decision to adhere to the position of the NWC has come under intense criticism by many, but a friend asked this mind blowing question within the week: As an individual, what would you have done at the instance of the president of the Federal republic having a heart to heart talks with you to drop your ambition for peace and progress of the state and nation?”.

Mr. Albert’s decision to remain with the PDP is likened to a son who obeys the position of his father. Even as the bible clear states in Ephesians 6v1-3: “Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother, for this is the first commandment with a promise. That it may be well with you and you may leave long on earth”. OBA did exactly as directed by the scripture, holding onto the words of his political father, President Jonathan.

Having harkened to the scriptural passage and respecting voice of his father (President Goodluck Jonathan), OBA is destined for greatness and higher height. He is also guaranteed long life politically and spiritually. He is certainly a true symbol for modern Democracy in Nigeria.

Akwa Ibom people let us respect the position of the NWC and the commitment of Obong Bassey Albert towards the growth and development of our state and country at large. It’s also my prayer that zoning will be best applied in other key political offices within and outside the state to promote Internal Democracy within the polity.

God Bless Akwa Ibom!

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