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LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF PDP: THE CASE OF AKWA IBOM APC

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LIVING IN THE SHADOWS OF PDP: THE CASE OF AKWA IBOM APC

Many adults today will recall a movie in the early 90’s entitled ‘Snake in Monkey Shadow’, where the style of martial arts displayed therein, was a mixture of both reptile and mammal attributes, making it difficult to spot the difference in tactics. In our clime, contemporarily, the opposition party in the state, The All Progressives Congress(or Confidence) has made it increasingly difficult for on-lookers to decipher their true identity and ideology, away from lurking in the shadows of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.

Away from the movement of negative elements (most of whom were the major perpetrators of and beneficiaries from the impunity in the PDP of old) from our party to theirs, they have continually relied on the crumbs from our tables- this, history bears an eloquent testimony. In 2015, the gubernatorial candidate and his running mate, all three Senatorial candidates and numerous House of Representative and State Assembly candidates of the APC, were politicians who had commenced their ill-fated aspirations in our party and upon being unsuccessful, defected. So we can safely say that the APC picked their candidates from the crumbs of PDP’s table. The poser for them is: If you had credible aspirants in your party, why pick a benched player on loan as your star player? Of course, when the elections arrived, their candidates were a walkover. The APC in Akwa Ibom should therefore publicly thank our great party for being the chief supplier of her candidates.

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In 2014, we informed the entire country that the principle of zoning (which is enshrined in our party’s constitution) was going to be the major determinant for the emergence of our candidate for the office of the Governor of our state. We received scathing attacks from the APC, particularly stating that zoning was unconstitutional and undemocratic. We ignored their ranting and continued on our assured path to victory at the 2014 nominations and subsequently, the 2015 elections. In nominating our candidate, our delegates(both statutory and ad hoc), drew from our rich history where in 1999, when we zoned the Governorship to Uyo Senatorial district, an Architect, (Obong) Victor Attah( from Uyo federal constituency) emerged; in 2007 when we also zoned the office to Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, a Barrister, Chief Godswill Akpabio(from Ikot Ekpene Federal Constituency)was elected; so in 2015, when it was the turn of Eket Senatorial district, a top notch Banker, Mr Udom Emmanuel was the popular choice. Whereas, APC filed a challenger to Udom Emmanuel from Uyo Senatorial District, dramatically, immediately after the Supreme Court upheld the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel, the APC caucus met, shamelessly capitulated and purported to zone their Governorship candidature to Eket Senatorial District. Again, courtesy demands that they should have apologized to Akwa Ibom people for their previous misleading position and ultimately appreciated our party for always blazing the trail for good. These later day advocates of zoning owe us some accolades.

Recently, we learnt that the APC had rented for their use, our old secretariat, along Ikot Ekpene road and at the ‘commissioning’, they were rejoicing. They are reported to have said that, the house was symbolic and carried our good luck cum secret of electoral success. They quickly forgot the age long saying that, ‘where the Judge is, there his court is’. They should never forget that in life, it is usually more about the content than the container. So celebrating the acquisition of an abandoned property should not call for celebration, except for persons (failed politicians) who are satisfactorily confined to existing in the shadows of another’s success. It does not just make sense!

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While we are deeply concerned as to the amorphous identity and political ideology of the APC, which rather than being distinct, is crawling in our shadows, we advise that they emulate our party’s disposition towards quality infrastructure delivery, strong advocacy on burning state and national issues among other many positives. For example, it will be recalled that it was the strong advocacy from the PDP in the state, that demanded the appointment of an Akwa Ibom indigene as the NDDC MD, after the sack of the Bassey Dan Abia- led Board, while members of the opposition kept mum and enjoyed the crumbs that fell from the table of the Immediate past Acting MD, Mrs Ibim Semenitari.

As the 2019 general elections approach, we will love to hear the position of the APC, Akwa Ibom Chapter on the Herdsmen/Farmers crisis, Water Resources Bill and other burning national issues, not the colourless and timeworn blabs that have characterized their political communication since their inception.

Finally, like Francis of Assisi opined, “a single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows”, the sunbeam of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s divine mandate will not only drive away, but extinguish and exterminate every shadow of opposition in Akwa Ibom State.

Signed:

Comrade Ini Ememobong
State Publicity Secretary

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly

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Akwa Ibom Speaker says 7th Assembly will be People-centric Legislature

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey receiving a souvenir from Mr Courage Mbon

The speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Aniekan Bassey has pledged to run a people-centric 7th Assembly. Speaker Bassey made the promise when Ascend Communications, publishers of Assembly Watch paid him a courtesy visit.

Bassey said he intends to lead an assembly whose legislative engagements will revolve around the constituents, stating that such engagements will be the only way to ensure that the electorate are carried along in the process of legislation.

Speaker Aniekan Bassey said this will be achieved through town hall meetings to gather information on needs of the constituents, constituency briefings to intimate constituents on progress of legislative representation, as well as regular appraisals and briefings. Bassey said these engagements are imperative if the lacuna between the legislature and the electorate is to be bridged.

Speaking earlier, the MD, Ascend Communications, Mr Courage Mbon said the team was in the Assembly to intimate the speaker about “Assembly Watch”, an initiative of Ascend Communications, which aims at informing the general public about activities of legislators both in the State House Of Assembly and the National Assembly.

Mbon said Assembly Watch existed to bridge the communication gap between legislators and the general public; while also appraising performance of legislative representatives both in the state and Abuja.

High point of the visit was the presentation of a commemorative souvenir portrait to congratulate the speaker on his recent election as speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

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ETINAN LAWMAKER SPONSORS BILL TO CURB RAPE, OTHER VIOLENCE CRIMES IN AKWA IBOM STATE

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency

Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Akpan, member representing Etinan State Constituency today sponsored a bill to curb rape and other violence crime in Akwa Ibom State.

The Bill titled a Law to Eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to Provide Maximum Protection and Effective Remedies for Victims and Punishment of Offenders and for Related Matters will ensure stiffer punishment for persons convicted of rape and other violent crimes

Rt Hon. Dennis, in the lead debate,
condemned recent violent crimes in the State and said the Bill when passed into law, will protect women, children and other persons against abandonment, circumcision, domestic and economic abuses.

He said it will also curb forced financial dependence, sexual exploitation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse and said there must be penalties to discourage offenders from these acts.

The Member representing Ibesikpo Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko who is a co-sponsor of the Bill, said violent crimes were not only particular to women, maintaining the Bill when passed into law, will also protect the men from all forms of harassment.

Others who spoke in support of the Bill, including the Member representing Ika/Etim Ekpo State Constituency, Hon. Mfon Idung, that of Ini, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Abak State Constituency, Hon. Udeme Otong;
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Uduak Odudu and Member Ukanafun State Constituency, Dr. (Mrs) Charity Ido, lauded the lead sponsor, Rt. Hon. Aniefiok Dennis for bringing up the bill, saying it will further promote peace in the state.

Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey, Speaker AKHA

In his remarks, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey who lauded Members for their interests in the Bill, referred it to the House Committee on Woman Affairs, Social Welfare and Cooperative and directed the Committee to report back to the House within one month.

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Recall in the sixth assembly, Barr
Dennis facilitated a law which seeks to protect Akwa Ibom people from unlawful arrest and detention, the Law amongst other benefits places a ban on the arrest of persons in lieu of suspects, arrests in terms of civil matter and also seeks to eradicate the gender discrimination in bail issues. This was called CRIMINAL JUSTICE LAW.

Barr. Dennis also sponsored a bill which seeks to ensure prohibition of female circumcision or female genital mutilation which is commonly practised in some communities in the state and has lasting negative impacts in the lives of women called LAW THE VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION BILL.

…….Partial contributions from Press Unit, Office of the Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to i

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A’Ibom Assembly seeks State Govt’s Intervention on Calabar-Itu Federal Road

by Mfonobong Ukpong

Worried by the sufferings encountered by commuters, residents and other road users plying the now deplorable Calabar-Itu federal road, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has directed the state Ministry of Works to intervene on the failed portion of the Enen-Itam axis of the road, with a view of alleviating the plights of the road users and residents of the area.

The House gave the directive, Thursday at plenary sequel to a motion of urgent public importance raised by the Member representing ITU State Constituency, Hon. Kufre-Abasi Edidem who informed the House of the deplorable state of the Calabar-Itu road, particularly Enen-Itam axis of the road. He said members of his constituents and other road users were expressing difficulties plying the road, and pleaded that the state government be urged to undertake urgent intervention measures on the road in the interest of the people.

Reacting to the motion, lawmakers argued that the current situation of the road was affecting economic activities as the road connects Akwa Ibom with neighboring Cross River State. Members for Ibesikpo-Asutan State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Uko, Nsit-Ubium, Barr. Otobong Bob, Etim-Ekpo/Ika, Hon. Mfon Idung, Uyo, Hon. Anietie Eka, Hon, Abak, Udeme Otong, Ukanafun, Dr. Charity Ido and the Chief Whip, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong in their separate contributions sympathised with residents of the area and other road users who ply the road. They wondered why the federal government was still dragging it’s feet on the said road, years after it publicised that contract had been awarded for the construction of the road. The Assembly Members agreed that it has become expedient for the state government to intervene on the federal road, since majority of those who use the road are Akwa Ibom people.

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Uyo representative, Ekah said “It is disheartening that the federal government seems to be playing politics on the road. It’s high time we separate politics from human lives”.

Reacting, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey said though the Assembly was aware that the said road is a federal road, it was necessary that urgent intervention be undertaken to ameliorate the plights of the people. He ruled that the matter be referred to the State Ministry of Works for urgent intervention, and directed the Clerk to communicate the decision of the House to appropriate quarters for necessary action.

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