Obong Umana Okon Umana, the ebullient Managing Director of Nigerias Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), Onne, Rivers State has fired a warning shot to all the politicians angling for the 2019 governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State.
He may subtly have told them, using one of his political platforms, The Akwa Ibom Renaissance, that the race, for the partys guber ticket, may actually not be for the swift.
Additionally, Umana may also have used the Akwa Ibom Renaissance to inform his thousands of supporters across the state, that they should keep hope alive as he would one day declare for the most prized job in Akwa Ibom State.
Few days ago, the Akwa Ibom Renaissance, a group formed and funded by Obong Umana for his 2015 governorship project, fired a protest letter to the State Chairman of APC about alleged grand design by one of the partys governorship hopeful, Obong Nsima Ekere, to float a youth organization in the name of APC YOUTH CONGRESS.
The protest letter which has been given a very wide publicity in both on and offline media, accused Ekere, the Managing Director of Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of colluding with APC officials in the state to form the APC YOUTH CONGRESS, basically to endorse Ekeres 2019 governorship ambition.
The protest letter signed by Udeme Ekott, Esq., Chairman and Tony Bassey, Secretary for the group said it was wrong for Ekere to float such a group, a youth wing for the party, without the knowledge and approval of Senators Ita Enang, Nelson Effiong, Aloysius Etok, John Udoedehe, Umana Umana, Sam Ewang an Don Etiebet, all of them critical stakeholders of the party in the state.
The letter sated: Certainly, Freedom of Association is a fundamental right, our grouse however is that using the name, APC YOUTH CONGRESS, gives an air of legitimacy and party support to a personal endeavour hence could give a particular aspirant an edge over others in the build up to 2019, especially as 95% of the names bandied about to constitute the association are POST-NDDC RETURNEES and not reflective of the die-heard APC YOUTHS that sacrificed tremendously and stood firm for the APC thus far, – the likes of A. B. Udofia, EMMAN SAM, DESTINY YOUNG, CALVIN JOE, RACHAEL, JOE PASTOR, SPINNER, EKPEDEME UKO, EFFEH EBONG, UYIO IBIBIO, TONY BASSEY, BARR. UWEM UMO, JOE VAL, ESSIEN INYANG, THOMAS THOMAS, UDUAK IKPATT, EDIDIONG UDOBIA, and the entire RENAISSANCE FAMILY etc.
The letter further stated; We refuse to contemplate the insinuation that the State Exco of APC are working in sync with H. E. NSIMA EKERE and other anti-democratic forces to further such anomaly, whatever their motivation, but we wish to admonish very strongly that the party has a duty to discourage and distance themselves from all actions capable of undermining the integrity, internal cohesion, unity and distance themselves from all actions capable of undermining the integrity, internal cohesion, unity and confidence of party members in the APC, especially in these critical times.
The groups protest letter further added; Our candid advice is that in the formation of such an association, all major stakeholders to wit; SENATORS ITA ENANG, NESON EFFIONG, ALOYSIUS ETOK, J. J. UDOEDEHE, MR. UMANA UMANA, SAM EWANG, NSIMA EKERE, DON ETIEBET, BARR. ASUQUO OKPO, THE PARTY, APC STATE YOUTH LEADER, Akwa Ibom Renaissance etc should be consulted and inputs taken from them.
Meanwhile our investigations reveal that so many top members and leaders of the party in the state are not comfortable with the gubernatorial aspiration of Obong Nsima Ekere, and they may be plotting against his aspiration using their proxies to fight the NDDC helmsman.
For instance, the Chairman of The Akwa Ibom Renaissance, Barr. Udeme Ekott, who signed the letter, is allegedly an aide to Senator Ita Enang and there is no way he could have written and publicized the said protest letter against Nsima Ekere without the knowledge of his boss.
This has, according to our reporter, made some political pundits to draw the conclusion that Senator Ita Enang may likely pitch his support with Obong Umana Umana against Obong Nsima Ekere as the duo together with other guber aspirants slug it out for the parts 2019 governorship ticket.