Thursday, the 10th of May, 2018, the former chairman of Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress, international President of Ati Annang, member representing Oruk Anam State Constituency and leader of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sir Udo Kierian Akpan formally consulted the executive of the Oruk Anam chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) on his interest to re-contest for the position of the state house of Assembly in the fourth coming election.
The experienced lawmaker, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan was led by the Director General of his campaign Committee, Sir Sylvester. J. Ntefre, a pioneer chapter chairman of the PDP. The campaign team was received by the PDP chapter chairman of Oruk Anam and former caretaker chairman, Pastor Jacob King and all chapter executive members of the party. Speaking at the event, Pastor King extolled Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian as a strong pillar of support for the party and also sued for continuous peace, unity and peace in Oruk Anam. He prayed that God should sustain the leading aspirant with wisdom and understanding. He promised to keep his door opened to all aspirants. The chapter chairman of the party further reiterated that the Party has not made any new decision on zoning and that if need be and before that is done, necessary steps will be taken and all stakeholders consulted, in his words, ‘Oruk Anam has already has a zoning system, it has not changed. If there is need to change, it should be done properly’. He described Comrade Udo Kierian Akpan as a blessing to the party. He emphasized that the party is opened to advice and also thanked Oruk Anam people for always conducting themselves in order.
The seasoned legislator while making his declaration known to the party, enumerated several reasons on why he is presently the best for the job. According to Rt. Hon. Udo Kirian Akpan:
“I am here as one of the dedicated and committed member of the party. I’m here as one who united and strengthened the party alongside others when the going was tough and the big wigs were dumping the party. We have about four months to primaries, and as a man, when I see what favors me, I go for it. Mr. Chairman, I’ve seen what favors me and have come to tell you I’m interested.
‘’Why do say I’m favored? I am favored first, because am the incumbent and I am not doing badly. Again, constitutionally and academically, I am qualified. In terms of experience, chairman, I am the most qualified! I remember in my first term, I was made the deputy speaker, to the glory of God; I didn’t disappoint Oruk Anam people. In my second term, I would have been the speaker if not for the fact that the office of the deputy governor was zoned to Ikot Ekpene senatorial district and the speaker zoned to Uyo senatorial district’’. He continued.
‘’In terms of power sharing equation, I am favored. In terms of zoning, zoning has already determined itself. Two elective positions are in already in Oruk, one must therefore go to Anam. In case we are considering compensation, Mr. Chairman, I have been working with you, I deserve to be compensated. If we are considering capacity, chairman, you know I have the capacity to stand with you through thick and thin to the end in the interest of our dear party. I keep hearing them talking of 7 clans and 2 clans, Mr. Chairman, I am not contesting for the position of a paramount ruler, in politics, the arithmetic is based on wards and there are 5 wards in Anam and 6 in Oruk, only one difference. Mr. Chairman, in terms of zoning, I am qualified. Starting from 1999, Oruk Anam has always been sharing the 3 seats available, which are the executive chairman, the party chapter chairman and the house of assembly and there is no time a single zone has been left without an elective position. The sharing has always been smooth till the unfortunate demised of Hon. Linus Ekuriku, and take note, no one from Anam contested against the late Ekuriku, whatever happened that led to his death and the Anam person succeeded him was a natural occurrence and to ensure the Oruk people were not cheated by any means, we ensured the re-election of Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukoette, giving that the Ukanafun people on their own have always unsuccessfully attempted to go for a second term’’.
The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly leader continued, ‘’I am personally not against anyone aspiring or any group adopting anybody but I’ll take exception to being insulted by paid agents. As am leaving here today, I know about 3 people who will be coming here to consult you, please chairman, as you promised us earlier, open your door for them. If on the day of the nomination, I am defeated in a level playing ground, I will work for whosoever will emerge’’.
Speaking further, the legislator promised to replace a generator he had earlier purchased for the party and which was stolen. He also promised to purchase and deliver hundred plastic chairs in addition to the ones he had previously donated to the party as well as join to facilitate the renewal of rent for the party office alongside other political office holders.
Among others who also spoke at the event was Chief Bassey Essien Bassey, he described Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian as peace epitomized and also submitted that ‘we leave here today informed that 2019 is zoned to Anam bloc of Oruk Anam’’. He emphasized that party is supreme and that no one individual can woke up and say this is zoning. Dr. Effiong Udongwo on his own concluded that since the legislator has performed creditably, he should be allowed to go for a second term. In his own speech, Dr. Effiong Udongwo, who was the Director General of the campaign committee for the election of the late Linus Ekuriku indicated that the situation in 2012 was a natural event, the Anam person who succeeded the late politician did so because of the constitutional provision and that he does not remember any Anam person who bought form and contested the election against him.
Highpoint of the occasion was a motion moved to pass a vote of confidence on Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan by Hon. Uwem Malachy Ikpon and seconded by Hon. Idongesit Ntong. Several politicians across Oruk Anam in addition to all executive members of the Oruk Anam chapter of the PDP were in attendance to witness the consultation among whom were the Director General of the campaign Team, Sir S. J. Ntefre; Hon. Ekpuk Silas; the President of Oruk Anam Grand Alliance, Chief Bassey Essien Bassey; the former Oruk Anam head of council, Hon. Emmanuel Essien; the former vice chairman of Oruk Anam, Hon. Nicholas Iyiet; former council secretary, Elder Friday Udoku; Mr. Moses Ibanga; Mr. Ekikere Nkanta, Elder Okon Evans (JP); SA to the Governor, Hon. Elder Okon Joseph Ekpo; Hon. Chief Awasiubong Udo Umoh; Hon. Kingsley Frank; Rt. Hon. Sunday Festus; Captain Francis Akpan; Hon. Ime Udongwo, Dr. Effiong Udongwo, Hon. Nnamso Idiong; the BOT chairman of MEE Care Foundation, Mr. Mbong Essien among others