I have within the last 3 days seen at least 2 articles ‘painstakingly’ penned down by Oruk Anam persons under the age of 40 to promote the youngness of people above 40 against the presumed oldness of a man in his 50s. The articles, in fact, has proved right my presupposition that some people within the APC and those with the APC mentality will after hearing the President Buhari’s inconsequential assent to the #NotTooYoungToRun bill misconstrue it to mean an executive fiat for every presumed young person to occupy elective positions, not minding the substance of the aspirant. I personally find it difficult to reason in that direction!
A thorough reading of the articles reveals that age is only invoked as a new reckoning factor by the writers because all logical and constitutional explanations to stop the zoning of the state house of assembly position to Anam and the reelection of Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan has failed. Great people, for the fact that we want equity, fairness and justice to be sustained in our polity and also the principle of zoning clearly articulated in the PDP Constitution, Anam should have their way in 2019. For the fact also that by academic qualification, age, constitutional provision and superb performance, Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan is qualified, he should and will be necessarily re-elected in 2019!
In one of the articles, the writer made allusions to Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke being a speaker before the age of 40 and Senator Godswill Akpabio being a governor at the age of 46 but yet did not mention where the duo was while they were in their 20s and 30s to enable us adequately judge the political progress of their products who want to land where the duo landed at their 40s. In case the writers do not know, the duos of Akpabio and Luke did not ascend to those elevated positions from nowhere and certainly not mainly because of age factor. In their 20s they were already recommendable and significant leadership brands in their institutions of learning, the social and political world. In their 30s and 40s, their names were already household names not only in their wards or local government areas but in Akwa Ibom state politics; this is unlike the 40-year-olds not even known beyond their regular circles in Oruk Anam.
I also read about the emphasis on paper qualifications by one of the writers. My people, in the 21st-century educational assessment, certification is secondary; the primary thing is your real-world performance in your chosen field and related fields. As long as politics is concerned (especially legislative business), articulation of facts, figures and history with clarity have often been a major yardstick for assessment, and in all sincerity, I’ve not witnessed any of the 40s currently marketed by those in 30s against a man in his 50s displayed that craftsmanship, if there is, please kindly refer me.
If we of Oruk are in all sincerity ready to integrate or groom our young people into our polity so that in the future we have a place in the council of young men who are proficient in politics, I recommend for now Barr Morgan Ekanem and Mr Peter Saturday. They are young in the real meaning of the word young, exposed, are intellectuals, and were not limited to the politics of Oruk Anam students even as students and have available shreds of evidence of strong intellectualism and often displayed at different presentations at thought-provoking public events. If anyone is in doubt, I can arrange a trial!
For the purpose of information, the job of legislation is deemed better in the hands of experienced people, and while experience is not always a product of years of one’s existence, this particular case it is, in as much as it is Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan versus the supposed young men. Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan of even 20 years ago seemed to have been better equipped than the supposed young but 40 years men lining up today against him. His records as a civil servant, chairman of the state Labour Congress, SA to the governor on labour and as Deputy Speaker of the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly in 2011 shows he was well equipped and still better equipped.
For the umpteenth time, I will always prefer a 50-year-old man who has over time indicated administrative acumen in the civil service, the state labour organization, house of Assembly and the Afe Annang International to a young man at 40 who is yet to prove his mettle at any known public position.
For Oruk Anam State Constituency position in 2019, it is the turn of Anam and Rt. Hon. Udo Kierian Akpan is the choice of the people!