Prior to 2015, Obong Okon Umana was in all ramifications seen by some persons as the worthy and automatic successor of then Gov. Godswill O. Akpabio. Although Umana joined the APC in November 2014, less than 6 months to the election, the support he had from APC and PDP members who defected with him was tremendous when compared to Nsima Ekere’s.
I still remember the tension in 2015, the media hype, especially during the tribunal and the ridiculous expectation and conclusion by APC members that as long as they’re in control of the federal government, the judgement in the election tribunal will ultimately tilt in their favor. But alas, that was a mere dream and shattered by the supreme court in favor of the PDP and Gov. Udom Emmanuel on 3rd February, 2016.
Then came the current victim of the APC, Obong Nsima Ekere. Like Umana Umana did in 2014/15, he employed his resources to hijack the APC structure in the state. His appointment as the managing director of the NDDC was mainly perceived by his followers as a parallel governorship position in Akwa Ibom state (not even candidate). He setup a media platform as far back as 2017 to discredit every achievement of Gov. Udom Emmanuel. He sponsored parallel events for every official event hosted by Gov. Udom Emmanuel. He was their governor until March 9th!
Like Obong Umana Okon Umana, Nsima Ekere had hijacked the structure of the APC from the main APC. He ensured that about 95% of the executive members of the APC from state to the ward levels were his loyalists and mostly comprises defectors who joined the party between 2014 and 2016 not minding the feelings of those who were there since the era of ACN and Sen. John James Akpan Udoedehe.
Nsima Ekere unlike Umana Umana however had superficial support base devoid of strong conviction. All they talked about was money, federal might and big but inconsequential names. Street talk says Nsima Ekere paid heavily to hire one supposed political gladiator for every 1000 persons at the grassroot reached by Gov. Udom Emmanuel and the PDP. From the media, to the party and of course the presumed political stakeholders in the state, Nsima Ekere accommodated and sponsored a fraction while the rest were merely APC by name and fed with the spurious propaganda that he’s already penciled down by INEC as the winner of the governorship election.
Nsima Ekere notoriously had a relatively strong media/online presence but who unfortunately the writers seemed to have had no polling units. Prior to elections and after the elections, the Nsima Ekere online crew only churned out insult instead of election results. Like the APC elders versus the youth and the elders versus the elders, the media team also had its own battle of ‘monkey dey work baboon dey chop’ most of which Nsima Ekere took for granted as long as Gov. Udom Emmanuel was still insulted by the mercenaries.
The defection of Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio to the APC also gave Nsima and company the false illusion that its a done deal. At their age and supposed experiences they actually believed Sen. Akpabio was the alpha and omega of Akwa Ibom politics. Akpabio and Nsima however failed alongside 2 senatorial candidates, the 10 house of representative candidates and 25 house of assembly candidates of the APC.
Whereas Umana Umana’s APC in 2015 gave the PDP a serious battle from the unit to the ward and state levels, Nsima is not the case. He merely staged comedy in the name of campaign with Sen. Godswill Akpabio across the 31 local government areas of the state; doled out millions to his few regular beneficiaries; arranged for thugs with police and military backup in addition to the understanding he had with a fraction of INEC officials and all was vanity upon vanity. It is no longer news that it was easier for the PDP to defeat Nsima Ekere than the defeat of Umana Umana in 2015. Its no news either that whereas Umana Umana APC won convincingly one house of assembly position, Ekere is yet to do that and may never do.
All in all, I think and I think I think rightly, Umana Umana outing of 2015 was more impressive than the Nsima Ekere outing of 2019. Ekere was more prepared to harm Akwa Ibom people than to win election. God rescued his people.
Away from the past, that is Nsima Ekere and Umana Umana, I feel I should also speak on the next victim of the Akwa Ibom state APC, Sen. Ita Enang. Ita Enang has purportedly confided in so many persons his intention to vie for the 2023 governorship election. He is said to have concluded arrangement to inherit the same failed structure of Ekere – media, party and stakeholders. He’s perceived by the parasitic party as the next capable man to fund the APC since Nsima Ekere and Umana Umana have been destroyed. He may eventually have their ticket then, but its not going to be that easy, I foresee another moneybag leaving the PDP to the APC and as the state APC is still in love with money, he may win the ticket against Ita Enang but if I should have my way, I’ll prefer the ticket be given to Ita Enang.
A person like Ita Enang will only be silenced in our state affairs if lured into the poll and beaten by the PDP. Ita Enang should be taught the lesson that politics is beyond paying 2 hours a week per radio station for the abuse of incumbent government especially when you’re part of a rotten deal at the center. Quote me, Ita Enang won’t won’t be better in the poll than Nsima Ekere not to talk of Umana Umana.