This is what PDP must do if they want to reclaim their lost mandate to Akpabio
By Emma Akpabio
The recent political development in Akwa Ibom State and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District in particular, clearly portrays that the 2019 general elections in the State will not be a Walk over for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as usual.
Facts gathered from various political analysts and the electorates, reveal that the 2019 dance to various political positions, might or won’t be likened to a masquerade dance. Neither will it be likened to a dance of an old man or outdated politician, with snuff in one hand – it shall be a serious dance, but bloodless. The key is that any political party that is not adept at taking “dances” serious and/or those who feel that they can manipulate against Zoning, peoples Choices, and conventional political office rotation, should not ever contemplate participating in the exercise.
This is true because playing “politics” with politics has become a tradition, nay, convention to streak through trivialities to leadership. But 2019 will be a very different year. Some political parties will have things from the underside of expectations, and we shall hear prominent political Stalwarts exclaim, “Oboy, if I were told, I wouldn’t believe”! This is not to say that there won’t be “a dance”. No! It is to say that the dance will not only be tougher, but feigning. It will feign so much, such that lots of people who should have cued up to dance, shall become bereft of the appropriate dance steps. For the appropriate dance steps will be the dictate of zoning and Candidates antecedents, age and popularity.
Truth be told, the defection of the immediate past Governor of Akwa Ibom State -Senator Godswill Akpabio from the PDP to the APC, to a greater extent, has destabilised the political plans of the ruling PDP. The fact that nobody from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district could rise on his own without any unanimous adoption to contest against the former Senate minority leader, is an affirmation to the reality of the instability, Akpabio’s defection has caused the PDP. Therefore, a wise political party should at this point, re-strategise for the forthcoming general elections.
Similarly, the 2019 dance to the National Assembly to represent Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency shall take a different dimension. Unlike the previous years, where it was possible that he/those who emerged as winners) of that dance was/were an outgrowth of favouritism and godfatherism, this time, it will be a little bit floppy. With PDP being the majority in those local government areas, an attempt by few political elites of the PDP and some Elders Statemen to impose any candidate on the people shall not only lead to a massive protest, the PDP shall also witness an uncommon mass defection to either the All Progressive Party Congress (APC), or any other political party of preference.
According to Ime Jacobs, a Pan African Writer and public affairs analyst: “Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency has never had it all good over the decades! Not that there is no good to be had, but because there has been a foul play, nay, a chasm in the whole process of the constituency’s match to greatness.” The widely known foul play in the area has been the constant act of imposing Candidates on the people. A candidate that is imposed is not answerable to the constituents and often times, this has constantly robbed the people of the area of their dividends of democracy from federal government, like Security and other federal social amenities.
If PDP must reclaim the mandate in that area from the APC that is currently being represented by a two-term member – Rt Hon Emmanuel Ukoette, then this is the time to return to the drawing board and come out with a formidable plan.
As the election year comes closer, the outcome of the primaries which is at the corner should be considered most importantly by the PDP, for an attempt to influence or manipulate the process against the wish of the delegates will have a destructive consequence.
With Ukanafun being the favourite local government area for the 2019 seat, many prominent sons of the area have filed out in their numbers to contest for that position. Giving a level playing ground for all Aspirants to emerge is not enough, presenting a candidate whose personality resonates hope, truth, integrity, influence, focus and consistency of purpose is a condition worthy of note. Presenting a popular Candidate remains an effort in futility if such person is not favoured by the zoning, most importantly, if such person’s principal place of origin is complicated and questionable.
By all indications, the next House of reps member for Ukanfun/Oruk Anam federal constituency should be a true son of Afaha, in Ukanafun LGA. Presenting a candidate who places priority on the interest of the electorates ahead of his personal interest and business, is a great factor to consider. He must not be sponsored by a godfather, he must be the slot of the “common people”, above all, a populist.
It is pertinent to also note that, an aspirant who is close to the people will not only lead the PDP to victory in 2019 but will also bring succour to the people of Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency who has suffered misrepresentation for the past seven years. As Abel Udoekene, the editor of Nigeria Today opined “Imposition of an unpopular aspirant may turn today’s hope into tomorrow’s despair, and lead us back into the path of unrighteousness where constituency briefing becomes a story for the gods”
An investigation into the area reveals that PDP remains the dominant party in Ukanafun and Oruk Anam Local government areas, yet their representative in the National Assembly is from the APC.
Let me submit with the assertion that if PDP must reclaim their lost mandates in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district, other constituencies/ Districts and in Ukanafun/Oruk Anam federal constituency in particular, then a popular, young, accessible and a widely accepted candidate must be fielded during the general elections