JOE EFFIONG, UYO
A political pressure group in Akwa Ibom State that goes by the name Mandate Eyes has condemned the recent attack on the speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for wearing face cap with Umo Eno’s insignia.
The speaker, Mr Aniekan Akpan was said to have gone on a consultation visit to some stakeholders in Ibiono Ibom the same LGA that one of the governorship aspirants, Obong Bassey Albert, popularly called OBA, comes from.
A press statement from the Mandate Eyes, signed by its director of public and strategic communication, Dr Uwemedimo Umanah, as made available to Daily Sun on Sunday said, the youth in Ibiono suspected to be OBA’s supporters, molested the speaker and prevented him from consulting the delegates.
“On that fateful day, Hon Bassey was in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area to consult some stakeholders, at the instance of the Member Representing Ibiono Ibom at the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Hon Godwin Ekpo, when hoodlums invaded the arena and directed that he took off his faze- cap, which had the insignia of Pastor Umo Eno, who is the preferred choice of the majority of people of the state for the position of Governor from 2023. When Mr Speaker repudiated their request to take off his cap, he was forced to leave, without consulting the delegates.
“This represented a sacrilege and the height of disrespect to the office of the No 3 Citizen of the state. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, let us at this critical juncture salute Mr Speaker for displaying such unparalleled leadership and statesmanship through actions that circumvented violence and hostilities in the state. That Mr Speaker did not allow the appurtenances and weight of his office influence him typifies altruistic leadership.
“That dastardly act infringed on the fundamental right of association and speech of the Speaker, as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, inter alia: “ Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests”
The group also used the opportunity to correct the notion that the 2023 governorship has been micro zoned only to Ibiono Ibom LGA, explaining that Ibiono Ibom is qualified just as any local government area in Uyo senatorial district, to join the race.
“If zoning of the Governorship were done on the basis of Local Government Areas or micro- zoning, it would take about 36 years within Uyo alone, before it gets to the next Senatorial District. It is therefore morally reprehensible, unthoughtful, illogical and insensitive for any person or group to feel entitled to the seat of Governor and subject it to personal considerations- against the interest of the whole state.
“The apparent danger of having and exuding an entitlement mentality is that it incapacitates one’s capacity to think correctly, narrows one’s perspective on issues and ultimately reduces one to an emotional blackmailer.
Mandate Eyes appealed to all Akwa Ibom people not to fall prey in the hands of those who want to blackmail them into supporting an ill- fated project, but to demonstrate resilience and embrace the truth as exemplified in the succession agenda of Governor Udom Emmanuel, which would deepen the peace and prosperity in the state.