Akwa Ibom: Can Eseme Eyiboh Turn The Tide For APC?

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The testy political condition in Akwa Ibom State at the beginning of the year took another twist after one of the state’s more intellectually endowed

Mr. Eseme Eyiboh
Eseme Eyiboh

Mr. Eseme Eyiboh is remembered as the Dean of the Initiatives, the discussion platform through which a number of vibrant members of the Sixth House of Representatives sought to project the House. Even more, Eyiboh served as the spokesman of the House having been elected to represent Eket/Onna/Esit Eket/Ibeno Federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State.

However, given the nature of politics in Akwa Ibom State in recent times, it was not surprising that Eyiboh became the object of political harassment reportedly instigated by one of the top politicians in the state.

Given his high visibility in the Sixth House of Representatives, it was alleged in some quarters that Eyiboh was either preparing himself or being packaged as a replacement for the former governor of the state in 2015.

The suggestion gained currency given the clamour at the beginning of the second term of Godswill Akpabio that the governorship of the state should be zoned to the Eket Senatorial Zone where Eyiboh comes from.

Supporters of Eyiboh and some other neutral observers allege that his visibility and speculations that their man could be an aspirant who could fight his way to get the ticket of the PDP made it imperative to cut him short early and so, the legal and other political campaigns that eventually truncated Eyiboh’s second term in the House of Representatives in 2012.

Willy-nilly, Eyiboh remained in the PDP. However, a number of other political stakeholders who were believed to have been sacrificed or similarly cut down ahead of the alleged moves to impose a candidate for the PDP in the 2015 election fought back.

Political machine

The most prominent of them was Umana Umana, Akpabio’s former right-hand man who was at one time the backbone of the Akpabio political machine.

Ahead of the 2015 election, Umana defected to the All Progressives Congress, APC. Senator Ita Enang, who had also been reportedly stopped by Akpabio from returning to the Senate, also defected after the PDP Senate primaries to the APC. While Umana and Enang formed a prop for the APC in Uyo Senatorial District, the Etiebet brothers, Donatus and Donald held sway in opposition to the PDP’s dominance in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.

Last weekend, a third prop for the APC emerged in the person of Eyiboh, who announced his defection from the PDP to the APC. Announcing his defection, Eyiboh in a statement said: “Having had the privilege of the membership of Peoples Democratic Party which platform I became its State Financial Secretary, Executive Chairman, Akwa Ibom Ethical and Attitudinal Reorientation Commission (EARCOM)and later member of the House of Representatives bespeaks the foundational vision of the progenitors of PDP as a leadership recruitment nursery.

“Today, that party has conducted itself in breach of the visionary philosophy of its founding fathers, instead of intended leadership nursery guided by the principle of social justice and a platform to promote content analysis of its manifesto and implementation strategies of its programmes to government as an enabler for good governance, it has rather, thrown up economic choristers and social misdemeanours who have converted our common wealth into private franchise thus turning the party and the state into ‘behemoth of monstrous proportion’.

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“Its present system has produced unprecedented crop of political ‘dealers’ instead of inspirational leaders occasioning the increasing deficits in revenue yielding assets and sundry incentives to trigger community growth and prosperity.

“It is worthy to note that, as the reign of development eclipse, poor ethical integrity and deteriorating institutions subsists, it is imperative for people with development orientation and appropriate mindset to come together and inject a “new deal” to stimulate the collective urges and aspirations of our people with functional confidence.

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor



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