By Patrick Odey
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom State and former Minister of Petroleum, Don Etiebet, has called on the immediate past Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, to step down for DIG Udom Ekpoudom (retd.), as candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District.
Etibiet stated this on Monday while reacting to a question in The Post Newspaper WhatsApp group by one Nsikan Ekere.
Ekere had, in the WhatsApp post, queried the emphasis on the 2023 Senate race on Abak Federal Constituency when Senator Ukpanah, Bob Ekarika and Donald Etiebet had earlier been elected in the Senate.
He noted ,”Since 1960, Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency has gone to Senate three times- Akaninyene Ukpanah, Donald Etiebet and Bob Ekarika- whereas Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara Federal Constituency has gone five times – with Akpabio’s family twice in Nsima Akpabio and Godswill Akpabio whereas Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency has not gone even once.”
Etiebet answered, “The four Federal Constituencies of Ukanafun/Oruk Anam, Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara, Ini/Ikono, Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika, make up Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene) Senatorial District and it is the considered opinion of all peace loving people of Annang land that ‘When Brother dey chop, other brother no chop’ is not good.”
“And that this time around the Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency which has not gone to the senate since 1960 should be given the ticket.”
The former Minister insisted that since the Peoples Democratic Party has agreed to this as Senator Christopher Ekpenyong from Ikot Ekpene/Essien Udim/Obot Akara Federal Constituency has stepped down for Barr Emmanuel Enoidem from Etim Ekpo and Abak Federal Constituency to be the PDP Senatorial candidate, it is therefore natural justice that Godswill Akpabio who has even gone to the Senate once should step down for Ekpoudom.
He regretted that rather for Akpabio to tow the path of honour, “he has run back from his failed presidential attempt to embark on all the shenanigans to be declared the senatorial candidate for the District again by a Court Order.”
“That’s why the whole of Abak-5 made up of the five Local Government Areas of the former Abak Division in Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District has resolved to back a candidate from Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency from any party to win if APC must field a non Abak-5 Candidate”.
Etiebet said it was pertinent for him to remind Senator Akpabio that when his late brother, Senator Donald Dick Etiebet, OFR from Oruk Anam/ Ukanafun Federal Constituency left the Senate in 1983 to contest for the governorship of the then Cross River State under NPN, he went to the Akpabio’s family to pick and support Nsima Akpabio to win and became the Senator for peaceful coexistence and brotherliness amongst the people of Annang land.
“He had all the power and wherewithal to pick another person from Oruk Anam/Ukanafun Federal Constituency who were in abundance but didn’t. So we should eschew selfishness and play some liberal politics rather than ‘na me alone’ vertical politics for peace and togetherness.
“The Abak-5 still calls on him (Akpabio) to step down from his Court ordered candidature for DIG Ekpoudom retd to avoid a disgraceful defeat. I state this for the understanding of all,” Etibiet warned.