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Finally Grassroots Politics Return to Abak –By Atuekong Paul Bassey

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The sigh of relief and the renewed fresh air of confidence have long returned to the former Divisional Council headquarters of then Eastern state.

In 1902, after the conquest war against the British colonial master at the valley lying between Ediene and Abak Clans, consequently resulted to penetration into the hinterland by the colonial soldiers and eventual installation of the government made Abak the seat of Government and maintained this status at the end of civil war.

Abak was one of the commercial areas of the then Cross River State in the sixties and the seventies, concentration shifted to Uyo due to the development as the capital city, when Akwa Ibom state was created from Cross River State in 1987.

It is a central local government for the Annang ethnic group. Central in the sense that, most people of Annang extraction preferred to settle there. It has a very strong social potential but hampered by low infrastructural development.

After years of active participation in leadership decisions through electoral process in the country, there was a gradual crack at the grassroots as the people felt that they were USED and DUMPED thus making their political ideologies no longer welcome.

The neglected power of the grassroots caused most political aspirants a fortune in their leadership pursuit, since any political strategy that depends on broad grassroots support for its success needs to be based on a sound understanding of how to engage people at the grassroots. Without such an understanding, the strategy will tend to miscalculate its approach to handling the grassroots, resulting in total failure and frustration.

The fact is, the “grassroots” is not like anything else in politics. By its very nature, it is fiercely resistant to central control — yet it can be incomparably loyal and self-sacrificing. Properly understood and respected, it has the potential to alter an entire electioneering. If approached incorrectly, it may turn to favor those who seek to exploit it.

By definition, the grassroots is the bottom of the political pyramid, modern political movement don’t toil with the power that can made political different in the society.

After  his inauguration as the Transition Chairman of Abak Local government area by the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Hon. (Dr.) Emmanuel Udosen, having understood grassroots by its definition, has decided to engage the people by interacting with them to know some pressing issues in terms of social amenities.

This giant step has accorded him satiable commendations from the people hence making him the first Chairman (Elected or Appointed) to express such gesture to the people at the grassroots.

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  1. Please, lets consider making tourist attraction out of the valley,i.e. something like a plaza such as in ikot ekpene and Uyo.

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