Ever since it became glaring that the Chairmanship elections in Akwa Ibom State will hold soon, the Etinan Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been in the eye of the storm. While faithful party stakeholders across the land are assiduously preparing to mastermind PDP’s landslide victory in the area, those who are fit to be only described as political jobbers and saboteurs are resorting to sounding drums of war.

Their stock in trade is to allege, fabricate and read myopic meanings into party issues. They don’t mind feeding the public and media with half-truths and/or outright fallacy.

Take for instance recent media reports alleging tension within the party. Their rather wild storyline has it that PDP stakeholders have been disillusioned by the alleged attempt by the State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, to impose his biological brother as Council Chairman.

According to their poorly concocted reports, the issue worsened on Saturday, 11th February, 2017, at the Millennium Council Hall of the Local Government Area when the Caretaker Chairman, Mr. Cletus Ekpo, called a meeting of some stakeholders in the area.

The report went on to further allege that the event ended in a fiasco as stakeholders led by SA to Governor on Legal Matters/ Documentation , Barr. Andem Ndem, lambasted the younger Ekpo for surreptitiously using the event as a political campaign.

As if that wasn’t enough, the reports allege that Cletus Ekpo stormed the venue of meeting with gun wielding thugs and cultists, that Barr. Ndem was nearly lynched, that newly appointed Commissioner for Commerce, Industries and Investment, Prof Eno Ikpe and other stakeholders escaped being killed by the thugs.

Any sane party man knows that the allegations are handiwork of moles in the party. What they stand to achieve is beyond anyone’s guess but if it is to soil the reputation of Obong Paul Ekpo and other great icons in the party, it has surely backfired because not even the best propaganda theorist in the world can successfully erase the imprint of these icons in the sands of times.

Meanwhile, the said meeting was called by the chapter Chairman of the party in Etinan, Rt.Hon. Inemesit Itina to discuss the way forward of the party and to pass a vote-of-confidence on the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, His Excellency Deacon Udom Emmanuel, the State Chairman of the Party, Obong Paul Ekpo, the Member Representing Etinan Federal Constituency, Rt.Hon. Sam Ikon, Member Representing Etinan State Constituency, Barr. Aniefiok Dennis, others sons and daughters of Etinan that represents the party at various positions who has performed better.

Mr. Cletus Ekpo hearkened to a call to serve and has been very committed to the task at hand. It therefore betrays common sense to assume that Obong Paul Ekpo is set to install him as elected council boss when the party primary is yet to be held. At the general poll, candidates of other parties will vie for the same position.

Obong Paul Ekpo should always be portrayed as a good son of the soil, rather than a power drunk person who is hell-bent to establish his family’s hegemony in the corridors of power.
Rather than use a stakeholders meeting to surreptitiously assuage his political thirst, the Caretaker Chairman, Hon. Cletus Ekpo, knows that such meeting, which was convened by the leadership of the party, is an avenue to rub minds and agree on the best way to steer the ship of the party. No doubt, during dialogue, disagreements do occur, but blowing minor infractions out of proportion is alien to commonsense.
We know the masterminds of these gory acts but the only advice is for them to rearrange their priorities. Labeling Hon. Cletus Ekpo as a cultist who had the effrontery to storm the PDP Stakeholders’ meeting with gun wielding thugs is a rather odd statement which lacks substance.

The PDP in Etinan is a family which has withstood many challenges and no effort by these political jobbers can pull it down will amount to nothing.

God Almighty who took the party this far cannot forsake us. We will live to seethem (blackmailers) reap the fruit of their labour.

By IniUbong A.

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