Says, Udom, Akpabio’s reelection is non-negotiable
Tuesday, December 27, was a day of stock-taking and scorecard rating for the immediate past Special Duties Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Etido Inyang, as he hosted the people of the premier local government area in West Africa to an evening of dinner in his country home in the spirit of the season. And it was a report card full of “A” grade, going by the torrents of commendation that poured in for this engineer of global repute. Cash, which ran into millions of naira was also given across board to party faithful and others. The evening which formally began with the arrival of the event chair and political leader of Ikot Ekpene, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, reached a crescendo when Engr. Inyang and his amiable wife took to the dance floor in apparent gratitude to God. They were circled by the smiling and ecstatic crowd of guests and supporters who came to share in the joyous moment.
Addressing the people, the former commissioner expressed his joy at the large turnout by the people which included political elders, women leaders, village youth presidents, youth leaders, chapter executives of PDP, and representatives of all eleven wards in Ikot Ekpene. Going down memory lane, he said surviving in active politics for nine years was no mean feat.
“I am really grateful to God for all these years when I remember how we started in 2007 and crossed over to the new administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel. I stayed this long because God was/is with me and I had the support of the people. After thanking God, I must thank Senator Akpabio who found me worthy for service in his government. For the type of job we were doing, if I wasn’t performing, I wouldn’t have continued for eight years. It is God who gives grace for achievement and His grace has been sufficient for me. Even when blackmails would come, Senator Akpabio sustained me.
“And when Governor Udom Emmanuel came on board, he gave me another great chance to serve, until another rightful person was appointed to succeed me as commissioner in the State Exco. The new commissioner, Dr. Nse Essien is our son and an achiever. The same support you gave me, I want you to give him more because it is about the success of Ikot Ekpene”.
While commending the state governor for his vision in industrializing the state, Inyang hinted that the Uyo-Ikot Ekpene Road will be completed in 2017. The Four Points Sheraton, he averred, will be opened within the first quarter of next year. He said the former governor had completed the building and the major things had been fixed. The only things left were the electronic system and the small operating equipment.
The EFEX became difficult when the new administration came in but that issue has been sorted out and everything is in place for operations to kickoff. He also disclosed that the state government has concluded arrangements for operations of a concrete factory at Ikpe Annang. “I went to negotiate for that project land and government has paid compensation and people have moved in to commence construction there”.
Paying tribute to his wife for her stabilizing role, he said, “when I first told my wife that I wanted to go into politics, she was uncomfortable with that decision. We were still in Port Harcourt then and I had just gained promotion as operations manager in Schlumberger and was about leaving to Malaysia. My wife couldn’t stand it. She was bothered about our children. That was because Schlumberger was paying for the education of our children in America. But I was able to calm her fears that we had earned enough money working for Schlumberger to take care of our children’s education, and we had to use our insurance to get them guaranteed. This was when my wife agreed with my decision to join politics. She has been a great stabilizer of my family and without her, I would not have succeeded”. Engr. Inyang also thanked Senator Ibok Essien and other stakeholders for their invaluable advice which he said enabled him to succeed in office. He urged the new commissioner to seek regular advice from stakeholders in order to make his job easier.
On the political journey in the days ahead, the former Special Duties boss declared without equivocation that “come 2019, there will be no vacancies for two positions on the platform of PDP, being that of the office of governor and the senate seat for Ikot Ekpene District.
We have unanimously decided that we will support the reelection of Governor Emmanuel and Senator Akpabio. As for Ikot Ekpene Federal House and the State House, there is no resolution yet. It is still open. But I am not interested in running for the federal house job, there is no truth in that rumour. That I am not in the state exco again is not important, we will keep playing politics together. We will stay firm and continue to support our party, PDP, and our governor, Deacon Emmanuel to succeed.
Speaking earlier, Senator Ibok Essien thanked Etido inyang for the Christmas dinner, and described him as a man with a large heart. He said Ikot Ekpene is a special place from which others draw valuable political lessons. “In many other local government areas, once a man is out of office, he does not command fellowership again but it is not so here and it is not so with Engr. Inyang. What Etido has done today reflects the fact that Ikot Ekpene people are good hearted. Politics come and go but friendship and relationship remains.
“I want to appeal to upcoming politicians in Ikot Ekpene to remember that we are one people and we should be our brother’s keeper. It is only God that sanctions the promotion of man and everything happens in due season. Other public office holders should emulate Etido Inyang”. The political leader congratulated the host for his great service to the state.
Also speaking, Rt.Hon. Nsikak Ekong, former lawmaker and currently, Member, Ibom Airport Board, commended Engr. Inyang for his exemplary honesty in politics. He described him as a man with firm integrity and one who is true in loyalty. He thanked the former commissioner for serving the state well and wished him higher responsibilities in the future.
The transition Committee Chairman of Ikot Ekpene, Mr. David Umana, hailed the leadership qualities of the host, which he said has brought noticeable political unity. Describing Inyang as a worthy son of the area and a listening and humble leader, the chairman affirmed that Ikot Ekpene people are proud of Inyang’s services to the state as Special Adviser and Commissioner.
In his remark, the SSA to Governor Emmanuel on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), popularly referred to as “Udoeka,” acknowledged the many virtues of the host. He said Engr. Inyang, despite his honourable exit from the state exco remains very relevant as he is considered a “protector of the system”. He urged for greater support for Governor Emmanuel and the party.
Hon. David Okon, the PDP chapter chairman and Abigail Akpan, PDP chapter women leader both spoke glowingly of Engr. Inyang. The latter acknowledged the contributions of Engr. Inyang’s wife in ensuring that all the women leaders in Ikot Ekpene were accommodated and respected in decision taking processes in the local government unlike in previous situations. “We also thank our former First Lady, Mrs. Unoma Akpabio and our present First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom for their huge sacrifices to the women folk. Our present First Lady has only served for about two years but her silent impacts are far reaching and deep. We are not unaware of her love for Akwa Ibom women and we celebrate her,” said Mrs. Abigail.
Also in attendance were Commissioner Nse Essien, Hon. Idongesit Ntekpere(Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency Member), Umoh Madu (Chairman Sport Council), Akpan Ibanga (Chairman, Ikot Ekpene Political Elders Forum), Engr. U.T. Essien ( Chairman, Ikot Ekpene Peoples Assembly), Elder Gabriel Umoh.