In Clear, Unmistaken terms, Oro insists on Zoning for Senate Seat in Eket Senatorial District
…as Ntekim, Uno, Esuh, Asuquo Archibong, Others, declare total support for Ekong Sampson
…Why I want Ekong Sampson as Senator – Paramount Ruler, Urue Offong/Uruko.
By Theophilus Akpan
The people of Oro have reaffirmed their position in the zoning of Senate seat in Akwa Ibom South. In clear, strong and unmistaken terms, they insisted that the long established zoning matrix in Eket Senatorial District must be maintained for peace and unity to continue to reign amongst constituents of the district.
Oro people, known for their unity of purpose and integrity, cemented this position yesterday in Urue Offong Oruko when the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate candidate for Akwa Ibom South, Rt Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson berthed his campaign train in the locality for strategic consultations.
It should be noted that, Eket Senatorial District is ‘one rich mix’ with diverse ethnicities, unlike other senatorial districts in the state. The Ibibios, Oros, Obolos and Ekids form these strata with three federal constituencies and twelve local government areas, the biggest in the state.
Therefore, to marry the interests of these mix and foster unity in the oil rich region, the elders of the district established a political roadmap by adopting a zoning arrangement, that through turn-by-turn, all the strands of the region would access power valve and political opportunity.
It started with Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency in 1999, in the person of Sen. Udoma Udoma who served two terms. Between 2007 and 2015, Eket Federal Constituency took their turns. In 2015, the baton moved to Oron Federal Constituency, and Sen. Nelson Effiong was elected to represent the district. In 2019, the serving Senator, Akon Eyakenyi, still from Oro, whose tenure will elapse next year, was elected. This will bring the circle of rotation to completion.
Narrating the build up that birthed the decision of Eket Senatorial District Elders Forum to begin the second phase of the rotation with Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, after all the federal constituencies have taken their equal turns, Professor of Communication and Digital Marketing and Dean of Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, University of Uyo, Prof. Peter Esuh hinted that about three meetings have been held with all stakeholders of the district, and unanimously, it was agreed that Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency should start the political relay again.
The erudite scholar strongly declared his support for Barr. Ekong Sampson, saying Sampson has earned the requisite experience and capacity and was also favoured by the long standing zoning arrangement of the district.
In agreement, the State Commissioner for Transport, Hon. Uno Etim Uno added that within Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, the Senate seat was micro-zoned to Mkpat Enin where Dr Sampson hails from.
According to the political leader of Urue Offong Oruko, when Barr. Sampson was Commissioner for Environment and Petroleum Resources, he pushed strongly for Oro to be given its rights, especially in oil politics.
Chief Uno officially presented the Onomkpoinam Mkpat Enin as the Urue Offong/Uruko preferred Senate candidate for Akwa Ibom South, adding that Sampson would use his office as a senator to push for the five local government areas of Oro to be recognized as oil producing community.
Others, including current House of Assembly for Urue Offong/Uruko, Hon. Asuquo Archibong spoke glowingly, throwing his weight behind the Senate hopeful, saying he was a man of integrity who would replicate the good works he has done for the people of Mkpat Enin in Oro Nation and the senatorial district at large.
Meanwhile, the Campaign train of Dr Sampson first berthed at the palace of the Paramount Ruler of Urue Offong Oruko and Chairman, Oro Traditional Rulers Council/ Acting Ahta of Oro, HRM, Offong Effiong Unanaowo JP, where royal blessings were rained upon the former two-term State Lawmaker.
Speaking emphatically, the Paramount Ruler said that why he preferred Dr Sampson in the Senate race is that he was exposed and chose to associate himself with those who have cognate experience in human capital development.
He gathered all the all four clan heads of the local government area to rain royal blessings that would pave the way for success in the race come 2023.
The Senate hopeful, in his consultative speech, reiterated his position to always support Oro causes, saying Oro was long due to have a degree awarding university. He promised to explore the trajectories in the Senate, working with the stakeholders in Oro to push for Maritime University to be revamped and upgraded to a full functional university.
In the campaign train were, Director-General of Campaigns, Sir Michael Essang, Deputy Director-General, Chief Sampson Unyeawaji, Director of Organisations, Otuekong Ini Ikott, Secretary of Campaigns, Rt Hon. Ufok Frank, former House of Assembly Member for Okobo, Hon. Efefiong Antigha, Senatorial District Women Leader, Mrs Idara Ephraim Akpan, Chief Eddy Ukim, Prince Hamlet Emenyi, erstwhile International President, Oro Union Youth Wing, Ulap Uwe Akan, former State Officer of the Party, Barr. Ita Okpoyo, Hon. Philomena Jonathan, Hon. Ikpeazu, Councillor representing Ward 6, Urue Offong, among a rich array of other chieftains and dignitaries.