By Samuel Udoma

As the 2023 general elections draw nearer, the people of Okon-Eket geopolitical zone in Eket Local Government have made their stance known on their preferred candidates for the different elective positions. They have spoken in one accord and indeed, there is no force stronger than the collective voice of a people.

At a colourful, well attended ceremony held at the country home of Prof. Etie Ben Akpan, the political leader of the area, Okon-Eket unanimously adopted Dr. Ekong Sampson for Senate alongside all other PDP candidates in the 2023 polls.

Prof. Etie Ben notedly, is the Chairman of the Public/Policy Analysis Committee of the Ekong Sampson Campaign Organization. The Committee is a novel arm in Sampson’s campaign policy thrust and grassroots engagement created by the Onomkpoinam Mkpat Enin himself to add depth and spice to his senate campaigns. It has already earned widespread commendations.

Earlier in the day, on his arrival in Eket, Dr. Sampson had visited the palace of the Clan Head of Okon, HRH Etebom Akpabio Ekpoton to pay his respects. He was warmly received by the entire Okon Traditional Rulers Council and youths of the area.

At the palace, Dr. Sampson said he came to formally and respectfully consult the Okon Clan Council of his senate ambition. He informed them of the major indices that favour his candidacy for the Eket Senate job to include zoning, experience, capacity and integrity. He said that as an in-law in Okon-Eket, the area can be rest assured that they will have one of their own in the senate come 2023.

In his response, HRH Ekpoton, who was greatly impressed by Barr. Sampson’s rich resumé and antecedents declared on behalf of Okon people:
‘Ekong Sampson is the first and only candidate that the entire Okon-Eket will raise his hand and vote for, for the 2023 Eket Senate Seat’.
A truly emphatic statement from a royal personality so highly placed.

Meanwhile, back at the homestead of Prof. Etie Ben Akpan, the mood was ecstatic. It reached a crescendo when the PDP gubernatorial c ofandidate for Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno arrived in the full tow and glory of his entourage, which included the Deputy Governorship candidate, Senator Akon Eyakenyi and DG of Campaigns, Chief Assam Assam, SAN.

The host, Prof. Etie Ben Akpan, in his welcome remarks regaled the mammoth crowd on the excellent credentials that mark Pastor Umo Eno out as the best man for the Hilltop Mansion. He said the former Lands and Housing Commissioner was a proven creator and employer of labour, a great manager of resources and a decent man, pledging the full support of ‘neighbours’ Okon-Eket people.

Speakers after speakers including Chief Nduese Essien, Hon. Akan Tommey, Hon. Daniel Essien, among assured that PDP remains the only party Okon people will vote for come 2023. Dr. Ekong Sampson, who spoke on behalf of all the PDP candidates said they will work together to bring meaningful development to Okon-Eket.

In his response, Pastor Umo Eno thanked Okon-Eket people for the huge reception accorded him and all the PDP candidates, maintaining that his ARISE Agenda will revitalize the standard of living in Okon-Eket through infrastructure and human capital development. Pastor Eno encouraged youths of the area to be involved in meaningful ventures, noting that his government will support youth based enterprises.

Part of the high points of the day was the reception of decampees from YPP in Eket.