Sat. Jan 28th, 2023

…fresh, factual & uncompromising


7 min read

Samuel Ayara

Preparing for who emerges in 2023 to represent Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District never promised a less intriguing outcome, the storm and stir was expected, even in heart-jumping frequencies. Recent events have only affirmed the outright consensus that narrows the search to Abak Federal Constituency where no one in Nigeria’s history, despite their contribution to politics and leadership has ever held sway. A handful in the past gave their luck a shot, with the closest shave recorded when the Late Dr. Ime Umanah in 1998 won the senatorial election but was never to be inaugurated due to the abrupt collapse of the Abacha transition programme.

Getting past speculative stalemates predicted by doomsday prophets, nothing threatened more spanners in the works than the build up to senatorial primaries of the various political parties. Whether it was PDP, APC, YPP or NNPP, every party considered the need to address the sensitivity of the marginalization a key component of the district suffered; reason every party burrowed through Abak Federal Constituency for a representative that will in addition to sentiments of marginalization answer the credibility and capacity question

Like vices, practicing virtue in a society evil is pervasive could be viewed an anomaly and stoutly resisted by those who profit from evil. How further our society looks away from correcting the wrongs and ills of old, has become an achilles heel we may not escape, especially now that people who should know are reclining to the patronage of willful ignorance. Posterity had long reported for duty to ensure no effort misses its rightful place and mention, even while the political-ostrich game squares up with every strand of sanity. This explains why the most visible in the Abak federal constituency’s 1998 Senatorial quest has become the most prefferred for the 2023 contest.

The call of experience dates back to biblical days, when the choice of replacement for Judas Ischariot rested on Mathias who having lived through Jesus’ times, teachings and subsequent crucufixion was considered to have known enough to carry on as a disciple in the post ascension days. Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem’s preference for the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District seat owes so much to selflessness, experience and ability to build the future with a good knowledge of the past, having as Secretary of Campaigns midwifed the Senatorial victory of Dr. Ime Umanah in 1998. No sane society discards such depth of experience and understanding of how things work, especially as the district still graples with issues that since then have remained relevant and unresolved.

Values that pass Enoidem as best for the 2023 race is premised on his conviction to personally reach out to every part of the district in a campaign that has been considered most involving and issues-based in the history of the district’s political engagement. The ambitiousness of visiting all 108 ward of the district is more of a fact finding and appraisal of the real situation in our communities and hamlets than it is to show political sagacity. Through these visits, he does not only interact with the people but probes their challenges, some of which are already too visible to go unnoticed. Adroit followers of the tours at the various stopovers will admire Enoidem’s grasp of the issues, regardless of twists.

Prioritizing agriculture, commerce, arts and craft, peace building, provision of social amenities and infrastructure, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem in better appreciating the largely rural district, which wields enormous potentials to massively revolutionize Akwa Ibom’s socioeconomic leap has opened the floodgates of collaborative leadership. Political engagements that were hitherto considered passive have been given the wings to take on flights that are definitive of the current era’s demand in leadership. If he forgets everything, it will be impossible to forget the concerns of the over 600 constituents who are on queue to address the ward campaigns. This is a feat no contestant to the district’s plum job has ever braved, and speaks volume of the expected deliverables from his senatorial outing.

With roundly and fitted qualified indigenes lining out to succeed the Obot Akara born entrepreneur, Engr. Chris Ekpenyong who currently holds sway in the red chambers of the national assembly. There is more than a few reasons to believe that Enoidem is arriving with a mind and attitude that breathes preparedness; with rolled up sleeves he can be safely described as already dotting on the ultimate goal. He comes brandishing a blueprint that signals it is no longer uhuru for people who have nothing to offer, and more than these offerings is sensitive to where the people stand on matters bordering on development and strength of character, which will most likely not escape the test of fire in conversations and responses as we inch towards the elections.

Gov. Udom Emmanuel presents Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem as Akwa Ibom Northwest District Senatorial Candidate
Gov. Udom Emmanuel presents Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem as Akwa Ibom Northwest District Senatorial Candidate

Historically, this is a district that has never missed the storm of every political cycle and prides in the dynamism of its people as a bunch that do not take the back seat on matters of leadership. From the Late Chief Raymond Umoh, to the present, all of the district’s ten Senators soared through storm to emerge, explaining why this is one of the 109 districts Nigeria often waits to see who emerges. Thankfully never disappointing when it matters most, the walkways, committee rooms and chambers of the Senate is no stranger to the courage and patriotism representatives from this district bring to national conversations, except that with Enoidem will come visible results and imprints, judging from his resolve to go every length of the way mindful of the people.

Attempts to evade the issues in the coming race has nonetheless pushed a number of pretenders into sensationalizing faulty narratives, but like an idea whose time has come, 2023 is already too late and hot for them to deal. Attempting a studied count of how much they have brightened our space would as much as the infamy they have caused us suffice. Without stirring the hornets, Enoidem in character and ability to deliver on mandate holds the aces in a comparative review of the impact they all have made in their public service stints. While Enoidem in his over two decades public service life has built such goodwill of growing with men and friends, others have effortlessly typified the refrain that “a friend in government is a friend lost”.

The Grace Hospital in Etim Ekpo, where for almost ten years patients are treated free of charge is a towering testament of deep seated humanity, that has not only provided socur to hundreds of families but also seen to productive engagements of medical professionals and critical experts that surge the facility at intervals for specialized services. This is beyond phenomenal in a society public servants rely on political correctness to lift a muscle in advancement of gestures that do not serve the elites.

In education, the award of full scholarship to an indigene of Ika LGA, during a recent tour of wards is an affirmation of his commitment to expanding access to quality education for his people. For an ex-university teacher, nothing than the need to liberate the mind of the people to more opportunities could have been more instructive. More than the Ika isolated case and innumerable scores on his educational support roll, the first of its kind constitution of a students directorate in his campaign council, which ahead of other directorates has already taken delivery of an eighteen seater bus to aide students mobility, tells more tale. This is a gesture students leaders in the district consider most novel, but not surprising, coming from a man they call their own.

Going beyong the trance of expecting positive outcomes by pushing validations for outright lies, some senatorial prospects who for fear of how much the people already know are relying on campaigns by proxy, and not letting a moment slide without concocted tales of why Abak federal constituency should again be denied an opportunity to the red chambers. How more can one explain the contraption that a certain usurper has returned to gaslight same people he abandoned for golden fleece, claiming he is contesting the 2023 senatorial seat to complete an imaginary eight years people of the district agreed for him in 2015? A misadventure that queries what honour means to some men.

Regardless of what side of the divide one belongs, Enoidem is a soul every team desires, as there is hardly any contestant in the last two decades in the state that does not seek to enroll his support for their aspiration. For whatever its worth this explains why he is on the receiving end of the vilest of political attacks and blackmail. Like the day, you can tell when he is in your support, and this is an attribute that attempts to redefine politics from a game of deceit and double speak. Not many could have successfully championed the Maintain Peace Movement at the time political interests got so heightened, but the storm he weathered to the subsequent emergence of Pst. Umo Eno as candidate of his party at a time pundits predicted an implosion remains a class act only Enoidem is capable of.

Coming quite knowledgeable and conscious of the issues and exhibiting capacity to avail solutions, Enoidem in the tenth Senate of the federal republic will lead the vanguard for the finest strand of democracy, veiled in such rare courage and optimism that allows for progress; the kind that has permeated every turf his feet has trod in public service. More than the next election, the countdown for people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District is how close we have come to the future where people with proven record of service are spotlighted in our society’s fixation in the belief that their decisions and reactions will never be informed by fear and the need to cover up sleep-haunting opprobrium.

Standing up, tall and about, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District with the Etim Ekpo born legal luminary has earned itself a perfect deal as the rest of Nigeria awaits the emergence of men and leaders who are worth their salt, not retreating nor capitulating when it matters most. It is a fine time to look forward to leadership that dares the odds in truth and courage to win for both history and the people; just like Emmanuel Enoidem who has found a forte in recreating leadership the way the people wish to be led.

Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak LGA.

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