– Samuel Ayara
It is barely 32 days to the Presidential and National Assembly election; one poll too many, where contestants who are people-shy would have to step up their game at reaching out to voters, to pitch their plans and programmes for the district. A far cry from previous outings, the 2023 election heralds a promise that men of means may require more than money in their boastful quest, now that the people know better.
For a district in dire need of a positive socioeconomic and political shift, boycotting close interaction with the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District on how they want to be served, by a candidate and party would smack crass insensitivity. Such an attempt may even amount to unforgivable as this is just about the only window the people can explore in probing the neglect and rape they have braved; after all, the people never forget.
How much of the 108 wards each candidate for this coveted seat tours and interacted with would to a large extent determine how prepared and informed they are for the task ahead. The people had long found amity with being accorded their pride of place and participation, they would not mortgage that for proxy campaigns where nothing is certain.
As it stands, only the PDP Senatorial Candidate, Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem has shown capacity and personally so far campaigned in 75 of the district’s 108 wards, in a tour that has brought him head-on with the development needs and economic realities of the people, while looking to reaching the remaining 33 in another two weeks.
With none of the other candidates scratching a tenth of Enoidem’s reach and grassroots coverage, especially as some had to wait on the courts to announce their emergence, there is no gainsaying that the people already know who has shown a commitment that deserves their mandate as the polls date closes in.
As the electoral umpire boxes the BVAs machine to replace the madness of incident forms that allowed for the prevalence of untoward might, conversations in the coming weeks would signal a departure from emotional blackmails, moonlight tales and sentimental rhetorics as there would be no shortcuts to issues and character.
If the character and integrity currency as well as the ability to deliver on mandates ever get in the ring with a superimposed uncouth personal ambition, then like light over darkness the latter’s fate even before the duel is twice determined. Men who neither respect agreements nor take responsibility will in the post February 25 polls retire to tantrums and vituperations; where they call the shots.
Ingredients, not the pot, make delicious meals. Barr. Enoidem in politics and public service has been a big part of everything worthwhile; steadily setting higher standards in politics while brandishing the Midas touch that makes for transformational leadership. These have found expression in all his public service assignments, even as member of the State Exco between 2007-2015, where he was behind most things that era ever considered uncommon.
It takes more than name dropping and wishful thinking to upstage a winner that is favoured by every force of nature, including the run of play. Boastful talks and bullying can never diminish a voice of reasoning that has invested time, energy and patience in the execution of an ambition backed by justice, equity and fairness; if the people ever matter, here comes the route to go, Barr. Emmanuel Moses Enoidem.
Samuel Ayara writes from Ibong Otoro in Abak LGA.