A Local Government Council chairmanship aspirant in Mkpat Enin under the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP’s) platform and oil magnet, Otuekong Evans Akpanobong, has challenged other chairmanship aspirants in the area to a public debate.
He made the challenge when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Publisher of Radar newspapers, Otuekong Franklyn Isong, (an indigene of Mkpat Enin) in the paper’s corporate office in Uyo, saying; “It is not the time for political settlement. We don’t need a mediocre as council chairman. I am challenging every Tom, Dick and Harry who is looking for the chairmanship position of Mkpat Enin to a public debate that will be anchored by you (Radar newspapers).”
He stated further that; “whoever is looking for settlement should better go to the person that promised him/her settlement and get it from the person, because the chairmanship of Mkpat Enin cannot be sacrificed for mediocre. It will be too costly for us to have an inconsequential fellow as council chairman at this time of economic meltdown in the country.
“From the beginning of the first Republic to date, Mkpat Enin people have always had bad leadership, because they had never been allowed to choose the public choice. This public debate will afford the people the opportunity to know who is the best amongst all of us. They will decide the best material for the job.
“This time around, god-father and god-mother should be discouraged and let the aspirants face themselves in a public debate and tell the people what they have for the people, so that the people can make an informed choice afterwards. I tell you, if anyone is better than me, I will support the person, but believe me, I am the best material for the job so far.
“I will tender my tax clearance receipt worth about N100million spanning within 20 years for the people of Mkpat Enin to see. I am not just coming to collect from the people’s resources, but I am here to take the people’s resources to develop the people and their communities.
“With due respect to all the other aspirants for the Mkpat Enin chairmanship position, they are all jobless people. Who among them is currently working and where is he/she working at the moment?
“I didn’t intend to contest before now, but when Mkpat Enin people called on me to come and serve them, that none of the people seeking the office is qualified for it, and I did analysis of their profiles, I have to accept the call of my people. The political zoning arrangement favours my clan -Ukpum Minya. I am not running against the political tide, like them.”
He noted that the area lacks development because of the inability of past Mkpat Enin leaders to evolve programmes that would have changed the face of things. He also attributed the lack of development in Mkpat Enin to the fact that the people had never participated in choosing their council chairman.
Evans Akpanobong who maintained that he chose to join the race after the people of Mkpat Enin called on him to come and develop the area, stated that he has been a member of the PDP since 1999, and has been paying his membership dues promptly.
He noted that he was the vice chairman of the PDP National Youth Vanguard, Eket Senatorial District, and had worked for the party’s successes in various capacities. He argued that the time for political settlement using the chairmanship of Mkpat Enin had gone, advising that anyone that wants political settlement with the Mkpat Enin chairmanship office should make a rethink.
He asserted that the chairmanship office is not available for anyone who has no physical means of livelihood, saying that his tax clearance for the period of 20years his in various businesses account to about N100million, showing that he is not a jobless politician and does not consider the chairmanship of Mkpat Enin as his means for survival, but as a call to service and development of Mkpat Enin.
He promised to work with the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, to transform Mkpat Enin, noting Mkpat Enin is blessed with crude oil reserve in large quantity, which, he will use his expertise in the oil and gas sector to explore for the benefit of the people and the area.
“I will liaise with the relevant state and federal government agencies to explore and drill all the oil wells in Mkpat Enin for the benefit of our people. I will work with the governor to develop Mkpat Enin.”
He congratulated the newly elected PDP officials in Mkpat Enin Chapter and the ward exco, saying that he has absolute confidence in the newly elected chapter chairman, Anietie Sunday to deliver on the manifesto of the party. He added that Anietie Sunday is a bridge builder and a consummate politician with the fear of God.
He lauded the people of Mkpat Enin for their peaceful conducts throughout the congresses and thanked the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, for constructing roads and other infrastructures spread across Mkpat Enin communities, calling on Mkpat Enin people to support the governor and to pray for his successes.