Eket Mega Rally: APC Recruiting For Gov. Emmanuel
By Uduak Umo
If the turnout at the Eket Sports Stadium at the weekend in a mega reception for Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State is anything to reckon with, then the people of Eket Senatorial District have certainly increased their support for the Governor, and have, as a people, publicly affirmed their allegiance to him.
An independent researcher and public relations specialist who graced the event approximates that 40,000 people attended the rally, which held over the weekend which was not even a political campaign.
As the single Senatorial District which produces 40% of Nigeria’s total oil revenue, the people of that region have repeatedly protested against what they consider as perpetual acts of injustice done against them by the federal government.
Beginning with the political ‘war’ mounted by the ruling party APC against the government of Deacon Udom Emmanuel, who is the first son of Eket senatorial district to govern Akwa Ibom state since creation 28 years ago; the Eket senatorial people consider the APC as an enemy to their destiny. And it has not helped the APC their campaign to seize power from Governor Udom, as the people through their leaders have declared that they view it as an attempt to rob them of their turn to govern the state; a project which was agreed upon unanimously by all Akwa Ibom people since 1999 at the inception of the 4th republic. .
Already, the APC-led federal government has demonstrated a disregard for the yearnings of the Eket senatorial district people for equity in two other notable gestures. One, the replacement of an Eket Senatorial district son with a non indigene of Akwa Ibom as rector of the maritime academy in Oron; and two, the removal of another Eket senatorial son, Bassey Dan abia, from leading the NDDC, a commission which was originally created for the development of oil producing communities of the Niger delta. His tenure was truncated and he was replaced by a non indigene of Akwa Ibom and a renowned mentee of Rotimi Amaechi, who, besides being a chieftain of the APC, is a well known arch-rival of the Akwa Ibom socio-political yearnings.
The attempt by the APC to take over power from Governor Udom Emmanuel, as revealed by their national leader John Oyegun, who announced their plans to take the Akwa Ibom government at all costs saying; “I am more confident of winning Akwa-Ibom than any other state in the South-South…we are going to win”, sounds therefore like an attempt by the APC to finalize their takeover of the oil wealthy Eket senatorial district.
An analyst recently remarked; “one does not need to wonder why the APC seem to be after the Eket senatorial district so desperately; their sponsors are interested in crude oil and are willing to axe down anyone to possess it”
These gestures by the APC and federal governmentt and more, have been perceived by the Eket senatorial people and indeed entire Akwa Ibom people as repeated acts of aggression and disrespect for their existence as a people with destiny, and gone a long way to stir the sociopolitical hornets’ nest. It is well known that it has taken the leadership of deacon Udom Emmanuel, PDP elders and indeed the collectively peaceful nature of the Akwa Ibom people, for the situation to remain just verbal.
Taking the foregoing discourse into perspective, it becomes easy to explain the mammoth size of turnout and tangible passion of the people of the Eket Senatorial district area at the mega reception for Governor Udom Emmanuel. And it is as if the APC have only been busy recruiting thousands more people for Udom Emmanuel.