By Essien Ndueso
An aide to the Akwa Ibom State Governor on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso has described the claims by a former Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen of an existing political accord that tends to cede the governorship position of Akwa Ibom State in 2023 to Senator Bassey Albert as laughable and fictitious.
Speaking in a radio interview program monitored in Uyo on Monday, Mr. Ndueso said the election of Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2015 came after the people of Akwa Ibom State had unanimously agreed that whether by zoning or rotation, the political authority of the state from 2015 – 2023 should reside in Eket Senatorial District.
The Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel on Research and Documentation wondered how Senator Albert could have stepped down for Governor Emmanuel in a race he was never qualified to contest.
He said: “Senator Albert was at the time the Commissioner for Finance and part of the State delegation led by the then Governor Godswill Akpabio that toured all the federal constituencies in Akwa Ibom State through town hall meetings.
“He witnessed a general opinion of traditional and religious leaders, the business and political classes, traders and artisans, women and youth leaders, and the consensus was that power should shift, rotate, or be zoned to Eket Senatorial District in 2015.”
Mr. Ndueso, who at that time was a Personal Assistant to former Governor Akpabio said that it was unfortunate that despite being a ranking member of the State Executive Council who was on the entourage of the Governor throughout the town hall meetings, Bassey Albert went on to defy the unanimous decision by purchasing the governorship form.
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Mr. Ndueso also took a swipe at the allegation of a poor reward system being peddled by the former Commissioner for Works.
He said Senator Bassey Albert negotiated and got a senate ticket ahead of his kinsman Senator Ita Enang in 2015 and got returned to the Senate in 2019 – a further reward by the PDP, wondering why someone who has been appointed a Finance Commissioner for seven and a half years and Senator for another eight years, would complain of not being adequately rewarded.
To this end, Ndueso felt disappointed that Chief Ephraim Inyang who joined the government of Akwa Ibom State for the first time in 2015, before he was sacked for incompetence a few weeks ago, could come out to mislead the public on a non-existing accord that had no witnesses except himself.
Mr. Ndueso, who served under the Director of Media Mr. Ekerete Udoh, and the Chairman of the Media and Publicity Directorate of the Campaigns Hon. Aniekan Umanah, as the Chief Information Officer in the 2015 PDP Campaigns, said Mr. Ephraim Inyangeyen erred in his submissions since he had not yet returned to the state from his sojourn in Lagos during the buildup to the elections.