By Emmanuel Ndom
A frontline aspirant for the Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara State Constituency seat in 2023, Mr. Ime Umo has insisted that equity and fairness demand that the House of Assembly slot for his Constituency be zoned to the Otoro Ubo clan where he hails, and not Amayam Clan.
Speaking to Journalists recently in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, he recounted how his clan, which he said used to have clan heads years back, has been grossly marginalized for the past 70 years since Ikot Ekpene LGA had been created in 1951.
He said equity and fairness favour Otoro Ubo for the House of Assembly come 2023 just as he recalled that years back, one C. S. Inyang was the first person who went to the House of Assembly from Amayam and later Isong Isang from Urban, Abia Okpo, not Otoro Ubo. He said Engr Ezekiel from Urban, Uruk Uso went to the House of Assembly and later Rt. Hon. Nsikak Ekong(now in the House of Representatives) still from Uruk Uso.
Mr Umo argued that the House of Assembly seat has a joint ticket shared by Ikot Ekpene and Obot Akara, just as he asserted that it is Ikot Ekpene LGA that has the ticket in 2023, but regretted that his Clan with ten villages has not been favored with any elective position since 1951 and any appointment since 1999. He spoke vehemently against micro-zoning, adding that the PDP Construction does not recognize it.
“The current house member is from Obot Akara, and the House of Assembly ticket is coming now to Ikot Ekpene. There is no micro-zoning. From the Party Constitution there is no micro-zoning.”, Mr. Umo said.
Asked if anybody from Ikot Ekpene, and particularly where he comes from, has ever been to the House of Assembly, he said, “Ikot Ekpene is divided into three clans, namely: Amayam, Ikot Ekpene, and Otoro Ubo. Otoro Ubo, which is the axis I come from, has been silent. There is Ibiakpan. There are two villages in Ibiakpan. Ibiakpan Nto Akan, Ibiakpan Ikot Obio Ekere, Ibiakpan Akanawan, there is Abak Oko, there is Nsiak; there is Utu Ikpe, Utu Ikot Ekpenyong, there is Utu Edem Usung, there is Abia Okpo Idim, there is Edem Idim.
“There are ten villages in Otoro Ubo, where I come from, unfortunately, it is not gazetted. I have been briefed that there existed Otoro Ubo clan years back and that there were Clan heads. On that axis, Otoro Ubo has not had, witnessed, or seen any elective position to date. Nothing in terms of economic or infrastructural development has come to Otoro Ubo since the establishment of Ikot Ekpene LGA in 1951.”
Asked if zoning favours him he says; “Zoning is subjective if you ask me. If we talk about zoning from where I am coming from, the state house of Assembly is a joint ticket. You talk about Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara.
The current house member is from Obot Akara, and the House of Assembly ticket is coming now to Ikot Ekpene. There is no micro-zoning. From the Party Constitution, there is no micro-zoning.”
He continued, “We have been marginalized, no political appointment, no elective office holder. As we speak, I am feeling the pains of marginalization. I have been marginalized”.
While advising his people to do away with godfatherism, he appealed to delegates of PDP to give him their votes to secure the mandate and contest, win and follow through his plans for Ikot Ekpene and Obot Akara people.
He promised to establish an ICT Excellence Center, skills development center, sponsor quality Bills to actualize tax rebates to encourage investors to do business in his state Constituency to create jobs, and sponsor a Bill for the establishment of the Information Communications & Technology Agency to create a domain name for Akwa Ibom State government, sell internet services, interface MDAs with government amongst others.
Mr. Ime Umo is an ICT professional with over 20 experience across many multinationals like International Business Machines(IBM), ORACLE, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard (HP) where he left and founded his company called TRAX, an ICT firm dealing with ICT products and medical equipment. He is married with children.