By Stanley Okolie
Senator Etang Umoyo was a third republic senator from Akwa Ibom State. Now a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, he alleges that the recent resignation of Chief Nsima Ekere as deputy governor was part of a larger conspiracy to stop his people in Eket Senatorial District from aspiring for the governorship of the state in 2015.
WHAT is your reaction to the resignation of Chief Nsima Ekere as Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State?
We received it with mixed feelings and it is not unconnected with the intrigues in politics and the agitation of Eket Senatorial district that the governorship should shift to Eket Senatorial district in 2015, other senatorial districts in the state having had their own turns.
Since the creation of the state 25 years ago, Eket Senatorial district is the only senatorial district which has not produced the governor of the state and we have said so, boldly and firmly and assertively that justice be done at the end of the day.
All these intrigues, blackmails are necessary accompaniments of the game and we shall survive in the end. It shall not deter anybody to demand for their own rights. It is done everywhere.
The other day, Senator Liyel Imoke, the governor of Cross River State came out very clearly to say that in Cross River State that the Southern Senatorial district has produced a governor in the person of Donald Duke and that the Central Senatorial District is now having its turn and that in 2015, that he is going to hand over to somebody from the Northern Senatorial District in order to have peace, equity, fairness, unity and sense of justice which he had been working for even before he became governor of Cross River State.
We expect our own governor to do the same thing and we believe that at the appropriate time he would do the same thing to say that power should shift to Eket in the interest of peace and harmony.
The party position is clear on this. The secretary of the party, Olagunsoye Oyinola said it that zoning is alive in the party and that they would continue to maintain it. So, on zoning we stand.
You say Ekere’s resignation had to do with the aspiration of your people. So, do you believe he was dissatisfied with the zone’s failure to produce a governor?
Yes, he was dissatisfied, although he had not come out to say as some people have done, to say that he is contesting. He didn’t campaign openly for example as Umanah Umanah, who is Secretary to the Government is doing, but somehow, because of his body language they suspect that he is doing something and they went after him because of that.
So, was the governor part of this plot against him?
I can’t say for sure. I cannot say what I do not know, but there were other big interests.
Like who and who?
Like those in the House of Assembly, like those other aspirants, especially those from Uyo Senatorial District.
So, are you deterred by this?
We are not deterred. This will not discourage us and if anything, it is going to redouble our resolve. Power is not given to you, you take power and we have all that there is to take power. We produce the resources needed to run a state, we have the largest number of local governments, we have 12 local government areas, we have 127 wards, we have the population, we have the resources and these are the two key ingredients guiding any polity and we say that as a right that it is our turn and no matter the intrigues, no matter the obstacle, we shall overcome and produce governor come 2015.
We have the right sort of people, experienced, tested, knowledgeable, who can run the state as effectively as being done by Akpabio and if not more. So, we can never be deterred. If anything, seeing that they don’t want us, we are going to redouble our determination.
There were speculations that the Speaker was also about to be removed. Why?
The Speaker is from Etinan in Uyo Senatorial District. Yes, there was a plot to remove him and it was not unconnected to the 2015 election because they think that he does not support somebody who feels that it is his birthright.