March 29, 2022

Zoning, not accord favoured Gov Emmanuel in 2015 – Udom’s Aide


By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo

THE Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Mr Essien Ndueso has said it was the zoning arrangement of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, that favoured his boss during the 2015 gubernatorial race.

Ndueso made the assertion yesterday in a radio interview programme in Uyo, while reacting to claims by the governor’s former Chief of Staff (CoS) Mr Ephraim Inyangeyen
that Senator Bassey Akpan had stepped down for Udom Emmanuel during the 2015 governorship race.

He recalled that election of Governor Udom in 2015 came after Akwa Ibom people unanimously agreed that going by the existing zoning arrangement, the governorship position would go Eket Senatorial district.

He even described as laughable, and misleading, another claim by Inyangeyen that in 2015 there was accord between Udom Emmanuel and Senator Akpan over the 2023 governorship seat.

He said: “Senator Bassey Akpan at the time, was the Commissioner for Finance, and also he was part of the delegation led by then Governor Godswill Akpabio to tour all the federal constituencies in Akwa Ibom State through town hall meetings.

“He (Akpan) witnessed the general opinion of traditional and religious leaders, the business class, political class, Artisans, women and youth leaders across the state. And the consensus was that power should shift, or be zoned to Eket Senatorial District in 2015.

“I was a Personal Assistant to the immediate past Governor, Godswill Akpabio. Despite being on the governor’s entourage throughout the townhall meetings, Bassey Akpan defied that unanimous decision of the people and purchased the governorship form then”

The Public Affairs analyst, who hails from Eket Senatorial district wondered how Senator Akpan a.k.a OBA, who is from Uyo senatorial district, would have stepped down for Udom Emmanuel when he was not qualified to contest the position then.

Ndueso who had also served as the Peoples Democratic Party’s Chief Information Officer in the 2015 Campaigns, further explained that
Senator Akpan had even negotiated then in 2015 got a senate ticket ahead of Senator Ita Enang and also returned to the Senate in 2019.

The Governorship position of the state for 2023 is zoned by the PDP to the Uyo (Akwa Ibom NorthEast) Senatorial district.