BY NSIBIET JOHN
When it comes to politics, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area don’t carry last. From 1999 till date, politics in the Local Government Area have always been top notched, played in secrecy, birthed in style and summarized in abundance.
Understandably, one may not need to query why it has always been so. Reasons are enormous because sometimes the interests of major political players in the Local Government Area always defiles common sense.
Simply put, majority of the political players in Nsit Ubium just like in other climes seem to be so appreciative of their pockets than that of the collective and genuine interests of the people..
From the days of Effiong Bob in 1999 down to Umana in 2015, the tale keeps flying.
This Local Government Area don’t just agree, even if you are the best or near best for the job.
For instance, in the hey and superlative days of the Onofiok Luke representation, he almost couldn’t get a second term. His opponent Ekokoi Solomon who had the backing of the former Governor Godswill Akpabio almost caused a stirr. It took a vintage Onofiok Luke with some fearless ground forces to tame the Akpabio dynasty. Many thanks to Senator Effiong Bob whose role that rime cannot be quantified by money.
This was in 2015. Now, as we bounce into 2018 preparatory to the election proper, the LGA is in the news again.
This time around, it is the interest of Otobong Effiong Bob, the first son of Senator Effiong Bob to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly that is creating the Rumpus in the state Constituency.
Senator Bob who is always the last man standing and most times the defining factor of Nsit Ubium politics has come under fire by the same people he made.
Every right thinking person will deduce that the business of making Otobong Bob a lawmaker is not the creation of the father. It is the initiative of the political class in Nsit Ubium State Constituency. The denials by Otobong Edemidiong and the now opposition to Otobong Effiong Bob being orchestrated by Edemidiong who sold the idea in the first place to many is seen as a stupid adventure embarked upon by the immediate past transition Chairman of the area.
But then, this move has seriously rattled the political family in Nsit Ubium state constituency as some parties concerned have openly kicked against Bob son’s bid for the House of Assembly. Even Otobong Edemidiong who happens to be the latest beneficiary of Effiong Bob’s political clout is the leader of the squad that is antagonizing the Nsit Ubium political leader. Edemidiong goes about this move as if his life depends on it and he tells whoever cares to listen that his owes nobody any apology.
Apart from Otobong Edemidiong saying that he has the right to support whoever he wishes to support, he is also of the opinion that Nsit Ubium does not belong to one man and therefore one family cannot impede on the political progress of the State Constituency.
Otobong Edemidiong has therefore mounts a road block for Effiong Bob and his son Otobong . But whether his road block will yield any dividend or not is what political harvesters wait to see.
But Nsit Ubium politicians see Edemidiong as a man of greed, inconsistency and a food is ready politicial betrayer.
The fact that Otobong Edemidiong led the team that went to Effiong Bob to plead that Otobong (Bob’s son) be released by the father to run the House of Assembly race and his new positioning now is what cannot be reconciled at the moment. And until the reason for Edemidiong’s change of mind is established, Nsit Ubium people will still watch him in awe.
Effiong Bob’s ambush is not only coming from Edemidiong who perhaps had thought he could eke some fat sum of money from his benefactor. Some other persons from Nsit Ubium may have joined the move against the UNIBEN Pro-Chancellor on the argument that Ubium North 3 cannot produce another elected officer again, especially in this dispensation. The argument here is that since the House of Assembly position for Nsit Ubium is zoned to Ubium North, then stakeholders and elders of the Local Government Area should please allow either of North 1 or 2 to take the slot as North 3 has already been getting slots zoned to Ubium North. This clearly is the position of Hon. Dickson Atian, the Councilor representing Ubium North 1 in the Nsit Ubium legislative council. When he spoke with Yours Sincerely on phone early hours of Friday.
But then, to be very fair to Effiong Bob, Otobong Effiong Bob’s mission to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly is not an initiative of Sen. Bob. For those who may not know, the distinguished Senator was in his house when the immediate past transition chairman of the area, Mr. Otobong Edemidiong led top notch political emissaries to Effiong Bob pleading with him to allow Otobong join the race.
Twice he has gone to Effiong Bob with all Ward Chairmen, twice Effiong Bob had failed to yield to it. But Edemidiong later had his way and Senator Bob pleaded him to discuss with his son. Before Bob could lead the discussion with Otobong Bob, Otobong Edemidiong after leading Ward chairmen to blackmail Victor Bob had already sold Effiong Bob’s son to the people as Onofiok Luke’s successor. Effiong Bob as human as he is was put under pressure by the people to allow his son to join the race. When he succumbed to the pressure, he discussed with his son who is a lawyer, Otobong Bob after listening to the father, agreed to accept the message of seeking to represent Nsit Ubium State Constituency in the House of Assembly.
Therefore, one would be left with nothing but to wonder how and why Effiong Bob would be accused of plotting to impose his son Otobong on the people.
Granted that, Senator Bob had introduced his son during the last concluded PDP campaign for Local Government election and has asked him to greet the PDP and Nsit Ubium. This did not in any way meant he singlehandedly brought out his son for that position. The truth is simple; MR. EDEMIDIONG has not told Nsit Ubium people why he initiated Otobong Effiong Bob’s interest in the race simply to hang it down and attempt to play the role of a saint. This attitude from the former transition chairman really calls for a mental check of Edemidiong otherwise watchers and participants of this development should be told the truth, the truth and nothing but the truth because it is this missing truth that is inflaming the people.
This is Mbre ikid and the likes of Sen. Bob would always say, Abasi ikpong akeme ndi koko ikid inno owo esie!
Therefore, why commentators and opinion holders lay claim to who should represent Nsit Ubium in the House of Assembly by 2019, utterances should be watched and temperaments relaxed because some provocative comments and remarks may not be the answer to the myriads of questions begging for answers in Nsit Ubium State Cosntituency.
Apart from that, contributors to this debate should understand that Effiong Bob is not a man that can be frightened out of a race. Recollect that amidst all the gang up, the betrayals and the back stabbing that Bob was coerced to face in 2011 as was then orchestrated by Godswill Akpabio, Umana Umana and Ita Enang, the statement made by Effiong Bob during ans after that election was emphatic.
If Effiong Bob could do that in 2011, why would one believe that he has not grown in speed gathering more political skills and experience? Let Nsit Ubium people not forget that this is a man that has the ears of the Governor, the Party chairman Obong Paul Ekpo and many others that matter in politics. In the national scene, his name may open the doors for him.
Again, politics in Nigeria is about money, money and money. Therefore, with Bob boasting of a heavy financial war cum political chest, he may get the victory for his son. Let us not forget Ke- mkpo Effiong Bob isidoho etok mkpo.
The arithmetics of Bob losing an election in Nsit Ubium cannot be thought of. The very idea of losing is hurtful to Effiong Bob and going out of his way to ensure his son wins may not be overruled. Those who are opoposing Otobong Effiong Bob just have to step up their skills because what they are doing today as the matter goes forward are too infantile.
The release from Ubium North 2 as circulated all over the social media appears to have come at a time not proper. The timing is wrong from every indications. Those against the younger Bob have succeeded in publicizing the boy.
They have succeeded in making people who had hitherto not known the boy to seek to know who Barr. Otobong Effiong Bob is. The boy’s only challenge is that he has no experience in politics and is expected to ride to power on his father Effiong Bob’s back still basking in the euphoria or authority of zoning.
The word zoning for me is not new in the dictionary of Akwa Ibom politics. Those who earlier kicked against zoning are today the celebrators of zoning. Issues remain that the Nsit Ubium political leadership in recognition of the three political blocs in the area had zoned the chairmanship seat to Nsit, the commissioner remains in Ubium South while the House of Assembly position is to go to Ubium North. With this established zoning rule, Neither Effiong Bob nor those backing Effiong Bob have committed any political blunder. This is because the position of AKHA for the State Constituency so zoned also favours Otobong Effiong Bob.
As a believer in political common sense and negotiations, what I expect stakeholders from this region to do is to marry all interests and reconcile the challengers for the top job. Accussing Effiong Bob of trying to install his son is too academic. This is rightly so because so far, no one, no institution has come out to tell Akwa Ibom people that the position of Nsit Ubium AKHA seat for 2019 has been microzoned to exclude Effiong Bob’s Ubium North 3 from participating in the race.
But for as long as opposition to Otobong Bob remains on a hanging note, then, come 2019, the young man will sail into the Udo Udoma chambers to speak for Nsit Ubium people without a scratch. Those opposing him would have only made verbal opposition without an action.
Interestingly, even when the rumpus continues, Otobong Bob is enjoying the popularity of delegates to that election. For instance, Bob’s ward would pour in bloc votes. The local government chapter will deliver 80/20% to Bob’s victory. Other wards seem to be waiting for Bob’s emphatic declaration.
From 1999, a lot have changed in Nsit Ubium and the people say, they have to go for what they know and not what they have been told.
Senator Bob have been around politically for a long time to be perturbed as far as 2019 elections is concerned. When negotiations and counter negotiations would be held, a lot of those making noise on this matter would not be around.
As far as we can remember, Senator Bob has paid his dues for and in Nsit Ubium and especially now that the political morning in the area is quite unpredictable, the possibility of the senator having his way should not be completely overruled. And let it be reminded that in the election, one needs a simple majority to win.
Interesting game ahead one must say.