Our attention has been drawn to a package of allegations purportedly written by Ubium North Youth Alliance, captioned Daylight robbery; even thee, senator Effiong Bob. Normally we would have ignored it as the allegations are mere figments of falsehood, baseless, unfounded and ridiculous. But for the purpose of putting the records straight and save the people of Nsit Ubium from being misguided and confused, we chose to submit the truth we know about the subject.

First, dragging a sane, industrious and performing Gov. Udom Emmanuel and the reputable chairman of our dear party, The PDP , Obong Paul Ekpo, into this mess is uncalled for. People like them should only be linked to worthy causes, and not selfish agitations, politics of calumny, blackmail and disrespect for constituted authorities.

For someone to shamelessly state that distinguished senator Effiong Bob did not support the zoning of Akwa Ibom State gubernatorial seat to Eket Senatorial District, and by extension did not support the emergence of Deacon Udom Emmanuel as the preferred choice of the leadership of the party then, is laughable. Party leadership of the PDP, members and stakeholders can attest to the fact that distinguished senator Effiong Bob is one man that does not joke with constituted authorities, the constitution and resolutions of the party. As a custodian of law, he has tasted leadership at various capacities and understands the working of government. Never in the history of Senator Effiong Bob’s political, social and community life has he been found wanting in abiding by the decision of the party. He is a staunch supporter of Gov. Udom Emmanuel right from day one, and has continued to galvanize support for the second term bid of the governor.

Accusing a distinguished senator who does not play politics blindly could have been classified as an unpardonable sin. But then, we must state here without equivocation that distinguished senator Bob has always played his cards well when it comes to supporting a candidate. That is why he is still relevant in Nigerian politics till today. He has never supported a candidate who is not the choice of his party. This is a mere attempt to drag the good image of distinguished senator Bob to the mud, and put him at loggerheads with the governor. But they understand themselves better. Senator Effiong Bob has never held any political meeting with elders or any stakeholder to drum support for any candidate apart from Gov. Udom Emmanuel.

All these allegations on distinguished senator Bob are mere attempt to oppose the aspiration of his son, Barr. Otobong Effiong Bob, to represent Nsit Ubium State Constituency in 2019. But why drag a reputable father into this? Is this what you call blackmail?

It is now glaringly clear that all the introductory naked dance steps taken to smear the image of senator Bob through invention of falsehood was because Barr. Otobong Bob has been widely accepted and endorsed by stakeholders to contest. And by all indications, all chances are in his favour.

Did you say that senator Bob is attempting to foist and force his TWENTY- FOUR YEAR OLD SON on Nsit Ubium people? Let us get the record straight here. Senator Bob has never chosen his son, but Nsit Ubium people did. It is on record that three PDP ward chairmen led by the then Transition Committee chairman for Nsit Ubium Local Government Council, were the ones who examined the distribution of political offices in the area and decided that a person from Ubium North Ward 3 should vie for the House of Assembly seat to represent Nsit Ubium State Constituency. They were the ones who approached senator Bob, as their political leader to give his inputs. Senator Bob frankly told them to look for a credible person from the area, and promised to support any credible person they would put forward.

The Transition Committee chairman at that time, together with the ward chairmen and the chapter officers from the zone left and expanded the group to include ten party elders from each of the three wards and began the search. After which, they went back to senator Bob and informed him that they had found Barr. Otobong Effiong Bob. Senator Effiong Bob was stunned. In fact, he was taken aback. He vehemently said NO, and asked them to go and have a rethink and also explore other options.

They went back, expanded the group by including leaders of thought from Ubium North and went back to senator Bob with the same choice of his son, after a wider search. They even begged Barr. Bob to accept his son to contest. It was at this point that distinguished senator Bob sought the opinion of his son. Barr. Otobong Bob only accepted to run for the position because he loves taking responsibility. He believes that such a position will guarantee him the opportunity to touch more lives and not for personal aggrandizement. Already, this young and dynamic gentleman is doing well in business.
When he accepted to contest, other wards, including Ubium North ward 3 on Tuesday December 26, 2017, Ubium North as a whole on Wednesday December 27, 2017 and others threw their support on Barr. Bob’s candidacy.
This same people that persuaded senator Bob to allow his son to contest have now paid some idle individuals to attack and blackmail him. Is this part of politics?

Again, it is also laughable that you wrote “twenty-four year old son” in capital letters to show that you are also saddened by this feat. What has age to do with this? Jealousy is indeed a dangerous disease.
You called him a twenty-four year old son, but forgot to acknowledge that he is already a barrister at that age you wrongly assumed. The writers of this poorly concocted falsehood did not do their homework well. For the purpose of record, Barr. Otobong is not 24 years old. You forgot to acknowledge that he has a Bachelor’s Degree in law at the University of Buckingham, UK. You suddenly forgot that he also has a Masters degree in International Corporate Governance and Financial Regulations at the University of Warwick, UK, in addition to other professional courses and certificates in New York.
You also forgot that he is a successful businessman, purpose-driven, well-exposed, trained and wired for service. How many 24 year olds as you wrongly assumed, around here have attained this height? This should go a long way to convincing you that even at 24 that you claimed he is, he has achieved what a 60 year old man has not yet achieved. This is a display of jealousy, hatred and hypocrisy. Any Nigerian from 18 years and above is eligible to vote and be voted for. In fact, this amplifies the level of your ignorance in elementary government and civic education.

These allegations are also borne out of the fact that senator Effiong Bob had occupied various leadership positions. Remember, one good turn deserves another. If he did not do well, how come you voted him into power again and again? This is baseless.

A critical assessment of all your points so far raised shows that this piece is borne out of hatred and jealousy. But we have risen above that.

Barr. Otobong Bob has lofty ideas and well articulated plans for his people.
If you’re still not comfortable, weep not child. Let’s meet at the field. The emergence of Barr. Otobong Bob does not in anyway stop people from contesting.
To the best of our knowledge, distinguished senator Effiong Bob has not stopped people from buying forms and embarking on consultations and campaigns. This is a cry borne out of fear of failing; a cry of lack of capacity to challenge one’s challenger; a cry that depicts defeat even before entering the field.

As an advice from a father, do away with blackmail, propaganda, insults and abuses. We agreed that no aspirant should sponsor such unethical political strategy, but it has surfaced again. Let this be the last, else, it shall be fire for fire. A word is enough for the wise.

Alex EtukAkpan.
Concerned youths of Ubium North.

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