An ugly development is brewing in Urue Offong Oruko local government area as the Secretary to Akwa Ibom State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem has clashed with stakeholders of the area.
Friction mounted Tuesday night during an emergency Stakeholders meeting at the Ewet Housing residence of the former Deputy Governor, His Excellency Ambassador Etim Okpoyo, when the SSG attempted talking stakeholders into adopting the female contender for chairmanship position, Mrs Precious Sellong.
The meeting, chaired by the Former Deputy Governor, HE Amb. Etim Okpoyo, also had in attendance, Rt. Hon. (Dr) Esio Okwong Udoh, Rt. Hon. Uno Etim Uno, Rt. Hon. Asukwo Archibong, Mr Umana Efombruh, Mr Okpo Edeke, Mrs Mary Kelvin, Mrs Arit Ambit and many others.
Reliable sources revealed that the meeting billed to be addressed by Governor Udom Emmanuel between 7 and 8pm and well attended by all noteable personalities in the area, witnessed the presence of Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem around 12 midnight when the deliberations commenced.
Accordingly, the SSG was said to have told the gathering that “sequel to the resolution by the state executive council of the PDP for one chairmanship candidate in each federal constituency, Mrs Precious Selong was the only woman contender in the constituency who can speak good English.”
Said to have technically avoided mentioning that Precious Selong was the choice of Governor Udom Emmanuel in the constituency, Dr Ekuwem reportly enjoined all stakeholders to support her emergence.
The development we learnt did not sit well in the minds of Urue Offong Oruko stakeholders as they immediately rebuffed the SSG’s position, saying he cannot leave his local government to cause confusion in Urue Offong Oruko.
The former deputy Governor had told Dr Ekuwem to return to his Mbo LGA and support a female contender, Mrs Mmakim Essang, whom he said was a lawyer with a better background for the chairmanship potion.
The source who spoke with this reporter in confidence, said the meeting had ended unceremoniously as the SSG and his team had been frustrated.
Similarly, a larger stakeholders’ meeting held earlier same Tuesday at Venus Hotels, Shelter Afrique, Uyo, is said to have reached the submission of report by the committee which was inaugurated to screen nine aspirants who purchased the chairmanship forms.
Seven of the nine aspirants had appeared before the screening committee while two of them refused to show up.
Five of the aspirants: Hon. Umana Efombruh (sitting chairman), Surv John Isangedighi, Mr Chris Ante, Eno Abia-Bassey and Col. Edet Sampson Rtd., had supported the motion that the report be read at the meeting.
Two aspirants: Mrs Precious Selong and Mr. Edet Isong Ukpong who had declined appearing before the committee, voted against the oral presentation of the report.
In an attempt to read the report at Venus Hotels, Uyo, the House Member, Rt. Hon. Asukwo Archibong had reportedly engaged the committee chairman, Prof. Emmanuel Onwioduokit.
Archibong allegedly struggled to grab the report from the chairman but was condemned by all stakeholders in attendance, before it was formally submitted to the former Deputy Governor, Amb. Etim Okpoyo.
Asukwo Archibong was also recently accused of giving fetish oaths to some ward chairmen of the party in an attempt to compel them to support his preferred candidate, Mrs Precious Selong.
Others at the meeting with the SSG were Barr Bassey Etienem, Hon. Okon Bassey, Surv John Isangedighi, Mr. Chris Ante, Mrs Precious Selong, Col. Edet Sampson rtd., Sir Remigius Asuquo, Prof. Emmanuel Onwioduokit, Prof. Peter Esuh, Engr. Effiong Essang, Barr Ita Okpoyo, Chief Paul Akaiso and Chief Amb. Akadu.i