It was a gathering of who’s who in Central Primary School, Ndiya, Ikono Ward-8 in Ikono Local Government Area as the congress of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which elected three ad-hoc delegates came to a successful end on Saturday, September 8, 2018.
The event had in attendance Chapter Chairman of Ward-8, Sgt Samuel Akpan (Rtd); Special Assistant to the Governor, Dr Tony Usoro; leading aspirant of the Ikono/INI House of Representatives seat, Obong Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo; former Chapter Chairman of Ikono PDP, Chief Etim inyang (Ukarakpa); former Chairman of Ward Chairmen, Elder Joseph Okon; Personal Assistant to Hon. Victor Udofia, Barrister Charles Ndarake; former Ward-8 Councillor, Hon. Kelly Okon; Ward and Chapter Executives; Ward elders; stakeholders, Chapter Woman Leader, among others.
Speaking, Chief Inyang, from Ediene/Itak zone said he was attracted to the gathering when he spotted Obong Ukpong-Udo, urging the people to always toe the path of peace, shun violence, be law abiding with respect to the forthcoming elections.
He further explained to the gathering that “Ediene/Itak is only interested in the State House of Assembly seat and not Federal House of Representatives seat. I urge the people of Ward-8 and prospective delegates of Ward-8 and the entire Ikono South zone to support their own brother as Ediene/Itak will join hands and support too.”
Also the Special Assistant to the Governor, Dr Usoro, who started by educating the people on how political offices have been spread in Ikono, said no political office holder has ever been elected from Ward-8 in spite of the fact that it is the vote basket of Ikono.
Dr Usoro thanked Obong Ukpong-Udo for his aspiration, saying “Ward-8 would have been left empty in the last local government election but for Obong Ukpong-Udo who single handedly made the Vice Chairman of Ikono, which is the only elected position in the area.”
He vowed to stand by the established zoning arrangement whereby “House of Assembly seat goes to Ediene/Itak while Ikono/INI Federal House of Representatives seat to be completed by Ikono South.”
In his remarks, Elder Joseph Okon said “I must speak the truth and either die or live. As a former Chairman of Zoning Committee, I want to confirm that the House Assembly seat is for Ediene/Itak while Ikono South will complete its turn at the Federal House of Representatives. I want to plead with Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel not to interfere with the established zoning arrangement in Ikono in the forthcoming primaries. Let the delegates nominate a candidate of their choice.”
He reaffirmed his support for Governor Udom Emmanuel and Obong Ukpong-Udo.
Responding, Barrister Ndarake, who is a Personal Assistant to the member representing Ikono State Constituency in the State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Udofia, said he would “only speak the truth that will make me live and not die. Zoning is not constitutional; anybody has the right to aspire for any political position from any zone. I am earning salary above N200,000 as a Personal Assistant and I cannot say anything that is capable of replacing bread in my mouth with stone. I want to urge all the aspirants including my boss to work towards winning the primaries and subsequent general elections by convincing and lobbying the delegates.”
Reacting to Barrister Ndarake’s statement, Elder Joseph Okon explained to him that though zoning is not constitutional, it was an administrative strategy adopted by the PDP and that anybody is aspiring on the party’s platform must take zoning into consideration.
Highpoint of the Ward Congress was when the former Ward-8 Councillor, Hon. Kelly Okon, reaffirms his support for Obong Ukpong-Udo, assured him of victory come 2019, and supported the gathering with cash gift.