By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The candidate for Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial district on the platform of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Mr Ephraim Inyageyen has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no justification to demand zoning of political offices, since it has picked its Presidential Candidate from the North.
Speaking with journalists in Uyo, on Sunday, Inyangeyen, who is the immediate past commissioner for works in the state, said it would amount to sentiments other than truth for anyone to say he has broken the zoning formula for the contest of his senatorial ticket, assumed to have been zoned to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, since there has never been a proper zoning arrangement in the area.
” When they do zoning, some people are excluded. In 1999, Udoma Udo Udoma contested against Joe Mark from Eket. Udo Udoma defeated Joe Mark. In 2003 when Udo Udoma came back, Mrs Ufot Ekaette, a lady from Eket married to an Onna man contested against him.
“The question to ask is, if Mma Ufot had defeated Udo Udoma at the primaries of the PDP, would they have taken it from her to give to Udo Udoma. The answer is no, so there was no zoning.
“When in 2007, Mma Ufot returned to contest, Mma Esuene contested, Nduese Essien contested, Nelson Effiong contested from Oron, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, the present SSG, contested, Esio Oqungudo contested. My question again is, if there was zoning, would anybody from Oron have contested? The answer again is no. So there was no zoning.
“What we had was a rotation. Whoever takes it, when you finish it will go to the next federal constituency.”
Inyangeyen said it was only after Ikot Abasi and Eket federal constituencies had finished their two-term senatorial slots each, that the slot naturally went to Oron Federal Constituency, hence, nobody contested against them from the other two federal constituencies.
“Let me emphatically say that PDP has shot itself in the leg when it couldn’t do zoning in Uyo. Etinan has had a shot in the governorship. Uyo has had their turn. So if they were talking about equity, the governorship in PDP should have been zoned to Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency. And if they failed in doing that they should shut up and not talk about zoning.
“PDP should be silent over zoning. When the presidency of Nigeria, agreed by all the 17 Southern governors was supposed to come to the South, PDP couldn’t, at the highest level where they are supposed to show example, allow that presidency to come to the south. The north takes it back and now they are talking about zoning the senatorial ticket. What are you microzoning when you couldn’t zone the presidency that has all the powers to change things.
“Today, Governor Nyesom Wike said that the South has been cheated and people are insulting him. I stand totally in support of what Wike is doing in PDP.
He is speaking the truth. The PDP cannot be talking about equity. You keep the chairman of the party; you keep the presidential candidate that had been agreed that should come to the south. There is an error in zoning in PDP; they shouldn’t talk about it.”
Inyaneyen said since Udoma Udo Udoma left the Senate, Eket senatorial district never had a good representation in the red chamber, hence his aspiration to go and speak for the senatorial district.