2023: Assam Assam’s scheme to midwife Udom’s successor crashed
..As attendees groan in fury, question convener’s credibility
…We are determined to help PDP make a rancour free nomination of a Governorship candidate – Assam Assam
A stakeholders’ meeting convened on Monday by Ambassador Assam Assam, SAN to select a successor for Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has ended in a deadlock.
The meeting which held at EMMJM HOTELS AND SUITS, Dominick Utuk Street, Uyo, could not achieve its ‘single aim’ of selling the ambition of Mr Udom Inoyo as the potential successor to the Governor.
Attendees at the meeting presided over by Assam Assam included the former deputy governor and current Senator, Akwa Ibom Northwest Senatorial District, Senator Chris Ekpenyong; Senator Helen Esuene, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, Senator Aloysius Etok, former Speaker Nse Ekanem and Rt. Hon. Patrick Ifon.
Others included: Rt. Hon. Sunny Udom, Rt. Hon. Owoidoho Ekpoattai, Rt. Hon. Alice Ekpenyong, Hon. Okon Obot, Hon. Chris Abasi Eyo, Rt. Hon. Dan Abia Jnr, and Rt. Hon. Uwem Ekanem.
Still in attendance were: Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio, Hon. Godwin Ntukudeh, Hon. Sam Ekpenyong, Dr Chris Nyong, Dr Okon Emah and Hon. George Henshaw.
According to a source who cannot be named in this report, Assam Assam had reportedly told the gathering that Governor Udom Emmanuel has given him the mandate to collate opinions of elders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and come up with an acceptable choice for the party in the 2023 gubernatorial election.
Assam was said to have projected Mr Udom Inoyo at the meeting, whom the source said was stoutly rejected by almost all attendees at the meeting.
Speaking also on the condition of anonymity, another source confirmed the meeting and the agenda, saying stakeholders were furious to hear Mr Assam mentioning Mr Udom Inoyo as the governor’s successor.
Recalling how Amb. Assam had ‘blackmailed’ the governor in 2015, after he was denied the party’s ticket, the source stated that stakeholders were frontal at doubting how Governor Emmanuel could have chosen to assess his successor through him.
He described as an ‘insult’ the fact that Mr Assam had thrown peanuts at them during the meeting, saying the governor could not have sent him for such an inglorious task and sent such a mockery to them as transport fare.
Our reporter could not reach Amb. Assam for comments before press time.
However, there are indications that more factional groups within the ruling party are emerging.
According to an inside source, there are many factions within PDP plotting to also endorse their governorship candidates in the days to come.
This, the source hinted, may affect the 2023 succession plan of the governor which could lead to a political Sodom and Gomorrah, if not properly managed.
Additional report cited the former Ambassador of Nigeria to Russia, as saying that the Elders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom State are determined to help the Party make a rancour free nomination of a Governorship candidate for the 2023 elections.
Describing himself as a victim of impunity during the 2015 Governorship Primaries of the PDP in the State, Chief Assam said, the elders met to set up a template and strategies to ensure no aspirant is cheated out of the process and the eventual winner and losers will be satisfied with the outcome.
While denying that the group is a proxy working on a script to install a preferred candidate for Governor Udom Emmanuel, Assam said, the group intends to mount extensive and intensive grassroots campaign to sensitize the public in general, and the delegates to the PDP primaries in particular, on the qualities they should look out for in the person who would qualify to take over from Governor Emmanuel and lead the State come 2023.
He stressed that there will be no impunity or high handedness in the conduct of the primaries and every aspirant will understand why he won or lost. He said they intend to help the PDP achieve such a fair and credible outcome.
Assam decried the administering of oaths (mbiam) on delegates warning on the risks of such despicable act. He explained that, while a delegate is deceived to take an oath of allegiance for a paltry sum, the delegates has no guarantee as he/she did not extract faithfulness from the candidate by also administering oath to him.
He therefore charged the people to shun those who would wish to buy them and rather not compromise their power to make the right choice.
Additional report by Osundu Ahirika.