…Smuggled into contest by Uyio Nathaniel
…Rejected by APC members
Few hours to the Local Government Election, the foremost local government area – Ikot Ekpene, has been thrown into chaos following the discovery that the chairmanship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Cletus Essien, is an indigene of Mbiabong Ikot Udofia in Ini Local Government Area.
According to our source, a staunch APC supporter and woman leader, disclosed that stakeholders and people of the Raffia City are bewildered by this audacious act midwife by Chief Sunday Ibanga and supported by the senatorial district leader of the party, Chief Inyangette.
It was gathered Essien is a cousin to the PDP Chairmanship candidate, Mr. Unyime Etim and nephew to former commissioner for works, Mr. Don Etim.
He was smuggled into the contest by one Uyo Nathaniel as his stooge.
The source further revealed that the state leadership of APC is aware of this misdemeanor but decided to look the other way since it claims there is no written petition before the state working committee against Mr. Essien’s local government of origin.
However, findings show that series of petitions sent to the state exco of APC concerning the matter may have been blocked by Chief Ibanga and Mr. Nathaniel.
“Cletus Essien may carry a falsified certificate of origin, claiming to hail from Ikot Ekpene, but he is not from Ikot Ekpene.
“He is our grandson not a son of Ikot Ekpene. We have a proud heritage and will not allow an alien rule over us. Even though he has lived for several years with us as our grandchild, his birthright is in Ini and we insist that a bonafide son of Ikot Ekpene should lead us”, she retorted.
Going further, she cliamed that Essien and his three siblings were brought into Uruk Uso, the great Etim family by their daughter, who married one Jackson Essien from Ini Local Government Area.
Eventually, when the marriage went sour, their mother brought them back to her family in Uruk Uso Ikot Ekpene.
Corroborating this story, Chief Etangsema Etim (names changed for security reasons), a member of the Etim family told our reporter that the family has been thrown into confusion by an outsider that once benefitted from them.
A former transition chairman from the area expressed surprise at the information and said “if this information is true then APC is worse than PDP”.
Similarly, supporters of APC in the local government area have been divided into camps – those supporting Cletus Essien are said to be sponsored by NDDC while the opposing camp are aggrieved groups which reportedly formed a common front working to dislodge those they claim are destroying the party.
Many notable names in the area, who mostly spoke on strict anonymity, have totally condemned the party for attempting to cover up the contemptuous deed. In the same vein, youths from the area have registered their displeasure by the incident and vowed to disgrace the party, accusing the Etim family of mortgaging their rightful heir.
Meanwhile, a one time federal lawmaker from the area, acknowledged the information but called for calm, saying Ikot Ekpene people are knowledgeable enough to make a wise decision.