In few days, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) would decide who gets its nod to contest the 2019 Senate election for Eket Senatorial District. As aspirants generally prepare to face the nomination hurdle of the party, anxieties expectedly have heightened.
For election to the red chamber of Nigeria’s national parliament as it concerns Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, one aspirant has markedly stood out as an ideal candidate who is best suited for the job. Dr. Mrs. Akon Eyakenyi, a former federal minister and her candidacy appeals more both to the delegates of the party and the electorate.
Unlike the other two districts of Akwa Ibom, the District of Eket has since the advent of the present democratic dispensation in 1999 established and maintained a commendable political design that encourages gender equality and promotes gender equity for the office in contention. It is an unwritten yet firm procedure. It is understandable then if the people of the District have come to regard it as a norm.
Beyond these considerations, she has campaigned the most and effectively too, touring not only the three federal constituencies that comprise the District but also its twelve local government areas. She has ‘preached’ the message of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s reelection vigorously and with fierce passion in the process. She has built critical bridges across party lines that are capable of giving the PDP victory in the general election.
In Eket federal constituency, her efficient campaign has secured about ninety percent of delegates’ votes based on research and poll. In Ikot Abasi federal constituency, she has sealed it at ninety five percent. In Oron her home constituency, beyond ninety percent of delegates queuing behind her, Oro elders are also backing her for the job. It would then be unjust, unfair and rather cruel to shove her aside and stop her emergence as the candidate of the party on grounds of gender. Leadership conscription should focus more on values, above other variables.
Akwa Ibom should discourage a system that attempts to be vicious in its psychological treatment of women who dare to aspire for political office. The former minister though has manifested admirable capacity for survival over the time.
Approachable and easily accessible, it was on these considerations that she was adopted and generally accepted as the candidate of preference across board in the three federal constituencies in a meeting that was well attended by elders and party stakeholders in the District.
For all reasons, our society must inhume permanently the crass exhibition of gender discrimination in politics and not give it any gloss of rational defense. Our women must not be compelled to accept the notion of male dominance or superiority in politics.
Dr. Mrs. Eyakenyi is bold, pleasantly tough, astute and cerebral. These are the stuffs worthy senators are made of.