By Anny J. u’Dorphia
Every New Year comes with hopes, dreams and expectations; and the year 2018 is not an exception. The year sauntered in with the usual thrills and frills that herald every New Year. However, the euphoria soon waned for most Uruan people with their antennae thronged into the seemingly saturated frequencies of political airwaves. This attests to the ever-heightened political consciousness of the Atakpos.
It ordinarily would have seemed too early in the year for serious politicking. Rather a conscious reflection on the happenstance of the past year – in order to set the template that would help rewrite our stories, even as we set out with zeal on the threshold of a new beginning – would be apt for the New Year.
However, 2018 is not any other year. It pre-sets the tone that kick-start the electioneering year; as certain basic political process such as declaration of intents and nomination of candidates by various political Parties occur. Little wonder conventional and social media are already flooded with political permutations, proclamations and projections by political analysts, ‘prophets’ and even jobbers. The recent intensifying of interest across political divides illustrates our close proximity to 2019 general elections and this trend is quite understandable.
This piece is an incisive attempt to put the records straight by presenting the political office sharing formula existent in Uruan Local Govt. Area from 1999 till date.
For emphasis, Uruan as a nation have been politically stratified into two (2) major political blocs, viz NORTH/CENTRAL AND SOUTH. By record of cumulative fair practice, the two elective positions (being CHAIRMANSHIP and HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY MEMBERSHIP) have usually been shared amongst the component political zones in these two blocs. This arrangement predates the political creation of a new clan-cum-zone in the South.
It is noteworthy too, that this tradition of rotation between the two major blocs has already even imbibed as a political norm and even entrenched as a culture in the politics of Uruan LGA.
Adopting the Fourth Republic as a primary case study, in 1999, Hon. Asuquo Nyong Essien (SOUTHERN bloc) occupied the House of Assembly seat, while the Chairmanship went to NORTH/CENTRAL bloc with Barr. Nyong Etim Udo of Central Uruan zone occupying the office.
The House Of Assembly election of 2003 produced Barr. Usenobong Akpabio from the Northern zone of the NORTH/CENTRAL bloc while the Chairmanship election conducted in 2004 produced Hon. Roberta Nyong from South-South in the SOUTHERN bloc.
It is also on record that in 2007, Barr. Usenobong Akpabio of the Northern Uruan zone (NORTH/CENTRAL BLOC) retained the House of Assembly seat while the Chairmanship election conducted the next year (2008) saw the emergence of Hon. (Dr) Eventus Edem from the South East zone of the SOUTHERN bloc.
In 2011, with the emergence of Hon. Kufre Etuk from South-South zone, the House of Assembly seat had returned in its rotation to the SOUTHERN bloc while the Chairmanship election held the next year (2012), went to the (NORTH/CENTRAL bloc) with Hon. Anthony Akan from the Northern political zone clinching the seat.
In 2015, amidst various political intricacies and vested interests, the House of Assembly seat was retained by the SOUTHERN bloc with Hon. Aniekan Etim Bassey of the South East zone occupying the office. Similarly, in the last Local Government elections conducted in Akwa Ibom State, which will see the Chairmen and Councillors serve their constitutional three years tenure (2017 – 2020), Rt. Hon. Henry Isaiah Udofia from the Central zone (NORTH/CENTRAL bloc) emerged as Chairman.
Following this established norm and sharing formula; as we gear up towards 2019 general elections, it is politically expedient and justifiable that the House of Assembly seat must returns to NORTH/CENTRAL bloc while the Chairmanship of Uruan in the next Local Govt Areas election (to be held 2020) must be bequeathed to the SOUTHERN bloc. This is the balance; and to upset this established and cherished norm will spell doom, as it will plunge our flourishing democratic process into an abyss of chaos.
A famous American saying posits, “All politics is local”. This translates that political analysis of interest should be highly localised. A mandate given to the SOUTHERN bloc in Uruan Local Govt Area should be hoisted and decided over by the Southern people and vice versa. It is only when the localised arrangement is being conformed with that qualitative analysis of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats [S.W.O.T] is achieved. This crucial analysis alone can strategically present a formidable front that can propel each of the blocs to that vantage position sought after.
Therefore, only an internal arrangement and/or agreement will determine, not only which of the zones the candidate to fly the flag of the Party would emerge for each bloc, but also who best possesses the much needed impetus, vivacity, political tenacity and wider outreach to help the Party coast to a resounding victory come 2019.
Being aware and consciously armed with this political history will enable the people to stand resolute and rise above the tides of political bickering, smear campaigns and conspiracy theories. The destiny of the people is in their hands; and trust Uruan People, when we get to that bridge, we shall cross over it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
URUAN SHARING FORMULA FROM 1999 – 2015
1999 – 2003 – House of Assembly – [South]/South East – Hon. Asuquo Nyong Essien
1999 – 2002 – Chairmanship – [North Central]/Central – Barr. Nyong Etim Udo
2003 – 2007 – House of Assembly – [North Central]/North – Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio
2004 – 2007 – Chairmanship – [South]/South-South – Hon. Roberta Nyong
2007 – 2011 – House of Assembly – [North Central]/North – Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio
2008 – 2011 – Chairmanship – [South]/South East – Hon. (Dr.) Eventus Edem
2011 – 2015 – House of Assembly – [South]/South-South – Hon. Kufre Etuk
2012 – 2015 – Chairmanship – [North Central]/North – Hon. Anthony Akan
2015 – 2019 – House of Assembly – [South]/South-South – Hon. Aniekan Etim Bassey
2017 – 2020 – Chairmanship – [North Central]/Central – Rt. Hon. Henry Isaiah Udofia
2019 – 2023 – House of Assembly [North Central]/ –Internal Arrangement to Decide
2020 – 2023 – Chairmanship [South]/ – Internal Arrangement to Decide
Anny J. u’Dorphia hails from Idu and blogs @southernibid.blogspot.com