Friday, 12 July 2013

2015: EKPENYONG NTEKIM EMERGES Begins grassroots mobilization

While the Peoples Democratic Party and the State Governor Godswill Akpabio are yet to make a clear cut statement on zoning of the forthcoming 2015 governorship election in the state, confirmed reports reaching the news desk of THE INK newspaper reveals that the former commissioner for Transport and currently the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of the State Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim is already having his eyes on the trough and is ready to fight to a standstill any opposition that may stand on his way.

Ntekim who hails from Okobo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State is working silently to get the backing of relevant stakeholders to queue behind his ambition. His aide however confided in our reporter that Akpabio had given Ntekim the backing to join the race with a promise that he will stand by him to the end. 

With this assurance, Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim is said to have begun high powered consultations beginning from his home town of Okobo Local Government Area.  In the past few weeks, Ntekim is said to have met severally with different groups that he feels will have the political muscle to deliver him by the next PDP primaries and subsequently the election proper.

It was however not clear why Ntekim hopes to ride on the back of Akpabio to emerge as Governor.  Meanwhile, as part of his plans to ensure that he creates a political impact in his place of origin, a source close to Ekpenyong Ntekim had told this reporter that the state Attorney General is gradually moving to close ranks with his council chairman Mrs. Felicia Bassey whom he had hitherto had a frosty relationship with.  The frosty relationship between the council boss and Ntekim is as a result of the inability of Ntekim who claims to be the political leader of the area to produce the council chairman.  Information monitored from Okobo Local Government Area indicates that Ntekim had earlier had another person in mind but since the state’s first lady Unoma Akpabio was interested in Okobo with Felicia Bassey, the Attorney General had to accept his inability to rival Felicia Bassey, Ntekim a source said had not been able to keep a straight face with the council boss especially as Felicia Bassey is quoted in some media cycles to have continuously maintained that she owes nobody any explanations to her actions except the Governor’s wife who was quite instrumental to her emergence as the chairman of Okobo Local Government Area.

Again, a legislator in Okobo council further intimated this reporter that the council chairman ran into fresh trouble with Ntekim following her refusal to allow the Attorney General’s candidate emerge the leader of the council.  A source said one Humphrey Abia was earmarked by Ekpenyong Ntekim to emerge the leader of Okobo Legislative Council but that the chairman kicked and had to settle for Edet Akwa.  The alliance between Felicia Bassey and Edet Akwa has greatly attempted to relegate Ekpenyong Ntekim to the background in the affairs of Okobo Local Government Council.  And this had hitherto deepened the animosity between Ekpenyong Ntekim and Felicia Bassey, it was learnt.  But as Ntekim’s gubernatorial ambition gets some prominent backings, the Attorney General is said to have been advised to go back home and settle his spat with the home front. The Attorney General is said to be considering staging an empowerment for members of his Local Government Area and will then proceed to make it for the whole of Oro people. This calculations from Ntekim’s camp observes will put the Governorship hopeful in a good stead for victory.

Meanwhile, Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim will not have a swift ride as there are so many forces behind him. A principal member of the state Ministry of Justice told the newspaper that the state Attorney General is being hunted by the ghost of the staff of the ministry he retired prematurely through facebook without due process. 

Our source reminded that one of the retired personnel had since died as a result of the shock of the untimely retirement. To make matters worse the Attorney General is also allegedly linked to some unfortunate happenings in Oro as was reported some time ago in a state based tabloid (not THE INK).  Apart from that, Ntekim will have to fight his kinsman and serving Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Ita Ewa who is said to have placed men in strategic positions in his local government area. 

 Ita Ewa is presently serving the Federal Government and is one of those seriously contending for Akpabio’s job come 2015. Will the entrance of Barr Ekpenyong Ntekim change or alter the landscape of the political system in the state? The people await the level of influence Ntekim will bring into the race.

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