By Omotunde Alawode
The Elders Forum of Ibesikpo-Asutan council, Uyo, in Akwa Ibom State, a socio-cultural group based in Lagos, has said that an indigene from the area must be elected as the next senator representing Uyo Senatorial District in Akwa Ibom State.
The group reached the conclusion after its meeting, which, was held by concerned indigenes of Ibesikpo-Asutan Ekpe council, in Uyo Senatorial District.
According to the group, its decision was based on the fact that indigenes of Itu and Etinan Federal Constituencies located within Uyo Senatorial District have been the ones producing the senators to represent Uyo Senatorial District, since the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999.
“Between 1999 and 2003, Senator Akpanudo Edeghe, who is from Uyo Federal Constituency, represented the District during the 4th senate. Senator Effiong Bob from Etinan Federal Constituency also held sway during the 5th and 6th senate from 2003 to 2011.
“In 2011, Senator Ita Enang from Ibiono Ibom LGA within Itu Federal Constituency was elected to represent the district in the 7th senate. And in 2015, the current incumbent, Senator Bassey Albert, also from Ibiono Ibom in Itu Federal Constituency was elected to represent the district in the 8th senate.
“The election of the current incumbent whose tenure will effectively come to an end in 2015 completes the rotation of the senatorial seat between the three Federal Constituencies that make up the Senatorial District and wonder why there would be any suggestion of a second term by the incumbent. They recalled that when Senator Effiong Bob attempted a third term bid in 2011, it was stoutly rejected.
“This emerging trend negates the practice of fair play, equity and justice, which has ultimately underdeveloped the Ibesikpo-Asutan area, and alienated us in terms of federal presence and made us irrelevant in decision making that affects our common interest.
“We therefore advised that when the time comes political parties should consider fielding persons from Ibesikpo Asutan Ekpe council as their preferred senatorial candidates for the 2019 elections,” the group, added.