Very recently Mr. Frank Archibong the very ebullient transition chairman of Eket Local Government Area went to the radio house to sound unequivocally that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the party to beat in Eket come 2019 and most people outside Eket are wondering why he even bothered to spend his time, money and voice on such an issue because as far as the Governor of Akwa Ibom State in the person of Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel is not just from Eket Senatorial District but Eket Federal Constituency as well that it follows naturally that the people of Eket Local Government Area will vote their son. For those who may want to know the truth; such presumption is fallacious if not delusional and the braggadocio on radio by the transition chairman is a million miles far from the truth- a blatant lie in desperate robes targeted at misleading the state government.
The reason for this is that while the people of Eket Local Government are eternally thankful to the Akpabio dynasty for discovering a young man like Frank Archibong almost from nowhere and empowering him so immensely that Governor Udom Emmanuel would find reason to appoint the young man to the office of the transition chairman of the local government of which the people of Eket are also eternally grateful to the governor for bestowing such greatness on such a young man, the people of Eket are ironically now a very sad lot in all ways.
This change of disposition by the people of Eket is not sudden, it started gradually and persisted despite efforts to curb it and has finally spent its toll on them and the harbinger of this unfortunate circumstance is no other person than the very one for which they were initially thankful for. The question now would be why so?
But why not so when the transition chairman who should be the closest representation of government to the grassroots is almost always unavailable and inaccessible whenever he is transiently available? Why not so when the people of Eket have a transition chairman who does not go to his office to attend to the concerns of his people, would not pick calls to listen to them and does not honour community invitations.
Why not when the people of Eket have a chairman who keeps complaining to them that he has not benefited anything from government, that there is no money and the Governor has emasculated the local governments financially?
Why not when the people of Eket have a transition chairman who discriminates between those he claims supported him and those he claims did not support him as if his own emergence as a transition chairman was from the polls leaving all and sundry to wonder how he managed to know those who supported him and those who did not? And this is even more disturbing knowing that even the Governor has called for an inclusive politics where people of the opposition parties should be accommodated in the scheme of things since election had been concluded but our emperor is wiser than his “maker” and by his wisdom the people of Eket are scattered against the government. Perhaps, the recent declaration of membership of All Progressives Congress (APC) by youth leaders across the local government would make a good example here.
Why not when the people of Eket have a transition chairman that cannot boast of a single project in his community despite the revenues accruing to the local government coffers yet other transition chairmen are building markets, community bore holes and other community based pet projects? This is even more saddening knowing that Mr. Frank Archibong is not just the transition chairman of Eket LGA but also the Chairman of the Forum of Transition Chairmen in the state.
Why not when Eket has the most inhuman person as a transition chairman who during the recently conducted compensation programme for erosion victims in the state had the heart to present a list with people who are not from Eket to benefit from the scheme while the real victims were abandoned to suffer? It is gathered that the protests by the people of Eket over such callous evil is what provoked the coordinator of the programme, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang (The Commissioner for Works), to discontinue the programme.
Why not when the people of Eket have a transition chairman who runs the local government like his personal poultry giving oil company scholarships to his girl friends and oil company work slots to people who are not from Eket claiming that he gives them to Prince Akpabio to prove his loyalty?
Why not if not for these reasons and many more? Perhaps when Gen. Ibrahim Badamosi Babagida a former military president of Nigeria asserted that the youths of Nigeria are not ready for leadership it was because of such a young man like Mr. Frank Archibong who in these preceding five years has been a state contractor, board commissioner, secretary of council and now a transition chairman yet has nothing to show in his community as a project embarked upon by him instead goes about telling his people that he has not benefited anything from government as an excuse for his non performance. Ridiculously, this is a man who cannot point to one business or farm of his as source of the income through which he built his mansions, married his wife, bought his expensive automobiles and fund his wayward living. Meanwhile, other youths occupying the chairmanship position in other local governments are performing so well.
Eket is divided into three socio-political blocks namely Central where he comes from, Urban and Okon but today Eket seems to comprise Frank Archibong and his friends from Eket Central where he comes from while the other two blocks are totally sidelined. And this same man is supposed to be the alter ego of PDP in Eket. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine but nobody has cared to ask what kind of stitch it should be. No bad stitch can make any save. Mr. Frank Archibong believes that as the chairman of the conference of transition chairmen in Akwa Ibom state he is automatically entitled to a party ticket for the office of the executive chairman should there be local government elections and forgets that power belongs to God and sovereignty to the people who will only support such ticket based on his performance and track records which so far is zero and going by such assessment the natural reality is that PDP is the party to lose in Eket come any election.
If the PDP cares about its survival in Eket a good stitch is more than imperative right now. And that stitch is for the party to carefully sequester itself from everything that puts it in the bad light of the people of Eket like Frank Archibong. Months from now, the present transition committee will run its full course; whether the government intends to replace it with duly elected local government chairmen or another transition tenure the party and state government should shop for someone else not Mr. Frank Archibong.
No doubt, by the zoning system Eket Central is entitled to produce the chairman but Frank Archibong is not the only person from that political district. There are other people with better pedigrees and capacity especially those who may not have really benefited from the party like those who have but are busy going about to deny it before Eket people.
The State Chairman of PDP Obong Paul Ekpo, Gov. Udom Emmanuel and The Akpabio Dynasty if they love Frank Archibong so well please look for any other appointment that suits his imperial convenience and leave the leadership of the grassroots out of it. Eket people have suffered enough to have spoken out long before now. Eket people should not be allowed to resort to a “political self help” because as far as Mr. Frank Archibong is involved PDP is not the party to beat in Eket.