…Says My Third Term Failed Ambition was Manipulated
A two-term Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Effiong Bob has said that his third term failed ambition was manipulated by political forces in the state.
Speaking with members of the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) at his Ewet Housing home on Friday, June 12, the Senator stated that he was not rejected at the time he wanted to contest for a 3rd term. “It was manipulation”, he said.
He equally told COOPA that his son’s emergence as a member of the State House of Assembly was divine. “My son’s emergence as Member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly was not on a platter of gold. There was fierce opposition, but God saw him through.”
The Senator who shared his opinion on Nigeria’s democracy after 21 years scored President Buhari high. “I am satisfied that President Buhari is doing his best to keep the ideals of democracy. We have not gotten it right but I believe in democracy”, he remarked.
Noting that “some of the dictates and verdicts of democracy are still being disobeyed, the Nsit Ubium Senator explained that “everything…about democracy is about the courts. The courts must be strengthened. I’m not satisfied that some court orders are still being disobeyed in our 21 years of democracy”, he expressed.
While advocating for the freedom of the press, Bob opined that “if we need a vibrant democracy, the mass media must be given a room to express themselves and to speak also for the people. Here, there must be caution against irresponsible criticism. On the other side, government must see constructive criticism as an advice to sit up.”
Commending the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for performing well “in the circumstances they have found themselves”, Sen. Bob observed that legislative autonomy, if implemented, will strengthen democracy.
“If the Executive Order signed by President Buhari for legislative autonomy and judiciary, if it is implemented, it will strengthen democracy. I’ve heard that Governors are complaining about legislative autonomy. If they get to the legislature, they will want legislative autonomy”.
Bob who made a case for the inclusion of youths in the affairs of government, expressed optimism that young, vibrant and intelligent people will fare better if given the opportunities to do so.
“I believe young people should be given opportunities to serve, especially, when they are available and qualified. Majority of the Councilors in Akwa Ibom State are illiterates. Good and qualified people should be elected Councilors. We shouldn’t bring sentiments into this”.
He advised that “government should depend on the people” by considering their feelings before acting” and not abandon them.
“Many of the Local Government Chairmen now live in Uyo, they don’t even go to their local governments or attend meetings”, he remarked.
He however gave kudos to the State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel for his sensitivity to the needs of the people “at a time like this”.
“I think the Governor has been very proactive in the management of COVID-19, even to the extent of building a permanent Isolation Centre. He has managed the situation properly. If the Governor wasn’t proactive in the management of COVID-19, there could have been more serious crisis in Akwa Ibom State”, he said.”
“One of the greatest things Governor Udom Emmanuel has done in this state is to ban cultism. I condemn all forms of cultism. It will not help our state. Anybody who is a cultist, or was a cultist, should not be elected to positions of authority”, he expressed.
“I agree with the position expressed by Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga that a cultist must not be allowed to succeed Governor Udom Emmanuel. I don’t know about Cultist for Christ. Let Christians decide whether such persons are cultists in the day or night. Neither a cultist nor someone who said he was a cultist must be allowed to serve the State as Governor. What about the initiation he passed through? My position is that if you are a cultist, don’t go for election in Akwa Ibom State. The Governor had banned it and it must be sustained”, Effiong Bob charged.