The governorship elections of 2015 in Akwa Ibom State had come and gone, yet the ripple effects still linger in the minds of many.
Arc. Otu Ita Toyo, the then Akwa Ibom Chairman of PDP who played a crucial part in the elections, is one person who cannot forget in a hurry the fall-outs the elections and the roles played by different political actors.
However, he said he believes in the tripodal politics- Ibibio, Annang, and Oron- in the governorship race as propounded by some Akwa Ibom founding fathers, regretting that the rotation formula was ditched.
According to him, the Ibibio and Annang tribes in Akwa Ibom got their governorship slots, it would have been the turn of an Oron man to mount the governorship saddle.
In a conversation organised by the Conference of Online Publishers in Akwa Ibom State (COOPA) as part of their annual Democracy Day Social Media CONVO on Thursday, Toyo, known in the political circle as Total Chair, admitted “Zoning was not to be permanent. The founding fathers of the state had arrangements for it to run through the three major tribes first and then we come back to see what we can do. Akpabio did not become a Governor because he comes from Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District.
“He became a Governor because it was agreed that Annang should produce a Governor. I do not know if Governor Udom Emmanuel has ever talked about zoning on a senatorial district basis. He would not because he is a Deacon.”
According to him, “I voted for Umana Okon Umana in 2015. I cannot hide it because I felt that he was badly cheated. It is ex-Governor Godswill Akpabio who brought Umana for us.”
“Though Udom Emmanuel, the then PDP Govenroship candidate from Eket Senatorial District approached me and solicited my support, I told him for principle sake, I would neither canvass votes for him nor vote for him. Yet, I gave him words that I would not criticise him if he ultimately emerges as the Governor.”
Bemoaning the country’s slide into backwardness, he recalled “Unfortunately, Nigerians appreciate the level of backwardness. Countries that were at par with Nigeria have gone off leaving the country trailing at the bottom of development.
“Until we develop a sensible democracy aimed at the welfare of the most critical mass of the people, their elevation, we are just wasting time.
“We should have a landmark achievement to point to after many years now. No one knows what Nigeria stands for or is doing. What is Nigeria all about?
Commenting on the ill-fated 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), Toyo who is APC chieftain regretted “The Nigerian Constitution was enacted by a few for many. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was brought in by a blind constitution. There is no belief system.”
Not done, the political juggernaut blew hot thus “We are running political Almajirism where people beg and steal from the big pot and go away with it.”
The Architect-turned politician used the opportunity to pour praises on Senator Ita Enang who represented Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015 for his courage, effective representation, and transparency, vowing to throw his weight behind him if he vies for any political position.
He harped “There is a need for government officials to display integrity in all they do. Take, for instance, Chris Ubah who shared money from Olusegun Obasanjo to the National Assembly legislators to support his third term agenda had told some of us who served as State party Chairmen that Senator Ita Enang was the only legislator who refused to take the N50 million bribe for legislators.
“I commend him for this transparency. Apart from that, he exhibited uncommon courage in tabling and debating the owners of oil blocks in the country on the floor of the Senate. That was rare of courage by any legislator from this part of the country,” Toyo hailed.