By: Israel Umoh
In the just-concluded state House of Assembly election held on Saturday, March 9 in Akwa Ibom, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP swept the 25 seats in the house, remaining Essien Udim State constituency whose election was inconclusive. The All Progressives Congress, APC, being opposition party in the state, won none.
Indeed, PDP in the state polled 519,374 votes representing per cent 75.7 percent while APC scored 166,434 representing 24.3 per cent of the total votes cast for the two parties.
In all, the two major political parties polled 685,808 votes during the state House of Assembly election leaving the rest to other parties.
A roll call of elected members of the 7th Assembly and their votes during the March 9 election officially signed by Barr. Mike Igini, the state resident electoral Commissioner shows that “In the Abak state constituency, Barr. Victor Nkanang of APC polled 11,461 and Elder Udeme James Otong of PDP scored 17,163.”
Otong, who is the immediate past chairman of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in the state, was declared elected. He will take over from a two-term member, Friday Iwok who also was NANNM chairman.
“From Eket constituency, Charles E. Sunday of APC got 5,508 while the incumbent, David Lawrence Udofa polled 25,571 votes to be re-elected.”
With the calibre of APC chieftains in Esit Eket/Ibeno state constituency, it was thought that other parties would face tough time. However, Usoro Samuel Akpanusoh dusted them to emerge overall winner. Akpanusoh of PDP polled 22,612 votes against 5,269 votes scored by Eyoinyang Abia Bassey of APC. The chairman of Appropriation committee in the house, Akpanusoh was re-elected.
From Etim Ekpo/Ika state constituency, Mfon Frank Idung of PDP scored 22,493 votes to drown Christopher Okorie of APC with a paltry 6,243 votes. Idung, a one-time Etim Ekpo local government Chairman, was re-elected.
In Etinan, Barr. Aniefiok Dennis garnered whopping 23,011 votes to swallow 6,006 votes scored by Ofonime O. Friday of APC. Dennis was re-elected.
The race between Barr. Esse Gerald Umoh of PDP and Nse Ntuen in Essien Udim state constituency is in clutches in that Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC cancelled election in nine wards and plans to hold it again for a winner to emerge.
In Ibesikpo Asutan, Aniekan Uko, the incumbent of PDP gathered 15,238 votes to be re-elected while his challenger, Dr. Itoro Bassey Noah of APC scored 7,346. Uko comes from Ibesikpo clan while Noah is from Asutan clan, though the rotational principle of the area was not upheld.
Barr. Otobong Effiong Bob from Nsit Ubium state constituency scored 17,654 while Ime Akpan of APC polled 5,788. Otobong of PDP whose father is Effiong Bob, a two-term Senator who represented Uyo Senatorial District was elected. The Ubium son will take over from Onofiok Luke from Nsit bloc recently elected into the House of Representatives.
In Ibiono Ibom, Godwin James Ekpo of PDP scored 36,456 while his opponent, Onnoedinyere Daniel Ekenyong got 7,847 votes. By the votes, Ekpo, a one-time chairman of Ibiono Ibom was declared a winner.
Ikot Abasi/Eastern Obolo state constituency would have witnessed an unhealthy competition in that Nsima Ekere, the APC governorship candidate hails from Ikot Abasi. It was not easy to give PDP a chance, yet the party triumphed. An incumbent, Uduak A. Odudoh of PDP polled 19,919 and was re-elected, yet his opponent, Uko Obot Ekpe of APC got 9,209 votes.
Okobo State constituency has two strong political blocs- Okobo and Atak Oro. At present, the local government chairman comes from Okobo while the member in the House hails from Atak Oro. Though the people believe in the gentleman’s rotational principle, some conservatives saw noting wrong in Okobo calmouring and garnering the two political positions. However, Felicia Bassey of PDP from Atak Oro polled 10,305 while Edu Okon Attah of APC from Okobo scored 6,250 votes, Thus, Princess Bassey, the current deputy speaker in the state House of Assembly, was re-elected.
The Oruk Anam state constituency was seen as a battleground due to the political heavyweights in the area coupled with the fact that the area 13 electoral wards and more than 100,000 registered votes. Apart, Atuekong Don Etiebet is the APC BOT member, Senator Itak Bob Ekarika, Dr. Amadu Atai, the immediate past state APC deputy governorship candidate and Dr. Udoma Bob Ekarika, a one-time PDP governorship aspirant, among others hail from the area.
Despite the political permutations, Udo Kierian Akpan of PDP polled 34,836 votes while Noah Frank Frank of APC scored 9,241 votes. Akpan comes from Anam while Frank is from Oruk in the area. Akpan, a one-time chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Akwa Ibom State and a one-time Special Adviser on Labour and Productivity, was re-elected for a third term.
In Ini state constituency, Emmanuel Bassey Ekpenyong, the incumbent polled 17,158 votes against 3,318 votes recorded by his challenger, Nya John Isang of APC. Ekpenyong of PDP was re-elected.
In Itu state constituency, Idongesit Okon Ituen failed to be re-elected into the House after the house leadership sacked him for defecting to APC. Ituen scored 6,427 votes while KufreAbasi Edidem of PDP and a one-time Chairman of Itu, garnered 14,408 votes to be elected.
In Ikono state constituency, Asuquo Nana Udo scored 18,186 votes against 4,913 votes polled by Kenny Inyang Eka of APC. For the first time, Udo of PDP was elected to speak for the Ikono people in the house.
It was clean sweep for Idongesit Ntekpere in Ikot Ekpene/Obot Akara state constituency. He polled 28,613 votes to outclass Aniekan I. Melson of APC who got 15,566 votes. Ntekpere, the incumbent, was re-elected.
In Mbo, Effiong Etim Johnson of APC scored 6,649 votes while Okon Asuquo Frank of PDP polled 8,450 votes. For another time, Johnson failed to clinch the position but his opponent, Frank was announced the winner.
Mkpat Enin state constituency was seen as a political battlefield due to some political kingpins in the area. Bernard Udoh who lost the National Assembly slot is seen as APC heavyweight while Ekong Sampson of PDP, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning, is another force to be reckoned with in the politics of the area. He had served Mkpat Enin local government Chairman and a two-term member, Akwa Ibom House of Assembly. Victor Patrick Ekwere of PDP polled 17,911 votes against 4,677 votes scored by Iboro Aniefiok Ekpo of APC. Ekwere was declared a winner.
Nsit Atai that used to be political melting failed to boil on the election day. Mark Esset, the incumbent polled 8,876 votes while his challenger, Blessing Edet Osom of APC scored 3,893 votes. Esset having gathered the highest votes was declared a winner.
In Nsit Ibom, Imaikop Sampson Ewang of APC recorded 4,677 votes while Ifiok Okon Solomon of PDP scored 17,257 votes to emerge the winner in the election.
The Oron/Udung Uko state constituency did not produce any upset. It was speculated that APC has taken over the area. However, Effiong Okon Bassey of PDP scored 12,356 votes against 6,024 votes garnered by Efretuei, Kpakpabaia U. of APC to prove critics wrong. Bassey was re-elected.
Nse Udofot Essien of Onna State constituency scored 31,651 votes against 2,161 votes recorded by Ifiok Ufot Ekaete of APC. Awa Iman in Onna local government area is the home of Governor Udom Emmanuel. The incumbent Essien popuplarly known as Indomi was re-elected.
From Uruan state constituency, KufreAbasi Etuk B. of APC challenged Aniekan Etim Bassey of PDP. Etuk, a one-time member in Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, polled 4,840 votes while Bassey of PDP scored 12,653 votes. Bassey who was a successor to Etuk was re-elected for scoring huge votes.
Asuquo E. Archibong vying for Urue Offong/Oruko state constituency contested against Aniefiok Omen Bassey of APC. Archibong of PDP got 6,959 votes to beat Bassey who polled 4,370 votes. He was re-elected.
For Ukanafun state constituency, it was like a battle beween Northern Ukanafun versus Southern Ukanafun clan. Nnamnso Idiong of ward 4 in Northern Ukanafun aspired under APC while Dr. Charity Ido of Southern Ukanafun came under PDP platform. At the end, Ido polled 35,448 votes to floor Idiong who packed 6,490 votes.
In Uyo State constituency, both candidates of Etoi stock traded tackles under different political platforms. Eventually, Anietie Bassey Ekah of PDP polled 34,190 votes to defeat Barr. Uwem Etim Umoh of PDP who scored 12,182 votes.
The PDP has succeeded in getting more than the two-third majority required by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to pass resolutions of bills of the House into law. And so the 7th Assembly to be inaugurated in June 2019 will be PDP-dominated.