By Endurance Onun:
A pressure group in the All Progressive Congress (APC) party christened Yakurr Unity Front (YUF) has appealed to the party to assist AFREKPE/EPENTI council ward of Ekori Community produce the next House of Assembly member for Yakurr 1 State Constituency come 2023 by zoning its ticket exclusively to the ward.
The Spokesman of the group, Mr. Ebriba Thompson during a chat with MoonRayNews over the weekend noted that because the Constituency was made up of only three (3) communities; Ekori, Ugep and Idomi, it was very easy to distribute a certain position across these communities. According to Ebriba, if a particular community is assisted to hold a certain office, the next turn should be a different community and in the proceeding dispensation, the other which was yet to taste the position should be aided. This way, Ebriba said the three (3) member communities would enjoy a good political relationship.
YUF is of the opinion that to live in a lasting political harmony, the three member-communities could adopt an “ABC slot formula” where the first community to hold the position is field in ‘slot A’; the second community is field in ‘slot B’; and the third community to hold the same position is field in ‘slot C’. If this approach is adopted, YUF believes there may never be any political misunderstandings as much as the said certain position was concerned.
YUF’s spokesman has gone further to clarify that, for Yakurr 1 State Constituency seat which is shared solely amongst these three member-communities, the first community to send a representative was Ekori, inverably, Ekori takes ‘slot A’. He further informed that the second community to send a representative was Ugep and as such, Ugep community takes ‘slot B’ and the last community so far to have sent a representative is Idomi which sits in ‘slot C’.
For avoidance of confusion or unnecessary bemusement, YUF is of the appeal that whereas Ekori community in ‘slot A’ sent a representative in the State House of Assembly in person of Rt. Hon. Bassey Ewa from 1999 to 2007 (8 years) and Ugep in ‘slot B’ sent the next representative in person of Rt. Hon. Mfawa Ofegobi from 2007 to 2015 (8 years) and also the current representative, Rt. Nelson Ofem from 2015 to 2023 (8 years) was sent by Idomi community in ‘slot C’, therefore, without any gainsaying the next representative should be sent by the community in ‘slot A’ which is Ekori — if the slot circuit must be restarted.
On the need to restart the circuit, Mr. Ebriba purports that it would go a long way in averting any political unrest or contemplated political war which in time past has left the three member-communities at political sword-ends with each other.
It is against this backdrop that YUF appealing to all political actors, parties and followers alike to support Ekori community field the next House of Assembly representative.
At the level of Ekori…
Ekori community consists of 3 council wards, viz; Ntan, Ajere and Afrepke/Epenti. Whereas Ntan and Ajere have had good turns in both elective and selective positions, nonetheless, their relatives of Afrekpe/Epenti ward are yet to enjoy similar political patronage. This, YUF believes should be brought to fore as politicians in Yakurr 1, nay, Ekori dust-off for 2023.
Yakurr Unity Front (YUF) spokesman went further to list a litany of politicians from Ntan and Ajere who have, in a way or the other enjoyed political patronage since inception of public politics in Ekori community;
According to YUF, the below distribution of political positions, candidature and aspirations is true for Ntan and Ajere:
(a) Public Positions: Late Chief Eteng Ekpe, Cross River State House of Assembly; Justice Ofem Ikpi Ofem, Federal House of Representatives; Hon. Ofem Bassey (a.k.a Egoma), Yakurr Local Government Chairman; Hon. Eteng Eloma, Sole Administrator, Yakurr Local Government.
(b) Party Candidates: Barr. Wekekayo Eteng Ekpe (under Labor Party, 2015).
(c) Party Aspirants: Barr. Wekekayo Eteng Ekpe (under APC), Yakurr 1 State Constituency.
(a) Public Positions: Currently, Barr. Apla Uket (a.k.a Ibangha), member, Governing Council (Federal College of Education, Oyo State; Arc. Ikoi Ibiang Ofem, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Cross River State; Late Justice Ekapong Ubi Ofem, Chairman, defunct Ugep Local Government Area; Late Okoi Okpebri, Auditor General, Cross River State; Hon. Ekpo Mbang Ekpo, GM Cross Lines.
(b) Party Candidates: Mr. Eno Ekapong (a.k.a Kizito) Yakurr/Abi Federal House of Representatives (under ACN); Mr. Sunday Eteng (a.k.a Bebe), Yakurr 1 State Constituency (under APC); Mr. Itobo Ibiang Ofem (a.k.a Marrow), Yakurr LGA Chairmanship (under APC).
(c) Party Aspirants: Mr. Jonathan Omini, Yakurr 1 State Constituency (under APC); Mr. Lebegha Ofem, Yakurr 1 State Constituency (under APC); Mr. Etom Akpama, Yakurr LGA Chairmanship.
(a) Public Positions: Barr. Mkpang Ewa Obeten (a.k.a Martins), Vice Chairman, Yakurr LGA.
(b) Party Candidates: NIL.
(c) Party Aspirants: NIL.
Looking at the state of things, Yakurr Unity Front (YUF) moved for a solidarity for Afrekpe/Epenti Ward to be patronized for what they [YUF] believed would be fair justice for a ward that has endured marginalization since the creation of the Nigerian political space.