OPINION BY EDEM DARLINGTON: 2019 Elections And Politics Of Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency

    Edem Darlington


    The fact that politics is about the people cannot be denied. And that democracy is a people centered system of government cannot be wished away. So where the interest of the people is absent, democracy ceases to exist.

    So if it is true that politics is about the people, and in all the democratic maneuvering and political play there is no touch or contact with the people then it would be like chasing the wind.

    Like  Rt. Hon Bassey Akiba once posited that “as a politician,  the most difficult task to do is that of representation” I agree without doubt.

    As the 2019 general elections heat up, one Federal Constituency that is very historic and perhaps will be interesting to watch is the Calabar Municipality/Odukpani.  The reasons are not far fetched. Both men have been chairmen of council, state lawmakers and currently aspire to represent the people at the green chambers.

    The two major contenders, Rt. Hon. Bassey Akiba and Rt. Hon. Etta Mbora. At the end of the day, one factor that will determine who wins that election will be a proven track record of performance.

    While Hon. Mbora will be winding up his four years at the green chambers, Hon. Akiba will be aiming at dislodging the incumbent who incidentally is desiring to continue.

    My interaction with people of the Federal Constituency which incidentally happens to be mine, suggests that the performance of the incumbent in the past three years plus has been abysmal.

    It’s very easy to hear question like “tell me a single motion moved or bill sponsored by Etta Mbora since he went to House of Reps?

    Another common slogan in town is “change Etta Mbora” Its saddening that while  politicians who clearly know that they have lost touch with the people will still hope to explore some  gaps in our electoral system and impose themselves on the wishes of the people.

    Whether Hon. Etta Mbora deserves to be given another chance of four years in the green chambers or not, given the position of Odukpani people that he has  completed the eight-year term of Calabar Municipality and that it is the turn of Odukpani to produce a representative for the Federal Constituency, more so, the postulation that since the two LGAs that  make up the Federal Constituency are not at the same developmental level, that Odukpani that are desirous of development should always be considered for the office,  is a story for another day.

    But in my candid interaction with Hon. Bassey Akiba, I have found a man who I think in all honesty, deserves to be given an opportunity by the people of the constituency.

    His legacies as chairman of Odukpani council is still very much fresh and evident.

    As a legislator, he has sponsored many bills among which are; Commercial Agriculture Development Agency and Solid Minerals Development Board.

    Some of his motions include; Resettlement of Ikot Offiong people,  Provisions of pontoon services at Atan Eki Atan Onoyom beach,  provisions of security structure for riverine communities, Odukpani Qua/Netim communal crisis,  Obukwoesa /Okpor communal crisis,  Akwa Ibom /Cross River boundary crisis,  Herdsmen /Farmer Crisis at ObioUsire and Ito  community, repairs of Pamol fail portion of Calabar /Itu road , Okurikang Market youth invasion /crisis etc.

    I have taken time to do fact checks and I am yet to see an important bill sponsored by Hon. Mbora.

    As politicking begins, my submission will be anchored in the  immortal words of Rt. Hon. Bassey Akiba that ” the most difficult work to do as a politician is that of representation” thus I encourage the people of Calabar Municipality/ Odukpani Federal Constituency to go out and vote right by voting Rt. Hon. Bassey Akiba of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


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