Chief Nduese Essien, former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and former House of Representatives member has suggested that big parties may have to give way in 2023 for a restart of our democratic experience in the country.
Chief Essien spoke weekend in his hometown Eket during a consultation visit to him for support by the governorship candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) and former Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.
He decried the current situation where each party now has an owner, and the owner decides who does what and who goes where, stressing that the current situation was a call to return to the basics and that the country could not continue like that.
He noted that in 1999 people won elections on merit as the military supervised it, and allowed rules and regulations systems to operate, unlike today when parties no longer abide by their principles but have been allowed to operate on the whims and caprices of emergent owners.
His words “Let me use this opportunity to alert all of us that the major political parties are on the verge of collapse throughout the country. The gradual persistent erosion of political cultures in the parties since 2003 has led them to the situation they have found themselves today.
“Parties no longer abide by their principles, rules and regulations, but have been allowed to operate on the whims and caprices of the emergent owners. The organs of authority direction, and coordination have become extinct.
“This is responsible for the multifarious harvest of court cases after each primaries election and the calamities which often befall these parties. Political parties were not run the way they are being run now in 1999 when we came out to contest election. Whoever won elections then, won it on merit.
“But from 2003 few people will just sit somewhere, write names and announce.
Indiscipline, disorder and outright impunity has a terminal point. This terminal point has been reached by major parties, thus enabling the small parties without structures to cause them a stir and the current panic for relevance and positions.
“There is a revolution in the offing-a spontaneous protest against the numerous wrong ways of doing things.The current situation is a call to return to the basics and the time is now. The big parties may have to give way in 2023 for a restart of our democratic experience”
The elder statesman commended senator Akpanudoedehe for showing how political should be played by visiting stakeholders who do not belong to his political party to inform of his desire to contest as governor of the State in 2023.
He expressed the wish that other candidates would do same saying, “This is good politics and the right way to play it. Politics is not supposed to be played in rigidly compartmentalised platforms devoid of entry and exit of members.
“Once nomination has been won within the party, the candidates are free to canvass for support across board because if elected you will become the Governor of the entire state and not of the political party. I commend your determination and persistence to be governor of the state since 2011
“As a politician and with a sound intellectual base of a PhD, you are indeed eminently qualified to be Governor. However, at a stage, you should consider stepping aside to be a kingmaker, playing advisory role which is most needed in the fast deteriorating democratic practice base on party politics”
Essien, who is Atta of Ekid, listed some outstanding demands, Eket people Shall be expecting from the next administration in the state to include, establishment of Akwa Ibom Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commissíon, Delineation of local government area boundaries and resuscitation, and development of Qua River Hotels in Eket, and establishment of a befitting Low density Housing Estate, among few others.
In his remarks earlier the governorship candidate, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, noted that he joined the NNPP platform to actualise his visions for Akwa Ibom, noting that he decided to Chief Essien because of his relevance in Akwa Ibom politics and as the political leader of Eket Senatorial district.
He assured that if voted into office, Akwa Ibom Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission would be established without delay, and appealed to
Chief Essien to support him to win in Eket.
Senator Akpanudoedehe noted: “The PDP government has not been fair to Eket. There is a lot of votes in Eket. Vote for me and I will complete all projects that Udom will abandon in Eket.
“I will empower our people to develop themselves, so that we can build a peaceful state. You cannot be talking about maintaining peace when people are hungry”