We have read the unconscionable blackmail being peddled around the social media on the choice of Ntufam Ekpo Okon as the running mate of distinguished Senator John Owan Enoh in the forthcoming February 2019 governorship election in the State on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC). It is quite laughable and utterly ridiculous when people avoid fundamental issues and start weeping up primordial sentiments to gain cheap political mileage.
At the first glance we thought we should wear blinders and pay deaf ears to this unsavory narrative being put forward by some faceless paid hirelings whose stock in trade is to do a hatchet job for pittance. However, on a second thought we decided to offer this disclaimer and respond to this baseless and illogical argument for the benefit of our teeming supporters across the State and for the debt we owe posterity.
Nothing can be more shameful like the aforesaid sensational and screaming headline under which these jobless ethnic jingoists chose to advance their figment of blatant falsehood. It should be known that the Cross River State Chapter of APC is not unsettled or factionalized along ethnic lines and it has never been at anytime. It is common knowledge that our great party is embroiled in some form of disagreement which bothers squarely and strictly on who controls the leadership structure of the party in the State.
Followers of political developments in the State are well aware that the leadership tussle in the party predates the just concluded direct primaries that saw the emergence of distinguished Senator John Owan Enoh as the standard bearer of the party for the 2019 governorship election. This deliberate distortion of facts by some idle irritants is an unwitting admittance of a defeatist disposition by people who lack depth and appreciable logic in their engagements.
We are not surprise at these latest tantrums, mudslinging and smear campaign against the joint governorship ticket of Senator John Enoh and Ntufam Ekpo Okon. That is because it is common knowledge that when people are bereft of progressive ideas to live up to the billing of the sacred mandate they seek to hold in trust for the people, what you find too often is a brazen expression of pathological lies and a hankering for any imaginable straw to hold unto for political relevance. Unfortunately, this bizarre amnesia that these faceless characters and their paymasters are attempting to foist on our body polity won't be allowed to fester because our people now know better and they are a lot more politically savvy at this time. So the mistake of 2015 will definitely not repeat itself in the next election. No amount of wicked propaganda will stand on the way of our people from effecting the desired change in the Peregrino House in Calabar in 2019.
The ethnic bigotry being accentuated at this time is quite strange to our people. After failing in their spirited effort to infiltrate the ranks of the APC in the State with divisive tactics to stop the candidacy of Senator John Owan Enoh, these mindless political thespians have resorted to playing the ethnic cards. This is bad politics to say the least. Suffice it to say that the choice of Ntufam Ekpo Okon was unanimous after due consultation with all the party stakeholders across the State. Ekpo Okon was chosen on the basis of merit, track record and his capacity to deliver on the mandate of the position he is so chosen.
Ntufam Okon is a man of enviable political pedigree who comes with great value to the governorship ticket of Senator John Owan Enoh to offer service and loyalty to our people. Ekpo Okon had served as the State Chairman of PDP, two times Director General of a Governorship Campaign Organization in the State and also represented Cross River State on the board of the Niger Delta Development Commissioner (NDDC) as a Commissioner where he distinguished himself with stellar performance. Little wonder then that these political jobbers couldn't question his capacity, competence and credentials to deliver as deputy governor of the State. He hails from Akpap Okoyong in Odukpani Local Government Area in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State.
Historically, the Okoyong people had a unique language known as Kiong with some variation in Ejagham. Having spent hundred of decades in a predominantly Efik area of the State, their language has since gone into extinction. For several decades, the Okoyongs had fused into the highly revered and accommodating Efik nation in culture, tradition and linguistic, and they have been accepted in spirit and letters. Therefore, to throw up such ethnic coloration at this time is extremely shameful and unacceptable. Note that Rt Hon Essien Ayi who is in the race to represent Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency for a record 5th consecutive times at the House of Representative on the platform of PDP is from Akpap Okoyong.
The membership of APC in the State is not based on the purported “Old” and “New” members as the masterminders of this naked deceit are claiming. The history of the formation of APC is known to everyone and in a constitutional democracy like ours, people are free to exercise their inalienable right to association and pursue their political dreams on any platform of their choice. That Ntufam Ekpo Okon has chosen to join the progressives at this time to ventilate his political aspiration to move Cross River State forward is within the ambit of the law and the purview of his right.
Let those who are upset with the great strides of APC in the State know that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. Opposition politics has taken unfettered roots in Cross River State and the journey of APC to Government House, Calabar in 2019 is unstoppable.