Will it be possible for Emmanuel Enoidem to conquer Senator Godswill Akpabio and capture the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial seat in the National Assembly in 2023?
Will Akpabio allow himself to be disgraced twice by the PDP, the party he helped build and under which umbrella he won election twice as governor of Akwa Ibom State?
In 2019, Akpabio was roundly defeated by Senator Chris Ekpenyong in a keenly contested contest. it was Akpabio’s first baptism of disgrace as member of the APC. The state had gone all out to ensure that the former governor got an uncommon disgrace in all the elections.
And things worked according to plans by Udom Emmanuel, the state governor and leader of the PDP in Akwa Ibom. Incidentally, it was Akpabio that brought Udom into political limelight in the state. he served as SSG under Akpabio and was helped largely by Akpabio to emerge governor.
Ahead of the 2023 election, Enoidem who had served under Akpabio as commissioner is now seriously angling to emerge the first person from the old Abak 5, to occupy the senate seat, against his former boss.
On Tuesday, at the Ikot Ekpene Township stadium, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the former PDP National Legal Adviser (NLA) and Chairman, Maintain Peace Movement (MPM), Emmanuel Enoidem took a first major step to make history as the first Senator to represent the people of the old Abak 5, after 62 years.
To some PDP chieftains in the state, including a former speaker of the state house of assembly and current member of the House of Reps, Onofiok Luke Enoidem his former teacher will be remembered as a principled and no-nonsense lecturer who developed a habit to check student’s dressing before commencing lectures to ensure that the Law students conform to the tradition of the legal profession, and when he got into politics, he never allowed politics to distract his teaching job.
But Otu Ita Toyo, a former PDP chairman and chieftain of the Akwa Ibom APC said Enoidem is such a committed party man and working with him revealed his unimaginable power for great things.
For 62 years of the existence of Nigeria and 35 years since the creation of Akwa Ibom state, the Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency where Enoidem hails from has never produced a senator. While other constituencies in the senatorial district have produced one or more, the zone is united in their demand for a senator come 2023 and in Enoidem, they believe they have found a credible person with the right national appeal to represent them.
At his campaign flag-off on Tuesday, all the key players in the PDP boasted of how they will win all the seats in the 2023 elections.
However, Akpabio is not resting on his oars. To him, this is one election that he needs to win to redeem his name and political standing. But losing this election may mean his retirement from Akwa Ibom politics.