…As Aspirant debunks false stories alleging he diverted money meant for road construction
… You’re the Best Political Office Holder In ONNA – Oniong Clan Head – Barr Efik to Inyang-Eyen
“Standing before you is your son, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen. He has succinctly expressed himself, stating unequivocally that he is not going to remain indoor and expect anybody to pronounce him as a sole candidate; that he is fully prepared to slug it out with other aspirants for Eket Senatorial District in 2023. He has spoken well because here in Awa, we are known for our audacious and daring spirit; we are fearless too. Sometimes, we have to fight a battle to get to the top. ONNA, will you stand up and support him to get to the Senate?” The Council of Chiefs responded with a reverberating YES!
That was the atmosphere on Saturday at the Palace of the Paramount Ruler, ONNA Local Government Area, HRM Raymond Timothy Inyang when Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen and his team visited, to seek royal blessings on his ambition to respresent Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial as Senator in 2023.
The ONNA Paramount Ruler, HRM Raymond Inyang warned: “I don’t want anybody to say ‘YES’ today and tomorrow you join any other team because they are going to hear about this grand endorsement. From this day, we have unanimously given him (Inyang-Eyen) our blessings; the royal blessing of Awa Afaha and the entire ONNA. May the peace of the LORD be with you. Everyone should support him…All I want from my subject is, bring him back to me victorious.”
However, it seems the era where competence in the Senatorial District was sacrificed on the altar of zoning is buried forever, as, apart from the Paramount Ruler and his cabinet, who received the aspirant in Awa Clan, two other clans; Oniong and Nung Ndem, had earlier endorsed, blessed and prayed God to grant the aspirant’s heart desires which they affirmed is people-centric.
What however, was supposed to be a private visit eventually turned into a carnival of sort as Party faithfuls, youth and women groups trooped out and line the route from the home of the frontline aspirant to his destinations.
Receiving Ephraim who was accompanied by his wife; Mrs Ime Inyang-Eyen and array of supporters in Ikot Abasi – Oniong, the Clan Head, Etebom (Barr) Samuel Efik, while eulogizing the aspirant, went down the memory lane to recall his immense contributions and personal sacrifices to put smiles on the faces of Akwa Ibomites in general.
His words: “Epharim Inyang is the best performing public Officer in ONNA. This is one man that is taking care of us in this clan. All of us are on his payroll. In fact, because of his philanthropic lifestyle, most politicians want to retire and come over to the traditional institution to benefit from his milk of kindness so, without any equivocation, we are proud of him,” the Clan Head stated while addressing the mammoth crowd at Ikot Abasi Oniong.
Flanked by all Village Heads in Oniong Clan, the law luminary-turned- Royal Father added: “before now, nobody recognized us, but when he came on board, he recognized us, bought us cars, built houses for the downtrodden, sent indigent sons and daughters of ONNA and other Local Government Areas to the University.
“You are blessed by the Almighty God and our ancestors. If there’s a Senator who will bring home dividends of democracy to the entire 12 Local Government Areas of Eket Senatorial District is you because of your antecedent. Before you go, all of us will take your ambition to God in prayers. We will also do other traditional things, for it says, ‘Give to God what is He’s and to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”
However, the story was the same when the Inyang-Eyen led train arrived at Nnung Ndem Clan, where the Acting Clan, Etebom Monday Bedforth, Secretary, Chief (Rev) Etukudoh Essien and all the Village Heads in the Clan, unanimously showered their royal blessings on Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen to succeed in the Senate race.
The clan Head expressed believe in the ability and capacity of Inyang-Eyen to take Eket Senatorial District to greater heights and confront her current challenges. He and his council of Chiefs thereafter, prayed profusely for the success of Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen in his wish to become the Senator of the Federal Republic representing Akwa Ibom South. Having been honoured by God and endorsed by humans the Royal Fathers charged all and sundry to rally around the aspirant and ensure his victory.
Meanwhile, wherever he visited, Inyang-Eyen, said it became important for him to pay a royal homage and receive blessings from the throne for he considered the traditional rulers as fathers, who occupied a special place of honour in the area, before he proceeds to other Local Government Areas of the Senatorial District.
He said Akwa Ibom South was in dire need of a senator that will be guided by the collective interest of the people after all Federal Constituencies had taken their turn. He promised to make good use of the opportunity if given the mandate to represent the Senatorial District.
He assured the royal fathers that he has the network and capacity to break into Senate cabal made up of the Hausas, Yorubas and Igbos and will give quality, purposeful, effective, and result-oriented representation adding that he will be a servant and not a boss to the people of the district.
He stated what one of the Chiefs confirmed that there was no written agreement that a particular Federal Constituency in the Senatorial District must begin the cycle after all had taken their turn, challenging anyone who feels he means well for the Senatorial District to come out with his blueprint for a debate.
” The truth is that, zoning or micro-zoning has not brought us the best. Therefore, since there was no written agreement about the zoning thing, then everything should be based on competence and credibility. Let all those who seek Senate test their popularity in the field”.
Answering question from a Royal Father, who insisted on knowing publicly why Ndoneyo-Odio Road in the area was abandoned and the whereabouts of the money meant for its construction, the aspirant regretted that, he has been maligned and abused on the social media because of the said road and was proper he set the records straight.
” My fathers, please I am demanding that you petition the EFCC let them launch an investigation on the Ndoneyo-Odio road. If I’m found wanting, my dear fathers, let the entire Oniong Clan to do me as they like because one kobo of that money is not with Ephraim Inyang…this falsehood must stop.”
Meanwhile, at every destination, the aspirant, accompanied by his wife, family members and a long list of PDP stakeholders arrived, the anthem sang spiritedly everywhere was: “On your mandate we shall stand.”