By Clement Eyo
The victory of Obong Emmanuel Ukpong – Udo’s emergence as the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries conducted at the Uyo Township stadium on the 3rd October, 2018 to represent the people of Ikono –Ini Federal constituency in the Federal House of Representatives in the 2019 general elections would ever remains ever green in the memories of all democratic loving people of the area and beyond.
Emmanuel Ukpong – Udo (popularly known as Macaire) defeated the incumbent Member of the House of Representatives, Deacon Iboro Ekanem and Rt. Hon. Victor Charles Udofia, Member Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly both from Ikono Local Government Area with a wide margin of vote casts by delegates from Ikono-Ini Federal Constituency at the Uyo Township Stadium to become the flag bearer of the PDP will be a lesson to all and sundry.
Expressing his appreciation immediately after the announcement of the result said, “Dear delegates, I thank you for your resolve to change the narrative of Ikono/Ini Politics by nominating me as the flag bearer of the PDP for the 2019 House of Representatives elections. Indeed, it is a step toward greater Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency”. Macaire, a name given to his first son has already brought a great sigh of relief to the people of Ikono-Ini even when the general elections is yet to be taken place next year 2019.
However, when this great son of a retired administrator first surfaced into the land of Ikono few years back, little did people know that destiny would use him to turn around the fortune of the people of Ikono and Ini in no distance time in the field of politics. But as a General Manger, Health, Safety and Environment then at INTEL Service Company, Macaire who saw his opportunity as a call to service did not only provide good working atmosphere by ensuring a productive efficiency to the company but most importantly deem it fit to employ more than three hundred Akwa Ibom citizens both male and female including Ikono-Ini indigenes which today have seen them becoming the bread winners of their various families.
With passionate zeal and love for this people, Mr. Ukpong when he did not indicate any interest in vying for any political position in the past due to his exalted position at INTEL then of course did not relent in providing good monetary support to all those who were contesting for political offices with his simple advice to them of given back dividends of democracy to the people when they win. A situation some turn down at the detriment of their sweating supporters.
In fact, it was these rare gift of love, charisma, true spirit of leadership prowess and his magnanimity that prompted the people of Ikono through the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party under the leadership of Chief (Dr) Etim Inyang as the then Chapter Chairman of Ikono to join hands with others to persuade him to take over the position of political leadership of the area in order to engender good governance and effective development to the people.
However, though some greedy and never-do-well politicians may not have been comfortable with his emergence as the political leader of Ikono due to their hidden agenda could not reverse these popular opinions by the people as Obong Emmanuel Ukpong- Udo was busy bridging the gap between the elders, youth and women of Ikono to see themselves as one united entities irrespective of party affiliations. He utilized the political leadership mantle given to him without biases or fear of favour to the extent of supporting all the candidates of the People Democratic Party across the eleven wards of Ikono with his hard earned money to the tune of five hundred thousand naira each including his personal support to individual candidates in the 2015 elections.
Moreover, in any given sphere of society, there is always a huge distinction between performers and non-performers at any given time. Likewise, a great demarcation between mediocrity and excellent exhibited by good leaders who realize the potentials of what a true and genuine leadership is all about without faltering on wrong opinions.
Today, his robust act of generosity and achievements have readily voice out for him as he comfortably emerges the winner of a keenly considering toughest but peaceful primaries in all quarters by defeating the incumbent and Member- Ikono State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to clinch the House of Representatives ticket on the platform of the PDP in next year general elections.
Though, the simple and easy to approach gentleman may consider his victory at the just concluded primaries as, “No Victor No Vanquish”, but the truth must be told that potential dreaming leaders be it at present or in the future when entrusted with position anywhere in the society should not take it for granted by simply abandoning his responsibilities of trying his or her best in terms of providing good representation, human development and exhibiting good character to gain the confidence of his people whenever the need arises. Hence, great leaders with great dream and vision for the people always receive endless encomium showered on them by their admirers whenever they ply their trade. Since good leaders who see themselves as stars don’t get stock to shine despite any opposition.
Obong Emmanuel Ukpong – Udo without sounding unequivocal or being sycophantic here became the toss of the people following his achievement and track-record of performance, leadership accommodation and means of providing good livelihood for the people undermining where they came from. A man whose generous style of giving out gifts to the people has no bound, who before now have singled-handedly gave over one hundred cars to people within and outside the state.
Today, this tremendous act of being nice to people has not only earned him the accolades of the People’s choice to be dominated by a good number of delegates in Ikono- Ini but a feat we hope stands him out as the favourite and easy to approach candidate to be elected across party lines in the Federal constituency to represent the good people of the area in the Federal House of Representatives come 2019 general elections in the country. Like the great scholar Harry E. True Blood puts it, “It takes a man of courage to have planted trees that would someday give shade to people he has never met in his life”.
As a true resemblance of this popular saying, we strongly believe that Obong Emmanuel Ukpong when elected into the Federal House of Representatives next year would be motivated by ensuring more dividends of development to his people without being influenced by any force as we hope and pray God to see him through the struggle of actualizing this dream in the next political dispensation.