By Darlington UDOBONG
The trending name-dropping by politicians, alleging their endorsement to elective offices by Governor Udom Emmanuel, was on Monday cleared by Special Adviser in the Bureau of Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Barrister Ekong Sampson.
Interacting with a cross-section of online media practitioners in Uyo during a live tweet session tagged: “Democracy Day Tweet Series,” Barrister Sampson said “Governor Udom Emmanuel has not endorsed anybody for any elective office. What Governor Udom Emmanuel has endorsed is zoning. Governor Udom Emmanuel has proven that he is a leader. He has earned for Aka Ibom State the respect of Nigeria.”
“To have sustainable peace, we must create and enforce justice. Zoning is an enforcement of justice. This explains the commitment of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to zoning. PDP has a safety belt against malfunctioning. We are prepared for the 2019 elections,” he added.
Speaking further, he said “PDP is ready for Nigeria and Nigerians are waiting for PDP in 2019. PDP is the party to take Nigeria to our choice destination.”
The Special Adviser explained that the bond of unity that is evident in the state has been the resultant effect of internal democracy as demonstrated by Governor Emmanuel, maintaining that “Every segment of the state is being accommodated under Governor Udom Emmanuel.”
On Nigeria’s democracy, Barrister Sampson said “There is need to deepen our faith in Nigeria by active participation in democracy. I have never lost faith in Nigeria. All we need to do is to manage our pluralities better. We are so richly endowed that Nigeria should not be where she is today. But with Democracy, the future is bright. One way to get to this is for the people to own government. Democracy has no valid second, hence the need to strengthen institutions.”
Barrister Sampson further maintained that for democracy to thrive and be enshrined in our fabric, “Like security, there is a challenge on everyone to be part of government. It will guarantee greater prosperity. Intellectuals should not shy away from politics as their involvement would help sanitize the space. We should not leave our political space and democracy to all manners of characters. It should be for intellectuals.”
Sharing his thought on corruption, the Special Adviser said “Corruption creates a false line that attempts to retire democracy. It opens up leakages and as such, the fight against corruption should be holistic. The campaign has to be credible to enjoy the support of the generality of the people.”
Barrister Sampson, who also said his “only aspiration is for Governor Udom Emmanuel to return as the next sitting Governor of Akwa Ibom State,” stressed that “No sane society will encourage corruption and one way we can eliminate corruption is through leadership by example. Perception must not be on selective basis, it must be a collective exercise. Encouraging strong institution will help curb corruption.”