In furtherance of efforts towards awareness creation for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and mobilisation of voters across all the Wards in Ikono Local Government Area to go collect their permanent voter cards (PVCs), the wife of the PDP Standard Bearer for Ikono State Constituency in the 2023elections, Mrs Ekaette Columba has visited Women Stakeholders, Mbong Iban and the entire women structure in Ikono Middle Ward 2.
The event, described by many as a political carnival, took place at the Oduk Ikono country home of Sir Victor Etefia, Champion of Ikono Politics and SSA to the Governor on Petroleum Matters and had in attendance the PDP standard bearers for Ikono/IniFederal Constituency, Dr. Glory Edet and her Ikono State Constituency counterpart, Hon. Itoro Columba, for the first time since the tour started.
Setting the tone for the epochal event, the Ward woman leader, Mrs Mary Samuel Akpabio, heartily welcomed Mrs EkaetteColumba, her entourage and everyone in attendance. She dispelled rumours of her purported defection and urged everyone to disregard it, saying, “I came to present myself to you because they alleged that I have defected. I can’t go anywhere else because you were so good to Ward 2 when your husband was the chairman of Ikono.
“Let me assure you that the entire women of Ward 2 are with you and our PVCs are certainly for the PDP,” she said.
The secretary of Ikono Local Government Council, Obonganwan Ofon Mike, in her remarks, appreciated God for the clement weather and described Mrs Columba as a pacesetter, noting that Ward 2 was privileged to have both Dr. Glory Edetand Hon. Itoro Columba present for the first time on the Ward tour.
She urged the LEWA member hopeful to disregard rumours of defections in Ward 2 as everyone was still intact, while pledging her unflinching support and that of the Ward to the PDP and her candidates in the upcoming elections.
In his address, Sir Victor Etefia, the Champion of IkonoPolitics, made it known that the PDP in Ward 2 was firmly rooted and built on a solid foundation, urging members of the Ward not to join the sinking ship of other rookie parties who had nothing to show.
He decried the ugly situation where elected leaders toy with the mandate of the people through woeful performances, stressing that the era of misrepresentation was over in Ikono as the PDP was presenting candidates with proven antecedents and track record of delivery.
Etefia warned against rumour mongering, blackmail and indiscipline within the ranks of the party, noting that the PDPwill wield the big stick on any erring member.
He promised that the era of empowering only delegates in Ikono and Ini Local Government Areas had long gone as dividends of good governance would now be widespread while assuring candidates of the party of an overwhelming support of the Ward.
The State PDP organizing secretary, Chief Moses Akpan, also spoke glowingly about Dr Glory Edet and Hon Itoro Columba, noting that their huge support base and followership werefallouts of their gargantuan strides, which had spread across nooks and crannies of Ikono and Ini.
Akpan noted that their antecedents had made them the overwhelmingly preferred choices of the electorate and specially lauded Mrs Columba for initiating the lofty idea of touring the wards, stressing that she had made the journey to 2023 an easy sail for the party.
Responding, Mrs Ekaette Columba appreciated the women for the warm reception accorded her and her entourage, stating that the aim of her visit was to familiarise with the women and establish a mutually beneficial relationship for the future.
She registered her gratitude to all the women who supported her husband, Hon Itoro Columba, Dr Glory Edet, Barr Emmanuel Enoidem and Pst Umo Eno, during the PDP primaries and assured them of continuous empowerment during her husband’s tenure, assuring the Ward that her husband was committed to the development of Ikono and would perform beyond expectation.
The PDP standard bearer for Ikono State Constituency, Hon Itoro Columba, while addressing the gathering, noted that he was visiting the Ward as a bonafide son based on the notable dividends he attracted to the Ward as council boss.
He enumerated his strides in Ward 2 to include, provision of 524 open sheds and an Abattoir at Obo market, building and furnishing of a 2-bedroom flat for a widow, provision of a 500kva transformer to Etok Iton Village, facilitation of the conditional cash transfer to 212 beneficiaries from Asanting, facilitation of a Motor Park and water project at Obo Market in the Ward from Cross River Basin Development Authority, empowerment of many youths of the Ward in various skills and equipping them with basic tools.
He pledged to redouble efforts towards attracting dividends to the Ward as House Member, urging them to collaborate with their son, Sir Victor Etefia, Champion of Ikono Politics to ensure the party wins across all levels during his tenure.
Furthermore, he noted that the PDP will continue to thrive irrespective of the strange wind blowing across the local government because her candidates, who he described as tested and trusted, were contesting on the basis of justice, equity, fairplay and good conscience and would win massively as a result of thorough grassroots mobilisation.
The PDP standard bearer for Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Dr Glory Edet, expressed delight at the massive turnout of Ward 2 people at the meeting and lauded them for the support given her during the PDP primaries, which led to her emergence as the candidate of the party.
Edet noted that her unscheduled visit was a reflection of her genuine love for Ikono women and restated that she was committed to representing the interest of the entire people of Ikono/Ini and would be an unquenchable voice for the Constituency at the National Assembly, sponsoring people-centric bills and attracting development to the Constituency.
She also charged political office holders and appointees to brace up for the task of making sure they deliver PDP candidates at the 2023 general elections.
In her characteristic humane nature, she gifted wrappers and cash gifts to select indigent women from the Ward and promised to kick start her own tour of Wards in Ikono soonest.
Other speakers included, Deaconess Ekaette Victor, Elder Otobong Umoh, PDP Ward chairman, Hon Aniefiok Consor, Councilor representing Ward 2, Hon Jack Essien, SA to the governor all lent their voices in support of the Party’s sensitisation efforts and assured PDP candidates of overwhelming victory at the 2023 polls.
They commended Hon. Itoro Columba for performing creditably during his time as council boss with lofty projects littering Ikono, noting that it behooves on Ward to reward Hon Columba, Dr Edet and other PDP candidates with massive votes come 2023.
Also in attendance were, Mrs Idorenyin Daniel, PDP chapter women leader, Obonganwan Glory James, Obonganwan Iniobong Akpan, Obonganwan Grace Okonna, Mrs Emilia Elijah, Eti-Eka Maria Essiet, Obonganwan Caroline Effiong, Elder Aniekan Effiong, Mrs Imo Derek, Obonganwan Rose Idiong, Obonganwan Eno Ekpenyong, Obonganwan Lucy Abraham, Obonganwan Happiness Okon Udo, AkparawaOtobong William, Hon Unwana Ntuen, Chief Effiong Uyio, MrsEmem Isong, Elder Sunday Asukwo, Elder Samuel Umobia, Elder Nnana Akpan Asuan, Elder Effiong Enang, Elder Godwin Umoette, Hon Samuel Udoh, Hon Monday Etefia, Elder ItoroEkpo, Dr Emmanuel, Mr Ernest Morrison, chapter secretary of Ikono PDP, Ekpenyong, PDP ward women leaders, Ward 2 Elders Forum, former ward chairmen from Ward 2, youths and numerous others.