The chief of staff to late Elder Nse Ekpenyong, who was a former member for Oron Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, has presented 10 Toyota Camry saloon cars to the constituents as part of the empowerment programmes earmarked by the late lawmaker before his sudden demise early this year.
Elder Collins Jackson made the disclosure while briefing executive members of Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals (OFCOMPRO), Tuesday, at the residence of the late National Assembly man, in Uyo.
Jackson, who said he started working with his late boss as chief of staff since 2015 till April 2022, when he suddenly passed on to the great beyond, commended his philanthropic gesturejudging from the various empowerment programmes he had initiated while alive in a bid to touch the lives of his constituents in diverse ways.
He said the vehicles were already acquired by the late Nse Ekpenyong for distribution to those who stood by him during his election, but only to be called home by his maker, hence the reason he (Elder Jackson), together with the family of the deceased House of Reps member decided to dole out the vehicles as a way of empowering their supporters and constituents.
The chief of staff who was also the senior legislative aide to the late National Assembly man, reeled out some life-touching projects initiated after the demise of his late boss to include training and empowerment with starter packs for youths and women from across the five local government areas of the Oro Nation, provision of solar-powered street lights in Mbo Local Government Area, construction of a three classrooms block at Ubodung Community Secondary School in Urue Offong/Oruko, among others.
Recall that the tenure of the late Elder Ekpenyong had witnessed unprecedented performance in the area of renovation of the Oron Civic Centre Complex, construction of two internal roads in Ebughu, Mbo, among 11 other life-touching projects cutting across the five local government areas of the Oro Nation.
Elder Jackson, however, debunked the claim in some quarters that some of Nse Ekpenyong’s loyalists have defected to other political parties in the state, describing it as untrue and unsubstantiated claims and maintained that his boss would have remained a strong party man of PDP if he were to be alive, saying they were mere rumours. His words:
“Even though Mr Nse Ekpenyong is death, he still blesses people as at today. I didn’t work for Nse Ekpenyong, I actually worked with him, so there is a difference between working for and working with. I can attest to the fact that my boss was a loyal party man.
“Even if he were to be alive today, I can tell you that Nse Ekpenyong wouldn’t leave PDP to another party, because he used to say that PDP made him all he was in life. If I am to sustain his legacies, I don’t think leaving the party would have been the best option.
“I have a revelation that Akwa Ibom would still be PDP beyond 2023 elections, but how it would come to pass is what I don’t know. Only God knows, “he said.
Responding to a question bordering on the vacant seat left by late Ekpenyong and the issue of bye-election, he said that was left for INEC to announce schedule for the said bye-election, since the speaker of the House of Representatives had earlier declared the seat vacant and according to him, it has to be budgeted for, before a date can be published for the bye – election.
On his part, the chairman of Oron Federal Constituency Media Professionals, Comrade Marshal Abia, commended the integrity of the chief of staff and legislative aide to late Elder Nse Ekpenyong for the distribution of the empowerment vehicles, instead of selling them off as some would have done, describing him as a worthy servant.
He also thanked him for sharing the information with the media community in Oro Nation, whom he said were in the rightful position to know what was going on in the federal constituency and to report progress to the people, while urging others in the political circle to emulate Elder Jackson and late Ekpenyong.
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