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2023: Ephraim Inyangeyen and Ekong Sampson Disagree Over Zoning

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Two candidates have expressed divergent opinions on the need or otherwise for zoning in Akwa Ibom south senatorial district as they seek to be elected into the red chamber of the National Assembly.

Ephraim Inyangeyen and Ekong Sampson of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) respectively who are both contesting the Akwa Ibom south senatorial elections have taken different positions with Inyangeyen maintaining that there should be no zoning while Sampson has said that zoning was sacrosanct. Inyangeyen who is from Eket federal constituency explained that PDP failed to uphold the principle of zoning when it chose to elect Atiku Abubakar as its presidential candidate when the incumbent president is also from the northern part of the country. To him, he said zoning was dead.

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On the other hand, Sampson who is from the same senatorial district as Inyangeyen but from Ikot Abasi federal constituency said zoning was needed to ensure equity and fairness adding that the candidate who should be elected should have acquired vast legislative experience before making any foray to the senate.

In a statement signed by Sampson’s spokesperson, Essien Ndueso and made available to the media, it stated that Inyangeyen was party to the zoning arrangement in Akwa Ibom South adding that the ticket was specifically zoned to Ikot Abasi federal constituency which excludes Imyangeyen from the race.

What the YPP Senatorial candidate fails to understand is the fact that Akwa Ibom South (Eket)Senatorial District is bigger than a single individual.

The PDP national leadership left the race for the presidential ticket open to all because of the peculiarities in the country and Atiku Abubakar emerged.

“The party zoned the governorship seat in Akwa Ibom to Uyo senatorial district and Eno won. The party also zoned the Senatorial Seat for Eket to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency and Ekong Sampson won.

“Ephraim Inyang cannot deny that he was at the special meeting of stakeholders and leaders of the senatorial district earlier this year, where the unanimous decision of zoning the senatorial seat for 2023 goes to Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency was reached.

“ Once that decision on zoning was reached, every politician from other federal constituencies in the senatorial district, including the serving member of the House of Representatives, Pat Ifon, opted out of the race.

“Eket Senatorial District has spoken clearly that it needs a highly cerebral and well lettered representative in the red chambers, Eket Senatorial District needs a representative with a calm disposition to speak for, and listen to the people of the district. Eket Senatorial District needs a man who has been found worthy in the legislature at both the grassroots and State level to connect the dots, and be the voice that would champion a cause that would be beneficial to the entire Eket Senatorial District and Akwa Ibom State as a whole.”

According to the statement, “the people have spoken, and that decision stands. It is now the turn of Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency to produce the next Senator for Eket Senatorial District, and that person is Ekong Sampson, who has served meritoriously, receiving a pat on the back in all his duty posts.‘’

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APC Chieftain Commends Governor Umo Eno for Prompt Gratuity Payment

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Idorenyin Etuk, a prominent figure within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, has expressed commendation for Governor Umo Eno’s consistent efforts in ensuring the regular payment of gratuities to retired civil servants.

Governor Eno recently authorized the disbursement of an additional N1.4 billion for the payment of gratuities to retired civil servants in the state. The breakdown of the payment indicates that N900 million is allocated for retired state civil servants, while N500 million is designated for retired primary school teachers.

A statement released by Ekerette Udoh, the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, revealed that this additional allocation brings the total amount of gratuities disbursed by Governor Eno to N16.1 billion within ten months of his administration.

The issue of pension and gratuity payment has been a contentious subject, leading to protests from retired civil servants and their next of kin. In response to the governor’s actions, Etuk, a member of the APC Elders Council in the area, expressed his appreciation, highlighting the significance of the prompt payment of entitlements to retirees.

Etuk emphasized the importance of addressing the financial needs of retirees, stating that it is unjust to subject them to protests for the payment of their rightful benefits. He applauded Governor Eno’s people-centric approach to governance, noting that it demonstrates genuine concern for the welfare of senior citizens who have served the state diligently.

While acknowledging his initial opposition to Governor Eno’s gubernatorial ambition, Etuk admitted to witnessing the governor’s humanity and commitment to the well-being of the people. He emphasized the critical role of gratuity payments in alleviating the financial challenges faced by retirees, particularly in the current economic climate.

Etuk concluded by underscoring the significance of fulfilling obligations to retirees, recognizing their contributions to the state and the hardships they may encounter without timely payment of their entitlements.

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ASP John Timfon Assumes Duty as Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer

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In a significant transition within the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, ASP John Timfon has officially assumed the role of Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), becoming the 24th PPRO of the command.

This change comes as part of a recent appointment approved by the Inspector General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeoye Egbetokun, Ph.D, NPM.

ASP John Timfon succeeds CSP Odiko Macdon, who has been promoted to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP). The handover was formalized on Tuesday, marking the beginning of ASP Timfon’s tenure as the face and voice of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command.

Prior to her appointment as the Akwa Ibom State PPRO, ASP John Timfon served as the Head of Programmes for Nigeria Police Radio, 99.1FM, Abuja. Hailing from Akwa Ibom State, she brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her new role, holding an LL.B (Hons) Degree in Law from the Nigeria Police Academy, Wudil, Kano State, and being a member of the Regular Course 2.

In a statement issued by DSP Lawrence Anine of the PRO department, the Akwa Ibom State Police Command expressed gratitude to the outgoing PPRO, CSP Odiko Macdon, for his professionalism and dedication during his tenure. The command also urged the people of Akwa Ibom State to extend their cooperation and support to ASP John Timfon as she embarks on her new responsibilities.

With this transition, ASP John Timfon is poised to uphold the standards of transparency, communication, and community engagement, ensuring the effective dissemination of information and fostering positive relations between the police force and the residents of Akwa Ibom State.

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Testimony Unfolds in Trial Surrounding Lawyer’s Mysterious Death in Akwa Ibom

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In a gripping courtroom drama at the Akwa Ibom State High Court in Uyo, more revelations emerged surrounding the death of Barrister Godwin Ikoiwak, a practicing lawyer with the State Ministry of Justice. Six individuals are currently standing trial in connection with the case, presided over by Justice Bassey Nkanang.

The court heard the compelling testimony of Mrs. Abasiesebanga Ikoiwak, the wife of the deceased and a registrar at the Court of Appeal, Calabar. Mrs. Ikoiwak, aged 37, provided a detailed account of the events leading up to her husband’s demise and the subsequent actions taken to conceal the circumstances of his death.

According to Mrs. Ikoiwak’s testimony, she directed her sister, Udeme Patrick Umoh, a Nigeria Police officer who is currently at large, to transport her husband’s body from her mother-in-law’s house to Saint Luke’s Hospital in Uyo. The purpose was to obtain a death certificate, falsely indicating that her husband passed away at the hospital rather than at his mother-in-law’s residence.

The defendants standing trial alongside Mrs. Ikoiwak include her mother, Margaret Patrick Umoh (67 years old), her sister, Owoidoho Patrick Umoh (36 years old), two medical doctors, Dr. Imoh Sunday Johnson and Dr. Isaac Njoku, as well as Reverend Father Gabriel Ekong, the Administrator of Saint Luke’s Hospital.

Mrs. Ikoiwak admitted to her involvement in the scheme, citing her confessional statement to the Department of State Services (DSS). She recounted the events leading to her husband’s death, mentioning his weakness upon returning from the Federal High Court, Uyo, and her decision to send him to her mother’s house for care.

However, discrepancies emerged during Mrs. Ikoiwak’s testimony, particularly regarding her communication with her family members and her husband’s health status. She claimed to have kept her husband’s family uninformed about his deteriorating condition and alleged that her in-laws refused to acknowledge her as the deceased’s wife and denied the existence of their two children.

The trial continues as the court seeks to uncover the truth behind Barrister Ikoiwak’s mysterious death and the events surrounding it.

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