By Inemesit Ndueso Ebu
Effiong Bob, a Senator of Federal Republic of Nigerian, elected on the platform of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Akwa Ibom state, could beat his chest that he is a grassroots politician.
This is evident going by the provision of the basic democratic dividends to the people of his Senatorial district as promised in his electioneering Campaigns in 2019 . His philosophy ‘’that power emanates from the people’’ may have informed why he could not fail but to fulfill such promises in order to remain in the good book of the electorates in the Senatorial district and the state in general.
According to him, ‘’Power is transient which political leaders , both at the Federal, State and local government levels, including political appointees hold in trust for the people and therefore, should not make their head to be to swollen headed. He is right.
He has his reason. This is because the voters who give you their vote today could decide to vote you out in a subsequent elections to prove a point that’’ their vote counts’’. Godswill Akpabio, a former governor of the state, Senator, and now minister of theministry of Niger Delta, would not forget that in a hurry.
He had taken advantage of his popularity in the state as a former governor to decamp from the PDP, to the All Progressive Congress, APC, where he had picked one of the Senatorial slots in the state to contest the 2019 general election , but got it wrong. He was defeated by the PDP, Candidate, who had the support of Udom Emmanuel, the state governor, and who incidentally was one of his godsons in the state politics.
Political watchers believe that to be a grassroots politician is the surest way of making it in Akwa Ibom politics, particular, if the political; leader could listen to the demands of the people as well as solve their problems as presented to him ,instead of treating the people as inconsequential. Senator Bob may have learnt this lesson from the onset that he ever lost any electoral battle in the state. He knew he needed to carry the people along by taking practical steps to meeting their needs without complaining.
Indeed, he has come to understand in the oil rich state ‘that grassroots politics is the major yardstick for measuring the performance of elected political leaders. This may have informed why he is still very much relevant in the state politics.
Many believe that Senator Bob , may have won the heart of the people of the state because he grew up among them, particular, people of his Senatorial district where h knew their major needs and how to solve them. It was therefore, a matter of time for him to address such needs in his Senatorial district. He believe that he could achieve that through politics.
It was therefore, not very surprising that when he was elected as one of the Senators from the state in the 2019, general election, he saw it as opportunity to say ‘’Thank you to the people who has the vote that can make or unmake any politician seeking for any elective office in the state by fulfilling all the electioneering campaign promises made in order to make the people happy and still vote for him agin.
Unlike the political prostitutes in the state who had been jumping from one party to the other to feather their nest, bbut Bob, who was one the pioneer members of PDP, in the state had remained a loyal party member . This may have gained from it as his views are well respected both at the state party and the Federal level. Even among his Colleagues in the National Assembly , his views are also respected, notwithstanding their political differences.
Political analysts believe that there is one common factor which had distinguished him from other politicians in the o Akwa Ibom state that is going for him: He is not deterred by sentiments, as he stands and supports what is right, no matter the political affiliation. He could keep to his words because of his journey through the murky waters of Nigeria politics over the last twenty five years.
Senator Bob , who could count himself as an experienced politician who has seen it all both at the Executive and Judicial arms of government before seeking an elective office at the National Assembly , according close associates is very humble .
The humility appear to counting in his favour as the people of the state see him as a next governor of the state. Some of the power brokers of the PDP in the state who had are seen the quality in him as a true leader and grassroots mobiliser were said to have started approaching him to declare his interest to run for the governor of the state on the ruling PDP ticket in the 2023 general elections. They believe that he has the support of the electorates which caught across the three Senatorial districts in the state. He was said to have even used his position as a political appointee in the past to help many people in the state.
Two of such appointments that he was said to have used to stamp his foot on the ground in the state that he can deliver , if given a bigger responsibility , was when he served as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Benin, Edo state and Chairman, Board of Trustees, Ritman University, Ikot Ekpene, in the state . . those who were said to have approached with one problem or the other in different parts of the state were said to had left satisfied that he could attend to them
Some PDP Chieftains interviewed stated that his breed are very rare to come by in the country as only few politicians could really stand for equity , Justice and fairness. Although, he is not a member of the APC, many believe that with the efforts being made President Muhammadu Buhari , to rid the country of Corruption, there is need for the government to elect politicians in subsequent elections who know how to nip it on bud.
For now, what should really concern the people of Akwa Ibom state , an analyst said is to make their in-depth finding before casting their vote for the Candidate of their choice , from any of the parties, particular, Candidates standing in for the PDP or APC, into any elective office in the 2023 election to avoid making mistakes of voting the wrong people who would turn the hand of the clock backward in the state again..
Indeed, Senator Bob , stand out in the state going by what the electorates say about him. ‘’He is described as one political actor that had raised some other great and sound politicians but still remained very unassuming’’.
The general opinion about him is that he is a selfless leader that has sacrificed , at different times his resources to help the people as he has enthroned equity, Justice and fairness in party politics in the state.
‘’He is an expert in teaching people how to fish, and not merely giving people fish to eat’’, a PDP Chieftain said. At a time when the electorates have virtually lost hope in their elected leaders at different levels of government in the country, the Akwa Ibom state serving Senator, is still highly revered for his political steadfastness and respect for party elders and Constituted Authorities, which clearly opens the door for him to be the next governor of the state in 2023.
Inemesit Ndueso is a Lagos based Journalist, who had worked in the defunct Newswatch Magazine and Now, Publisher , Great Achievers World Magazine. She is an expert in executing Special Projects . 08023103484
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