By Atuekong Paul Bassey
Zoning or Power Shift is the mechanism of uniting various people while the political parties are the vehicle for realizing democracy. Zoning is the art of shifting or sharing political offices to various geo-political zones or districts in a bid to balance the political equation.
The rotation of political offices was designed to stop marginalization by some geo-political zones or districts to bring a lasting peace and stability in our polity.
Party politics and zoning are two very important elements of any liberal democracy that no one can brush aside with a wave of hand in a primordial local government area like Abak. In Abak Local Government Area zoning has always been on block basis – Eastern Annang and Abak Urban, not in clans as claimed by some political pundits from Afaha Obong, whose continuous mere lamentation is a pure sign of greed and insatiable attitude.
The swing of political leadership pendulum to Eastern Annang bloc to produce the next elected Chairman of Abak Local government area, gives the opportunity for people to rightly elect a competent individual with no reference to a clan which has enjoyed political relevance through appointments and elected positions for more than three decades.
It’s astonishing, when a wailing selfish persons and group claim that Afaha Obong clan never had an elected chairman, the truth remains that in the 90s, under Zero Party, Barrister Emmanuel Uko contested and won as the Local Government Chairman for two years with his Vice Chairman, Hon. Ini Unam from Ediene clan.
How then can one start to compare the laudable political achievements of a clan that has had a privilege of an elected House of Assembly member, Seven Special Assistants to the Governor, fleet of transition chairmen, spontaneous elected vice chairmen and juicy appointments as board members in various state ministries for more than a decade.
Isn’t Midim part of Abak? How come it only enjoyed limited political benefits compare to the countless benefits of a ‘Super’ clan who still claimed to be a political destitute. The major political appointment from Midim clan was Barrister Patrick Udomfang who served as a commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for just nine months, since then nobody from Midim has really enjoyed a political position either as an appointee or elected person.
Therefore, he who goes to the house of equity, justice and fair play must go with clean hands and let no political gladiator try to shift the goalpost in the process of the game, when the time comes for the people of Abak to sit at a round table and discuss zoning on clan basis, that will happen, but for now, it would amount to injustice for anybody to say that Afaha Obong clan deserve to occupy the Executive seat.
When we are through with the earlier agreed form of zoning as it benefits eastern annang bloc comprising Midim, Afaha Obong and Otoro, let it be on record that the three clans be provided a level playing ground and if considerations and political tilt is to be the beacon, Midim clan stands tall in the scheme of things. Time will tell.