Bassey Inuaeyen’s Perspective On 2023

By Kenneth Jude


Not every time does one find a politician speak frankly without even double-speaking, especially in a clime where people say one thing today and renege on those words within an eye twinkle.

We see it everywhere. Whether it is at the federal, state or even local level, the story is inevitably the same. That’s why the led are more often than not in the dark over issues they should be in the know simply because those who should speak and give direction prefer to be either depressingly taciturn or slyly economical with the truth.

And so when we have not just politicians but elder statesmen and opinion leaders speak in a manner that is as clear as daylight, it gives one hope that the future is not all bleak given the way many, following years of enduring the lying or deceptive tongue of those who should be above board either because of their standing in the society or age.

So, it was cheery, if not heartening at the weekend when Obong Bassey Inuaeyen, a former governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State and Chancellor of Ibom Patriots bared his mind on the issue of the 2023 governorship elections vis-a-vis Mr. Udom Emmanuel’s succession plan.

RELATED: Random Musings on A’Ibom 2023


Speaking quite frankly without mincing words during a chat with Crystal Express crew in his Ewet Housing residence, the white bearded elder statesman reechoed the position held by some wise minds that discussion on 2023 is way too early, and to a large extent, poses an unwanted distraction to the current administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Rather than heat up the polity with talk about who succeeds or shouldn’t succeed the governor, Obong Inuaeyen posited that the governor should be allowed to focus on his Completion Agenda rather than making attempts to halt the wheels of governance with debates about 2023.

Even when he was asked to lend his voice on the issue of zoning political offices including micro-zoning of the governorship seat which goes to Uyo Senatorial District after Emmanuel completes the turn of Eket in about three years time, the man who hails from Ini Local Government Area of the state stuck to his stance of not making any comments on 2023, preferring to however talk of the current governor, what he’s doing for the people and what he should do with regards to his industrialisation drive, infrastructure and lots more.

Speaking assuredly and with refreshing conviction, he gave his piece of mind on the 2023 talk this way: “I believe very strongly, and this is my position without any fear of contradiction that any talk, discussion about succession now is way too early,” adding that “it’s a major distraction to the government of the day.”

Strengthening his reason for his position, the holder of the traditional title of Obong Uforo of Ibibio Land explained that Governor Udom Emmanuel was reelected for a second term in March 2019 and sworn in same year on May 29 having campaigned extensively across the state, making promises to the people of what he’ll do for them in his second coming.

He pointed out that with the court processes having hobbled governance up until December when the Supreme Court gave its judgment, the governor, he said, has barely got down to work, hence needs full concentration to implement his plans and programmes for the benefit of the people and development of the state.

He reasoned further that the governor should be allowed to enjoy the mandate given him as he sets his mind on implementing his Completion Agenda. He maintained that he will not entertain any visitor who comes to talk with him about issues concerning succession at this time. To him, the governor will reach out to some stakeholders when it’s time to talk about succession. Succession, according to him, is not a one man affair hence if Mr. Emmanuel will have a preferred successor, he’ll present the person and allow the people give their opinion regarding his choice.

Responding to a question that bordered on the zoning of political offices based on either the tripod of Ibibio, Annang and Oro or the current practice of zoning based on senatorial districts, though seeming to wax philosophical but clear in a way, he opined that the current arrangement with regards to the governorship position has served the state better.

If, according to him, the governorship seat is to be based on ethnic tripod, he wondered when someone from Eket could get his chance, including those of Onna, Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Ini, Ikono and Eastern Obolo. To him, it should be left to stand on the existing senatorial districts’ formula so that all sections of the state will have a taste of the top office of the land.

Obong Bassey Inuaeyen, one may be tempted to say, cleverly avoided dabbling into the issue of succession perhaps because he does not want to preempt the “system” or fire wrongly given that it’s still about three years before the next elections plus the fact that he is the Chancellor of a socio-political group, Ibom Patriots of which the current governor is a grandpatron; but if the manner, tone and tenor in which he spoke is anything to go by, one is not left in doubt that Inuaeyen, the holder of Uko Ibibio traditional title, meant every word he said.

Viewed from the prism of wisdom, one aligns fully with the thoughts and position of Obong Bassey Inuaeyen on the 2023 succession race. This is so given that we still have roughly three years away from the next elections, coupled with the fact that the current governor is barely a year into his second term of four years. The governor still has a lot on his plate to address hence needs full concentration devoid of any distraction so that he can carry out the mandate given him collectively by the people.

This serves as a clarion call to those already beating the drums of 2023 to rethink their strategy and join hands to ensure that Governor Emmanuel leaves enduring legacies behind, rather than suffocate the polity with lame talks about who should or shouldn’t be governor in 2023.

Time has come for both politicians and the voting public, political analysts and all, to embrace the emerging paradigm shift where people no longer leave substance to chase shadows. Our democracy has evolved and will keep evolving, so it is pertinent that we don’t engage in babbles and arguments that neither better our lots nor does anything to help the vast majority of the people moving forward.

Talks on 2023, it must be stated, bear no good omen as they paint a picture that the current administration is done with governance meaning that the next man should start warming up to take up the mantle. No, the Udom-led administration must be allowed to focus on the task of governance, provision of amenities to the people, leaving enduring and indelible marks on the sands of time that will always serve as major talking points post 2023.

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