The burning desire for selfless service and unparalleled urge to change the fortunes of people around him especially the indigent ones in our society has remained the driving force behind Obong Ide Owodiong Idemeko’s desire to avail himself at every opportunity to better the lot of humanity.
Ide, whose sojourn in life started fully after he graduated from the then University of Cross River State (now the University of Uyo) as an Assistant Lecturer, later bagged a Masters’s degree before joining ExxonMobil where he devoted over 30 years of his adulthood serving the oil conglomerate in different capacities in its affiliates across the world.
In his three decades of service, Ide left ExxonMobil unblemished and with his head high having served meritoriously in a company known for its high standards and sticking to the best international practices in all its dealings.
However, some glaring virtues in the life of Obong Ide Owodiong are a passion for humanity, his love for the less privileged, his desire for justice and fair play coupled with his persistent advocacy for true democracy and good governance.
To demonstrate his burning desire for bettering the lives of the people, Ide in conjunction with his dear wife, Mrs Ekaette Owodiong-Idemeko, founded the Wodiong Senie Foundation to spread milk of human kindness across the length and breadth of Akwa Ibom State and beyond.
The Foundation through its well-orchestrated programmes has done several free medical outreaches, awarded scholarships to hundreds of youths over the years at every level of education, supported small businesses, trained and equipped artisans to become breadwinners and supported evangelism through its Remember Zion Mission programme to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The list is endless and still counting.
In the political arena, Ide Owodiong-Idemeko, an apostle of true democracy and good governance, has shown considerable interest in politics and made very modest contributions to see the consolidation of our nascent democracy.
An indigene of Ikot Ukop, Okop Ndua Erong, Ibesikpo Asutan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Ide Owodiong-Idemeko singlehandedly built and donated a well-furnished ward office to his Asutan Ward 1 political ward and carried out several empowerment programmes for his people in politics.
He has also hosted and supported his party at the unit, ward and local government levels at all times and has been one of the pillars of the party in his council area.
In 2018, Ide Owodiong through a persistent call by his people to join the senatorial race on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) threw his hat in the ring and contested but the political dynamics that played out at the time put his aspiration in great disadvantage against the justice and fair play he sings as a creed and that left much to desire but as a team player and good sportsman, he accepted the party’s position and congratulated the eventually declared winner and moved on with his life.
In a display of this rare virtue and maturity, Ide called together all his supporters during the race, feted and wined with them and pleaded with them to remain ardent supporters of the PDP and also support the candidates of the party in the 2019 general election.
Fast forward to the present dispensation, Ide Owodiong-Idemeko again owing to his pedigree and enviable record in the corporate world, selfless service to humanity and passion to do more for the benefit of the people got several encomiums, accolades and invitation to join the 2023 governorship race.
However, dazed with the myriad of challenges confronting the country in general and Akwa Ibom State in particular, Ide assembled over 10 upward-moving, intelligent Akwa Ibom indigenes and non-indigenes doing well in their various chosen careers and over two years brainstormed and churned out a 234-page blueprint for Akwa Ibom State.
The well-packaged blueprint took time to identify, analyse and proffer adequate and lasting solutions to the several problems and other challenges hindering the state’s rapid development.
In the several interviews addressed by the politician before the last PDP primaries held in Akwa Ibom State, Ide severally lauded the achievements recorded by Udom Emmanuel’s administration and promised to build upon them.
However, the intrigues and political manoeuvring which defined and heralded the accompanying results of the PDP primaries left much to desire.
For instance, on the day of the PDP Delegate’s Congress, which was held on April 30, 2022, Obong Ide Owodiong Idemeko along with several supporters trooped out early to partake in the exercise and spent all day without either seeing any official or materials for the exercise but results were later declared.
He was also at the venue of the PDP guber primaries which other governorship aspirants boycotted owing to the skewed way the delegate’s congress was earlier conducted and was not allowed to even exercise his right to vote in the primaries as a candidate as he and other non-preferred aspirants were not ad-hoc delegates to the primaries and he overlooked the embarrassment with maturity.
Before the ongoing electioneering process, the leadership of the PDP in the state had assured aspirants repeatedly of a level playing ground and to an average observer that promise was a complete mirage in the entire exercise.
Today, there are several court cases arising from the conduct of the exercise and its result and added to these court cases are the massive defections to other parties by PDP members, who felt hurt and betrayed by the way and manner the party had conducted the last delegates congress and primaries.
In a recent chat with reporters, Ide said he remains a member of the PDP and will not abandon a party he has helped nurture in his modest way and with his hard-earned resources.
He maintained that he believed in the God of justice who knows the heart of all men stressing that the party known for its dominance of the political space in Akwa Ibom State since 1999 will still put its acts together and come out stronger for the 2023 general election.
“PDP will overcome these challenges, the God of justice will see us through, the right man will flag the party’s flag and our winning streak will continue in Akwa Ibom State. We must ensure that justice and fair play remain our watchword in all we do,” Ide highlighted.