By Savior Okon
As preparations for 2019 general elections continue to gather momentum, indigenes of Etinan local government area have vowed not to support their own, Rt. Hon. Samuel Ikon, member representing Etinan Federal Constituency in the National Assembly, who is rooting for a second term.
Ikon, a former Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, hails from Etinan, political Headquarters of Etinan Federal Constituency, comprising also Nsit Ibom and Nsit Ubium. He served two terms in the State Assembly from 2007 to 2015. He was the first to return for a second term since the creation of the local government area in 1975. He was elected in 2015 to represent the federal constituency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
But, speaking on the sidelines of the swearing-in of Etinan Federal Constituency Youth Alliance, EFCYA, executives in Etinan last Friday, one of the members blamed the underdevelopment in the local government area allegedly on the National Assembly man, Rt. Hon Sam Ikon.
Our respondent who gave his name as Edem said he was one of those selected by the legislator for empowerment in 2013. He said testimonial for the training which lasted for six months was presented to them in 2014. Edem also said some of them had to abandon the trade he was learning because the then Speaker had allegedly promised to empower them with starter packs after their trainings, but lamented that he and over one hundred others were abandoned.
“We are here to chart a new front for the youths of Etinan Federal Constituency. We have been deceived by our leaders who used us during election and dumped us thereafter.
Most of us are direct victims of the ‘use and dump’ strategy of our politicians that is why we are starting earlier to create awareness for the youths of this federal constituency”, Edem told our correspondent.
While specifically apportioning blame on Ikon, he continued, “He (Sam Ikon) was the one who first scuttled the zoning system in Etinan, when he pleaded to be returned for a second term to the House of assembly. It was not the turn of the south to produce House member in Etinan but he lobbied that he would be elected as Speaker if he returned to the house. But when he returned, what did he do for Etinan people, especially the youths as the Speaker of the State Assembly?
“The highest he could do was to come and deceive us when he was eying the House of Representatives ticket. He tricked about one hundred and twenty of us, asking us to embark on skill acquisition trainings. We started sensing foul play when he (Ikon) rescinded in his earlier promise of feeding us every day throughout the training.
“The next thing was the transportation he promised to be giving us every month. He gave us just four Thousand Naira (N4000) only throughout the training which lasted for six months. How many years now after the training, Sam Ikon has not fulfilled the promise of giving us start up packs. He abandoned all of us. Some of us had left what we were doing expecting his empowerment.
Meanwhile, he is going about publicizing that he had trained and empowered the youths of Etinan Local Government. And because he is looking for a second term in the national assembly, we hear that he has started another training scam when he did not settle the first set of people. That is why over ninety percent of those you see here are the people he deceived and this is the time to proof our stand that we will never be deceived again”.
When contacted, the national Assembly man denied ever promising to give any of them any starter pack, accusing them of ungratefulness.
Rt. Hon. Ikon who spoke to The Profile Newspaper www.theprofilenews.com on phone admitted facilitating the said training, but said that he did that with his personal money. He frowned at the attitude of some of his constituents whom he accused of vilifying an achiever only to glorify a non-performer.
Meanwhile, the National executive of Etinan Federal Constituency Youth Alliance (EFCYA) has been inaugurated with Mr. Pius Ndaeyo as President-General. Others were National Vice President 1, Nsit Ubium, Mrs. Enobong Ukana; National Vice President 2, Nsit Ibom, Mr. Ekom Akpan as well as National Secretary, Odudu Paul amongst others to pilot the affairs of the association.