A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom, Otu Toyo, has said that he wants to represent the state in the Senate because there is a fight that is coming in the future that the state cannot afford to lose.
Mr Toyo told PREMIUM TIMES, Saturday, that the debate on restructuring is “one big fight” everyone in Nigeria was anxiously waiting for.
Mr Toyo, from Udung Uko Local Government Area, is aspiring to represent Akwa Ibom South District.
Nelson Effiong, the senator representing the district, is from the same federal constituency with Mr Toyo.
Mr Effiong was elected senator on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before he defected to the APC.
“To make it work for Akwa Ibom, send me to the Senate. Send two other very solid guys to the Senate, and 10 very credible, hard fighters to the House of Representatives, because there is a fight coming,” he said.
“I can tell you, the next national assembly is going to be different.
“People are going to go there and either restructure or carve up Nigeria. There is no two way about it. From the north to the south, east, and west, everybody is fed up with the way Nigeria is, and we are going to go there and do something about it.”
Mr Toyo, who claimed to have a rich knowledge of the issues around the restructuring debate, said Akwa Ibom have not been fortunate to have good representation at the national assembly.
“Akwa Ibom can’t afford to be like this; we have such good, intelligent, qualified people, why do we send the people we sent? That is self-inflicted, nobody sends them for us,” he said, adding that the time has come for things to be done differently in the oil-rich state.
“In the next assembly, I am expecting that Akwa Ibom will send three very serious people to the Senate because this is a chance in about four generations. The last time Nigeria was restructured was about 1914, it 104 years now. If we miss that next time, we will probably have to wait another 100 years. And so, we can’t afford to toy with this one.
“And so it is time for the people of Akwa Ibom to come together, forget political parties, and now think Akwa Ibom interest.”
Mr Toyo, before his defection to the APC, was a former chairman of the PDP in Akwa Ibom state.
Akwa Ibom interest, he said, could best be protected through the APC.
“Akwa Ibom people can best be served if they are on the table. And the table is being laid by the APC. So, I do not expect that there will be any member of the national assembly outside APC. Unless we are on the table where things are being shared, we will get nothing.
“It was unfortunate that we were on the table with the PDP for 16 years and we practically got nothing. It is a real shame, and that’s probably because we sent the type of people we sent.
“The APC was the engine room to stop the rot that the PDP was energising, they made the right noises. The APC papers were one of the finest, very welfarist, they promised restructuring, they promised everything. Those things are germane to the growth of Nigeria.
“Whether they have put in energy to fulfill them, you can’t really take them to the books because I don’t think what they saw is what they thought they would see when they came in. I do not think anybody in the APC imagined the level of rot, theft, and gangsterism that was called PDP. None of us, really, was ready,” he said.
“I am here now. If you must take somebody to go to the Senate, please take me. But if you do not want to take me, by all means, please don’t. But get somebody who is better. I don’t see why we should take anybody with less acumen and less capacity.
“They say I am arrogant. God have mercy! You need to be arrogant to do the things that must lift this state forward. Timid, unresponsive, and absolutely ignorant people never lead anybody anywhere. So, why do we celebrate those type of people? Arrogance is not a bad thing; Arrogance is a manifestation of preparedness. It is a manifestation of muscularity, and that is what people want.”