Aspirants who failed to get the nomination of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State in the just-concluded primaries have resolved to support the party’s candidates in all the elections in 2019.
They made the resolution during a reconciliation meeting convened by the state APC leadership at the campaign grounds of its gubernatorial Candidate, Mr. Nsima Ekere, in Uyo on Saturday.
In a motion moved by a former House of Assembly aspirant in Uyo State Constituency, Mr. Aniekan Udosen, seconded by his Okobo State Constituency counterpart, Mr. Emmanuel Isangedoho, and put to vote by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate) Matters, Senator Ita Enang, the aspirants, who turned out en masse for the meeting, unanimously resolved to work for the success of the party’s Presidential, Gubernatorial, National Assembly and House of Assembly candidates.
Addressing the aspirants, Ekere assured them of accommodation in the incoming APC administration in the state.
His words: “Nobody will be left out. We will ensure that all of you will be part of the next government in 2019. Your contributions to the making of the next government will not be forgotten.”
Ekere went spiritual, advising the aspirants to realize that, by not getting the party’s tickets, God had something else in store for them.
“No one can take away what God had destined for you. It may not work today. If God intended that you will be in the Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly, you will definitely be there. Just know that what you consider failure today is only a temporary setback. God will definitely take you to where He planned for you.”
Ekere commended many of the aspirants for already calling meetings to turn in their supporters to the party’s candidates.
He lauded the aspirants for popularising the APC in Akwa Ibom through their mobilization and enlightenment campaigns before the primaries and promised that his campaign organization will be expanded to integrate them to continue their grassroots’ mobilization for the party.
Ekere, who is the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said victory for the APC in the state was certain because “God has changed the story of APC in Akwa Ibom.”
He predicted a bigger margin of victory for the APC in the presidential election in 2019 than what it was in 2015, given the ongoing realignment of forces in favour of the ruling party nationwide.
The state APC Chairman, Mr. Ini Okopido, pointed out that the APC had become so popular in Akwa Ibom State that as many as 118 aspirants aspired for the 26 House of Assembly tickets, the first time in the history of the state that such a high number of aspirants vied for nomination in an opposition party, outnumbering aspirants in the ruling party.
He urged all the aspirants to work with the candidates to ensure total victory for the APC in the 2019 elections.
Two Senate aspirants, Bishop Ekpe James and Otu Ita-Toyo, and three House of Assembly aspirants, Udosen, Isangedoho and Obong Koko Abia, in their separate remarks, commended Ekere for promising them accommodation in his government and for recognizing the place of the party by nominating the immediate past State APC Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai, as his running mate.
“The aspirants make you a promise, we are going to work because we have taken your promise to heart. Nobody is going anywhere. We will stay with you. You will become Governor. The aspirants are not fighting you because they have the belief in your innate capacity to win the election,” Toyo said.
Personalities present during the meeting included the APC Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate, Dr. Amadu Attai, the State APC Secretary, Mr. Augustine Ekanem, and other members of the State Executive Committee of the party, the APC Senate Candidate for Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District, Elder Bassey Etim, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Barr. Bassey Essien, a former governorship aspirant, Archbishop Samuel Akpan, the Chairman of the Uyo (Akwa Ibom North-East) Senatorial District Elders’ Forum, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh and the Chairman of ONE Akwa Ibom (OAK) Project, Abom Tony Esu.
Others were Dr. Maurice Ebong, Dr. Emaeyak Ukpong, Obong Kufre Inyangette, Chief Godwin Udoedehe, Obong Dan Akai and Engr. Linus Ekon.