By Nseobong Okon-Ekong
In a landmark political novelty, the governorship aspiration of Mr. Iboro Otu, candidate of the Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) received an enhancement as 16 political parties in Akwa Ibom State officially adopted him Monday as their gubernatorial candidate.
The event which took place at Otu’s campaign office in Uyo was executed on the platform of a group known as the Coalition for a Better Akwa Ibom, which claims that it is geared towards giving the state a facelift and ending the era of empty promises associated with politicians who are currently at the helm of affairs in the state.
Chairman of the coalition who also leads the Accord party in the state and doubles as National Vice Chairman of the party, Mr. Joe Itiaba while signing the ‘Bond Between the People of Akwa Ibom Sate and Otu’ explained that the parties decided to cooperate only on the governorship election. According to him, “The collaboration is not binding in the election for other offices. We are concentrating on the governorship because that is the office with executive powers that can move the state in the direction of progress and development.
What we are witnessing today has never happened in this state. For instance, I am still the leader of Accord in the state, but I am also the director general of the governorship candidate of the ANRP. We have rejected tons of money to remain steadfast in what we believe. We encourage the people of Akwa Ibom to discard the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) as both parties are populated by the same personalities who have enslaved our people to fulfil their selfish agenda.”
Addressing the concerns of the leaders of the political parties who witnessed the ceremonial signing of the bond, Otu promised to run a revolutionary government that will give priority to education, healthcare, agriculture, ICT, culture and tourism. He promised to immediately create 500,000 jobs within few months if voted into power, while stating that it was possible to stop the flight of over N1 trillion that leaves the country on medical tourism.
He said his administration will place urgency on the management of resources of the state for the benefit of the people. “Öurs will be a people-oriented government. We will pay a minimum wage of N50,000 in the first few months, with a view to increasing it to N100,000 per month, subsequently. I promise to deliver 85 per cent of our campaign promises. I say that because I do not have access to the books. I do not know our current state of indebtedness. However, we know the areas to exploit in order to harvest the low-hanging fruits to bring immediate relief to our long-suffering people.
Some of the parties that signed the ‘Bond’ adopting the ANRP governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State include Accord, National Rescue Movement, National Democratic Liberty Party, Labour Party, Zenith Labour Party, People’s Trust, National Action Council, United Democratic Party, Youth Progressive Party, National Unity Party, Mass Action Joint Alliance, United Peoples Party, Sustainable National Party and All Grassroot Alliance.
Mr. Joseph Utip Etiebet, State Chairman of the Labour Party and secretary of the coalition said it was time to end the reign of the PDP in the state, “Because of the level of suffering of the people. The issue is not about sharing a bag of rice or sums of money to buy votes and their future, while robbing the people of their collective wealth. We have found someone we believe has the capacity and the intelligence to give Akwa Ibom State a quantum leap into the future.”