Buhari’s Campaign Coordinator, 5,000 Others Return to Akwa Ibom PDP

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Okon Bassey in Uyo

As Governor Udom Emmanuel flagged off his governorship campaign in the state Wednesday, the Coordinator of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign groups, Akwa Ibom State, Ignitius Edet, returned with 5,000 chieftains and members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) back to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Edet, a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and other APC members were received into the PDP by the state party chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, during the launch of the governorship campaign of the party at the Uyo township stadium.

Edet said he left the APC because of high handedness of some party chieftains who hand-picked and imposed candidates of their choice in the last party’s saying he was happy to rejoin the PDP.

The former Speaker expressed disappointment with the activities of the APC in the state, stressing that the PDP which had been on ground with sustainable structures would sweep the polls.

Presenting himself for re-election, Governor Emmanuel restated his commitment to the completion of projects and programmes enunciated under his five point agenda.

He maintained that his achievements within his first term in office in the power, education, health, youth and women empowerment, security, poverty alleviation, industrialisation remained unrivalled even as students and other groups have given him a pass mark for increasing the pass rate of WAEC from 60% to more than 70%.

The governor said he was not elected to complete monuments and projects that were of no economic benefit to the state but to initiate and complete economically viable projects for the citizens.

According to him, in the face of recession, he revived the economy of the state as foreign investors came in their numbers making Akwa Ibom an industrial destination in Nigeria.

“I offer myself to complete what we have started for the youths. There are elements of integrity, love and sincerity contained in all sections of our manifesto and our commitment to industrialisation, youth and women empowerment, education and robust health system remain irrevocable.” he stated.

The PDP, the governor said remained the only real popular and peoples party in Nigeria alleging that the APC was sowing fake military uniforms in order to rig the elections in the state; saying people troop to PDP because it signify peace, progress, prosperity and development.

Since coming on board, the governor said he has been able to bring to an end to political related killings and kidnapping adding that the people of the South -south region would remain with the PDP because of their role in the peace development and prosperity of the region.

“Today, I came here to re-energise, reassess and reaffirm my faith and my belief in the completion agenda. Three and half years ago, we anchored our campaign and blue print on five point agenda. Today, we have taken stock of what we have done well.”

“Party win election because of economic blue print, PDP is the only party that has economy blueprint for Nigeria, human capacity development to develop the youth, the women, elders and provide security. That is why I stand here to offer myself to be re-elected for second term.”

“My 2019 manifesto of the completion agenda will turn this state into one of the most industrialised states in Nigeria. The rapid industrialisation drive made in my first term will be over driven in my second term.

“Our commitment to industrialisation, youth employment, peace, security, progress, development, environment for small and medium scale enterprises is irrevocable. In my completion agenda, we hope to activate and establish more economy viable factories for our people to work with.” the governor stated.

Bayelsa Governor and chairman of South-South Governors Forum, Chief Seriake Dickson in a goodwill message on behalf of the people of Bayelsa and other governors in the region commended Akwa Ibom people for their support to Emmanuel.

He described Emmanuel as a good product, a performing governor and called on the people of the state to re-elect him advising the governor not to be distracted by friends and party members who withdrew their support for him.

Dickson said the re-election of Governor Emmanuel was important to enable him consolidate on his numerous achievements in security and industrialisation and commended members of the PDP for their steadfastness.

“As someone who has gone through second term election there is nothing happening here that is new. Second term elections are when friends suddenly became opponents, when people you have done things for pretend as if you never did anything; but second team elections are also an opportunity to consolidate yourself.

“Bayelsa won election against the so called ‘federal might’; if we could do it in Bayelsa, you in Akwa Ibom State can also do it too.

“I thank the leaders of our party for standing by Governor Emmanuel; encourage him, work hard to have him to have opportunity to do more. I have seen the support the party has in Akwa Ibom, I will report back to the leaders of our party that in Akwa Ibom there is no shaking” Dickson stated.

The state PDP chairman, Mr. Paul Ekpo, expressed pride in having Emmanuel as the governor of the state and promised that the state working committee would redouble their efforts to ensure the victory of the candidates of the party at all levels.

Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Oniofok Luke, said the gathering was also to thank God for the anticipated victory of Emmanuel on the March 2 election declaring that the people especially members of the House of Assembly are determined to do everything within their capacity to ensure his success.

Luke said the governor remained untainted by misappropriation and commended the governor for his prudent management of the resources of the state.

Senator Bassey Albert, who spoke on behalf of the people of Uyo senatorial district, maintained that since former governors from other senatorial districts completed their eight years of uninterrupted service, it was only a matter of justice and fairness for Governor Emmanuel to complete his tenure of eight years.

Bassey stressed that the people of the district could not afford to wait for another eight years for their turn to be governor since it would be their turn in 2023 after Eket senatorial district had finished its turn assuring that the people of the area would cast their block vote for the governor.

Speaking for the people of Eket senatorial district where Emmanuel hails from, Obong Obot Etukofia, said the people of the area were proud of the candidature of the governor saying he has been inspirational, focused, credible and determined in redefining the economic fortunes of the Akwa Ibom people.

The people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district who spoke through the National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Emmanuel Enoidem, said the governor has contributed immensely in reviving the economic fortunes of the state even as he said the people of the area would always identify with superior development and performance.

Enoidem said there was no alternative to Emmanuel saying his opponents in the governorship race were not as qualified as the governor.

He said the governor has performed creditably on his five point agenda stating that the only attraction for the other parties in the state was the state allocation.

The National Legal Adviser noted that the economic fortunes of the country under the administration of the APC have nose-dived with all available indices and indicated that the threats of use of federal might by the APC in the state would not intimidate the PDP.

On her part, Senator Helen Esuene, said the governor has always identified with the wishes and aspirations of women adding that it was not a mistake that the women of the state have thrown their weight behind Emmanuel.