The All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom state chapter, has zoned the 2019 Governorship position of the party to Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District, a move that has narrowed the race to aspirants from only 12 Local Government Areas of the zone. The local government areas that make up the senatorial district include Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi, Ibeno, Eket, Eastern Obolo, Esit Eket, Onna, Okoko, Oron , Urue Offong , Udung Uko and Mbo.
The decision by the party to zone the Governorship seat to the area was reached at a stakeholders meeting held in Uyo on Saturday.
The meeting which was presided over by the leader of the party in the state and 2015 Governorship candidate, Mr. Umana Umana, also had in attendance the APC State Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai and Secretary, Dr. Effiong Etok.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Umana, who announced his decision not to contest the 2019 governorship election, said he supports the general consensus in the state that Akwa Ibom South Senatorial district should be encouraged to serve two terms of eight years as Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo SD) and Akwa Ibom North West (Ikot Ekpene SD) did from 1999-2007 under Governor Victor Attah and 2007-2015 under Governor Godswill Akpabio.
The party leader said his decision was in honour and respect for the wishes of the people of Akwa Ibom state who were keen at maintaining the status quo by upholding the existing tradition of zoning in the state.
He encouraged aspirants to the office of Governor under the platform of the party to declare their aspiration but admonished that the party needs a strong candidate to contend with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the state.
Others who attended the meeting include, Obong Nsima Ekere, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udo, Arc. Otu Ita Toyo, Engr. Ben Ukpong, Dr. Udoma Bob Ekarika, Abom Tony Esu, Rt. Hon. Iquo Inyang, Chief Okon Osung, Emmanuel Dr Akpanobong, Chief Sunny Udom, Hon Emmanuel Obot, Hon Uwem Udoma, Barr Effiong Okwong.
Also present were Arc. Ekong Etuk, Dr. Chris Ekong, Prof. Etok Ekanem, Engr. Akan Okon, Dr. Emaeyak Ukpong, Obong Dan Akai, Obong Sunny Elijah, Engr. Ime Mbom, Chief Sunny Ibanga, Barr. Austin Mbeh, Otuekong Ekerete Ekpenyong, Hon. Alice Ekpenyong, Hon. Patty Etete, among others.