The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC has flagged off the 2017 Local Government Elections to fill their candidates into the 31 council seats and over 300 counselorship positions, with a vow to resisting all attempts by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to manipulate its results.
The event was performed last Saturday by the party’s National Chairman, HE Chief John Oyegun at the Uyo Township Stadium.
In his speech, the National Chairman expressed delight at the massive participation by the people, saying it was an indication of the strength the party was gaining in the state and that the picture was a glimpse of what the party hoped to achieve in the state by 2019.
Chief Oyegun who congratulated the organizers of the event, noting that APC would take over the Akwa Ibom Government House in 2019, received defectors from the PDP, and presented flags to chairmanship candidates of the 31 local government areas, while also publicly receiving Senator Nelson Effiong, saying the APC was proud of him and the people of Akwa Ibom State for the courage.
To the Southern Chairman of the Forum of APC Governors, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the event was as powerful as a presidential rally as he noted the enthusiasm of the Akwa Ibom people who were very eager to bring change to the land.
Okorocha congratulatd Akwa Ibom people for standing sure and firm to recover their lost glory in the state.
He said, “Everyone is now supporting APC because in APC, there is no corruption headache. All PDP governors have endorsed President Buhari for 2019. Why have they done so? It is because they don’t have a candidate. Only about two Governors shall be in other party because most of them are coming to APC. If they have any person that can contend with Buhari, let them show us.”
Also speaking, a former Minister and chieftain of APC, Otuekong Don Etiebet observed that since 1970 when he started being fully part of the politics of Nigeria, he has never seen the kind of crowd who came to express their disappointment with what the PDP led government of the state was doing.
Etiebet maintained that APC will resist every attempt by the electoral body in connivance with the government of the day and the security agents to manipulate the election. He called on his party men to go out and cast their votes and ensure that their votes count.
His words, “We shall stop anyone who will not want to allow the votes of these people to count. Let me use this opportunity to send a message to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the AKISIEC Chairman that their plot to rig the election shall be resisted.
“This is not the era when the security agents were strong alleys of the PDP in rigging election. Let me advise you to go out and vote for the success of your party on the election day and ensure that their votes count.”
Meanwhile, both the MD of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, HE Obong Nsima Ekere and the MD, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Obong Umana Okon Umana expressed excitement over the confidence of the APC in the state.
Saying it was the first time in the history of the state when an opposition party was filling candidates in all the Chairmanship and Counselorship positions in the state, the duo who were glad to see the readiness of their party men to see change in Akwa Ibom State, thanked them for being supportive and appreciative of the policies and programmes of the Buhari-led government.
In his short remarks, the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) Senator Ita Enang thanked the Akwa Ibom APC people for their courage.
Dr. Ita Enang used the opportunity to expose the fraudulent acts of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom who is always in the habit of denying the monies that accrue to the state from the federation account.
In a 44 page pamphlet entitled, “Federal Government’s Monies to Akwa Ibom State Government & Each Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom State 2015 – 2017”, Enang published billions of government funds as proceeding from the federation account, subsisting that it goes to show that all salaries and pension paid by the Udom led government was done by President Buhari as the internally generated revenue of the state has not been made known by the state government.
“This information herein confirm the fact that all that is done in terms of salaries and pension to workers, road infrastructure, and others, including the comfort of state political office holders are ALL from the Buhari-led Federal Government. The state internally generated revenue is neither published nor taken account of. Therefore, all the projects done with only part of the Federal Government’s money is credited to President Buhari-led APC Federal Government and not the Government of Akwa Ibom State”, Ita Enang explained.
Similarly, the State Chairman of APC, Dr. Amadu Attai in his welcome address, declared that change has come to Akwa Ibom under the leadership of President Muhammad Buhari, adding that Akwa Ibom people were ready to work with the President to bring change to the state.
“We commed the President for his three point agenda which is working wonders for the restoration of the loss glory of our dear nation. He has used M-Power and other agriculture programmes to provide employment to millions of Nigerian youth as well as bring the needed change to us,” Attai said.
In the same manner, Senator Nelson Effiong explained that he saw the hurricane of change coming 10 months ago and took a decision to join the party where the President was working hard to restore the confidence of Nigerians and also take it to the promised land. He promised to work hard to maintain the expectations of his great party.
The event was equally attended by Group Capt. Sam Ewang, Engr Benedict Ukpong, Otuekong Sunny Jackson, Arc Otu Ita Otoyo and many others from outside and within the state.