Akwa Ibom community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and other 19 northern States had on Sunday endorsed the candidacy of the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate in the State, Obong Nsima Ekere.
The endorsement which took place at the Akwa Ibom House in Abuja witnessed large turn out of Akwa Ibom indigenes from different states in the north and the FCT.
Speaking at the event, the President of Akwa-Ibom community in the FCT and other 19 northern States, Mr Akparanta Tom, said they can never support a ‘’promised and failed’’ government of Udom Emmanuel, recalling that the governor had failed to fulfil so many promises he made to the people before taking the mantle of leadership in the state.
While praising Godswill Akpabio for keeping to his promise while in office, Akparanta said, ‘’Anyone who knows you by your name and calls you by your name is your governor. Akpabio knows us, he had done all within his capacity for us, and he has now asked us to support Nsima Ekere. We will support him. Anyone who calls you ‘my man’ like Udom Emmanuel is not our governor. That’s why we have rejected him today,’’ he said.
The president, consequently declared Nsima Ekere as their candidate for the 2019 elections, urging all Akwa Ibom people to do same.
Responding, the APC governorship candidate, Nsima Ekere thanked the group for their declaration of support for him, saying it has been the same story throughout the 28 Local Government Areas he has visited since the commencement of the campaign.
He said, ‘’The positive energy coming out of here gives me joy. As at yesterday, I have been to 28 LGAs and the story is the same. I will finish up all the LGAs on Tuesday and the message we are passing to the people is that of change and hope. The message is that despite the situation in the State, the ‘dry bone shall rise again.’
‘’ We have promised our students that what we have as bursary is nothing and we will increase it from the current N5,000 to N25,000.
‘’ We have also noticed why the local governments are in terrible state and we have promised to do something about it. It’s simply because their monies are constantly diverted. We have now given them hope. We will make money available for them to operate effectively. We will clear their promotion arrears as well. We have told them that the evil days have now passed away.
‘’We will fight poverty and unemployment and we will empower people to start businesses of their own,’’ he said.
Prominent among those who were at the event were former governor, Godswill Akpabio, Barr. Freda, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Imeh Okon, former FCT Minister, John Ukpan Udo-Edehe, Spokesman, APC campaign in Akwa Ibom, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, and the Senior Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang, among others.