2015: Umanah, Okopido, Etok, PDP stake­hold­ers dare Ak­pabio

Daily Trust - - INSIDE POLITICS - From Patrick Odey,Uyo

A crack ap­peared on the struc­ture of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State as stake­hold­ers and party chief­tains op­posed the bid by Gover­nor God­swill Ak­pabio to de­cide who will be the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 gu­ber elec­tions.

The stake­hold­ers un­der the aegis of the Akwa Ibom Elders and Stake­hold­ers Fo­rum said they would rather sup­port the new pol­icy thrust of the na­tional chair­man of the party, Al­haji Ahmed Mua’zu, for the party to choose its can­di­date through a fair and free con­test in an all in­clu­sive pri­mary.

Chair­man on the oc­ca­sion, Dr. Ime Okopido, a for­mer min­is­ter for en­vi­ron­ment, set the tone of the meet­ing by ex­press­ing dis­ap­point­ment that things have gone wrong with the party he said he brought to the state in 1998.

He said the stake­hold­ers’ meet­ing was con­vened to fash­ion out ways to cor­rect the anom­alies ob­served in the way the state govern­ment is han­dling the af­fairs of the party.

His words: ‘Things have gone wrong and that is why we are meet­ing in this sum­mit, it is im­por­tant be­cause vi­tal de­ci­sions are go­ing to be taken.”

Se­na­tor Aloy­sius Etok on his part said no­body can im­pose a can­di­date on the state as it is the people that would de­cide who should be their gover­nor.

He said the people “will choose who will rule Akwa Ibom and who will be law­mak­ers but never again will elec­tions be con­ducted out­side the des­ig­nated venues.”

Many oth­ers who spoke at the meet­ing were unan­i­mously against zon­ing the gov­er­nor­ship slot.

On his part, the im­me­di­ate past sec­re­tary to the Akwa Ibom State Govern­ment, Obong Umana Okon Umana, whom the group has adopted as their gov­er­nor­ship can­di­date said the courage demon­strated by the stake­hold­ers has given him hope that the fu­ture of Akwa Ibom is bright.

He said he has watched the events in the state and found that the lieu­tenants of Gover­nor Ak­pabio are mak­ing it look as if the gover­nor is go­ing to be a can­di­date in the 2015 gov­er­nor­ship race.

He said.’’ the gover­nor will not be a can­di­date in 2015, I am in­ter­ested in be­com­ing the gover­nor in 2015 and any­body who is in­ter­ested should not hide be­hind the shad­ows of the gover­nor but should come out and cam­paign and present them­selves to the people.”

In a com­mu­nique is­sued at the end of the meet­ing, the people pledged un­al­loyed sup­port to Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan’s ad­min­is­tra­tion and called on him to step out to seek re-elec­tion as pres­i­dent.

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