Leaders of the former Abak Division, comprising of present day Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun, Oruk Anam and Ika Local Government Areas have vowed to send Deacon Udom Emmanuel out of the Hiltop Mansion in 2019.
They made this disclosure on Friday during a civic reception held in honour of the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) at Government Technical College, Abak.
Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Atuekong Don Etiebet said the entire world should bear witness to the support the APC has because of the mammoth crowd at the event and discountenance the lies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which has consistently said they are in control in Akwa Ibom State “I have seen Udom’s billboard at the Abak Secretariat, well that is how far they can go. See this sea of heads, one can hardly see through any space here. This is a clear indication that the APC will carry the day in the 2019 governorship election.
Abak 5 have vowed to send Udom home. This time there is no court that will do what happened in 2015 for them” Atuekong Etiebet said.
Noting that the people of Abak 5 organized the civic reception to appreciate Obong Nsima Ekere for his commitment to improving lives in the area and the entire Niger Delta States, he revealed that “it took Obong Nsima Ekere to rescue the people of Midim waterside whose houses erosion was wiping out. The State Government just looked the other way while Abak was going down.
But Nsima came here, built the road and channels to drain water and today the road is now passable. This is just a civic reception and we have this crowd, I wonder what would happen if Obong Nsima accepts our plea to run for governor and we come here for campaign. Before I leave this stage I will actually make a demand for a motion to be moved and supported for Obong Nsima to accept our invitation to leave NDDC and come and run for Governor in 2019. We need him to rescue Akwa Ibom from the present mal-administration.”
Atuekong Etiebet derided the State Government for always calling on the federal government to fix disaster situations in the State adding that “If there is a disaster in the State the first person to get there and take action to salvage the situation should be the governor.
But it is a shame that they will pay for airtime on the television and begin to send invitations to Buhari who is in Abuja to come and assist them”.
Also speaking, at the event, the chairman of the planning committee, for the civic reception, Barr. Chris Okorie said Abak 5 through the reception was honouring sir Nsima Ekere for delivering them from under-development. “We in Abak 5 owe Obong Nsima Ekere a debt of gratitude. We were sinking in rot and underdevelopment until God brought Dr. Nsima Ekere to help us. It is therefore true that a good friend is better than a bad brother. We are tired of all the deception that Udom is our son-inlaw. He has done nothing for us. Obong Ekere has engaged qualified indigenous contractors here in Abak 5 to deliver good quality jobs and he took us out of the slavery of weaving bamboo trees that Udom presented to us” he explained.
Okorie said all that Udom could do for Abak 5 was to do ground breaking for AIT studio which is yet to see the light of day but Nsima rescued residents of hospital road and Midim Waterside from total annihilation.
A former Deputy Speaker in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Uwem Udoma who sang in praise of Obong Ekere told the people that it was a very difficult task to begin listing all the achievements of Obong Ekere in Abak 5, reminding the people however of how the Udom administration had neglected them completely and it took Obong Ekere to get them out of the backwaters in which they were tucked to rot.
Speaking in a similar vein, Obonganwan Victoria Mel reminded the PDP that election is not a facebook affair as they were going about it.
According to her, those who win election are the people at the grassroots and Abak 5 already has their grassrooters who are set to deliver APC during the governorship election.
She urged the party to only remain united and carry everyone along and victory will be achieved.
A former House of Representatives member representing Abak/Ika/Etim Ekpo, Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo said Abak 5 will not continue to allow PDP dehumanize and underdevelop the area, urging the people to join hands and put in place a progressive government for the good of the entire State “we cannot continue like this. In over three years of the Udom administration, not one road has been tarred in the whole of Abak 5. All we have heard about is ground breaking. But we have witnessed that since Obong Nsima became NDDC Managing Director there has been distribution of projects across Abak 5 division.
We in Abak 5 know that you are thinking of your job in NDDC even as pleas are coming your way to become our governor in 2019. But we will write to Mr. President to release you, so that you can come and free Akwa Ibom State from the stronghold of PDP.
The peace and development you have brought to the Niger Delta since you resumed in NDDC is what we want to see happen in Akwa Ibom State when you become the Governor” he stated.
A former member of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Obonganwan Mabel Udonwo in her solidarity message to the event said of all aspirants for the governorship in 2019 Nsima Ekere stood out as number one.
According to her, Abak 5 has already settled the matter of giving Nsima Ekere 100% support if he contests the election. “We in the progressives women of Akwa Ibom State assure you of our total support so that you can come and take our State to the next level.
A representative of the organized private sector of Abak 5 people in diaspora, Dr. Abasiobong Udofia told Akwa Ibom people that with Nsima Ekere’s pedigree, experience and achievements in the private and public sectors, the people of the State will be doing themselves a world of good to give him the opportunity to assume the reins of power in 2019.
He commended Atuekong Etiebet and those calling Obong Ekere to contest for their vision and love for Akwa Ibom State.
Representatives of Uyo Senatorial District who were at Abak to support Abak 5 division in hosting Nsima Ekere saluted the hosts and commended Nsima for his vision and capacity to lead.
The Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZ) Obong Umana Okon Umana said the honour on Obong Nsima Ekere is well deserved.
“Obong Ekere has represented us well at the NDDC. In fact the road to the Onne Free Zone was impassable when I assumed office and that huge federal government investment was not making any sense, but I simply wrote a letter to the NDDC, not Obong Nsima and before I knew it, the NDDC deployed bulldozers and trucks to the road. Today it is well constructed and the federal government investment can now achieve the purpose for which it was set up. I know Obong Nsima’s ideas about industrialization and they won’t be empty promises. What we have seen in Akwa Ibom in the last three years are ground breaking everywhere. The governor will break the ground and then bring government paraphemalia to do a big ceremony but three years down the road there is no project there. So those places where Akwa Ibom State Governor broke the ground are now overgrown with weed.
I will go along with Abak if Obong Ekere agrees because in him we have a good hand that will make our party proud as the governor. I thank Abak for hosting the NDDC MD who has made Mr. President and our party proud with his good work. I know Abak 5 will give us the right results because this is the stronghold of our party”
Obong Umana also explained that there is no rift between him and Obong Ekere “Let all those who keep on writing in the newspapers that Nsima and I are fighting, hear the truth today, we are not fighting. We are one” he said.
In her solidarity message, a former federal minister of women affairs, Obong Rita Akpan said it was shameful to the PDP that after it knew APC was receiving Obong Nsima Ekere in Abak, they went to fix a prayer meeting in order to distract the event. “This was the same thing some people did when we wanted to receive our political leader at the time, Obong Victor Attah, but a man destined to lead cannot be brought low by such antis. They fixed another event, yet we had a crowd at Asan Ibibio. They have done it again today but see the ocean of heads in this place, they have tried to split the crowd but we still have the whole of Abak here to support a just and good cause,” she noted.
She also joined her voice to support the call for Obong Nsima Ekere to contest the governorship in 2019 adding that “what we want however is for Obong Ekere to give us a female deputy governor and make cabinet appointments 50-50 between men and women.”
Leading the political heavy weights from Eket Senatorial District, former PDP chairman, now APC stalwart Chief (Arc) Otu Ita Toyo said the reason the people of Akwa Ibom call him “Total Chair” is because he knows the mathematics of politics maintaining that right now the people of Akwa Ibom want a change and the change is going to come through Obong Ekere.
He assured that Ekere is the best material to lift Akwa Ibom to higher glory saying the people of Oron and Eket Federal Constituency are behind Nsima Ekere.
High point of the civic reception was a motion by the member representing Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Ukoette that Abak 5 testifies to Obong Nsima Ekere’s capacity to lead and develop Akwa Ibom, his integrity and experience and therefore invite him to run for the 2019 governorship. The motion was seconded by Obong Emem Ekperikpe Ekpo and the mammoth crowd did an overwhelming voice vote in favour of the motion.
Other features of the event were display of an array of cultural dances from the five local governments, music concerts and ballads.