Monday, 23 March 2015

Umana soars as Attah, Etiebet, ors back him as governor

Umana soars as Attah, Etiebet, ors back him as governor

The former governor of Akwa Ibom state and life BoT member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Arc Obong Victor Attah and his counterpart, Atuekong Don Etiebet have thrown their weights behind the governorship aspiration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Akwa Ibom state, Obong Umana Okon Umana. Both statesmen, founding fathers of the PDP in the state, endorsed the candidature of UOU Weekend during the APC’s campaign grand finale held at the Millennium Park, Udo Udoma Avenue, Uyo. 
Speaking at the rally, Obong Attah reinforced his stance as a prime advocate of zoning but made nostalgic allusion to a statement he made in September last year when a grand reception was organised in his honour at Asan Ibibio where he explained thus: “zoning will surely be a major consideration but at a time like this, certain other compelling determinants cannot be sacrificed on the altar of zoning alone.’’ The revered elder statesman took a swipe at those championing the course of zoning, stating that those now parading themselves as advocates of zoning had, even quite recently, scuffed at the idea. “Their present posturing therefore is not only hypocritical but deceitful. We are all witnesses to the fact that the PDP governor in Delta state has decided to quite nobly not only withdraw his backing for a particular gubernatorial aspirant but also to forgo his senatorial ambition in the interest of justice, equity and fair play, and in order to spare the party the pains of unnecessary friction. In this state, everybody knows that it is the turn of Abak Five to produce the next senator. So, why is governor Akpabio insisting on contesting that position if at all he believes in zoning? 

This is a perversion that is totally unacceptable, therefore I urge all of you from Ikot Ekpene to team up with your brothers in Abak and make certain that Inibehe Okorie from Abak is the next senator from your district. Today, we support Umana Okon Umana because of a number of those other compelling determinants critical among which were that we shall collectively make a succession plan; collectively too, we shall choose a successor to implement our succession plan and that the collective will of the people shall prevail in this matter. We therefore pleaded for a level playing field to allow the people to truly make their choice because we had also made a vow that we will vehemently resist any form of imposition. But we were completely ignored. So, zoning will be restored, but right now, we have a critical problem to solve which requires to be solved outside of zoning.’’

The two-term governor further noted that despite campaigning on the platform of the APC, it does not diminish his status as one of the 82 dignitaries that signed the charter to establish the PDP in 1989, saying emphatically that he remains a life member of the Board  of Trustees of the PDP. “I am a leader of my people. My people do not want any one imposed on them as governor; they want Umana Okon Umana and that is why I am here. Let me further remind you that Udom Emmanuel was not nominated by the PDP in this state. We used to think that it was the governor that had brought him to cover his tracks, but at a campaign rally, the cat was led out of the bag. The governor told us that it was his wife, the so called “Mother Theresa’’ of Akwa Ibom state that discovered and sponsored Udom Emmanuel, and he, the imperial majesty, is determined to impose him on us as successor to the throne. A surrogate of Godswill Akpabio must not be allowed to govern us.’’ He submitted.

Also speaking, himself, a life member of the PDP BoT, Atuekong Don Etiebet corroborated Attah’s stance and canvassed for massive votes for all APC candidates in the forthcoming elections. “When 22 aspirants of the PDP complained about the shabby governorship primary in the state, Akpabio told the party’s hierarchy in Abuja not to listen to us that we are expired Politicians with no followers; but today, I urge you to vote for the people that will bring change to this state. The principal thing today is to deliver Akwa Ibom to Akwa Ibom people and you have chosen Umana and he’s the symbol of that deliverance.’’  He decried the level of abandonment of projects in the state noting that Akwa Ibom has become a territory of abandoned projects where projects are begun and left in ruins. 

Speaking on the kind of party they founded, the former Petroleum minister noted that PDP was not built on the foundations of impunity and rascality but that of respect for people and the rule of law. “we must say no to insult of elders and impunity and UOU represents that change today because had we led Akwa Ibom like what is happening now, the state would have been “Attah and Etiebet organisation.’’ We would have owned Akwa Ibom state but we said no; that we are in democracy and advocated for politics of participation and inclusion but today, it has been the personalisation of both the party and the government. your coming out today is a reaction to a bad action because prior to the November 1st stage managed Ward congress, there was nothing like opposition in this state but today, the APC is now the party to beat in Akwa Ibom state.’’

Speaking earlier, the South South zonal chairman of the APC, Hilliard Ettah accused Governor Akpabio of creating the environment that led to the death of Hon. Okon Uwah. “Come May 29, when Akpabio vacates the Akwa Ibom state Government House, he will account for the death of Rt. Hon Okon Uwah and all others that have gone before him.’’ He described Attah as the father of modern Akwa Ibom who should serve as a role model to all and sundry while calling on all to vote massively for the APC at the polls. 

The governorship standard bearer of the APC in the state, Obong Umana Okon Umana, while responding to the overwhelming endorsement of his candidature thanked all the elders, led by Attah and Etiebet and all his supporters for trooping out en masse to the rally. He promised not to disappoint the people when he emerges as governor. He reeled out his policy thrust to include: “industrialisation with particular attention to the completion of the Ibaka Deep Sea Port, investment in agro-based industries in the three senatorial Districts, reversion of Akwa Ibom state University to the original concept of University of Science and Technology and many more.

Speakers and dignitaries at the occasion included: Group Capt Sam Enwang, Obong Rita Akpan, Mrs. Imo Isemin, Hon. Gloria Udofot, Dr. Amadu Attai, APC state chairman, Rt. Hon Sunny Udom, Director-General APC campaign council, Hon Bernard Udoh amongst others.

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