A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and a serving senator, Godswill Akpabio, has given conditions under which he will support incumbent Governor Udom Emmanuel’s second term ambition.
Akpabio speaking at the annual get-together organized by the deputy governor, Chief Moses Ekpo, to fete the people of Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Akpabio insisted that he would only support the governor for a second term if perceived current marginalization of his senatorial district was addressed.
The former governor warned that the era of ‘carry-go’ politics was gone and charged the governor to brace up for the big task.
The Senate Minority Leader, widely believed to have installed governor Emmanuel against all odds in 2015, said he would only endorse Emmanuel’s re-election and rally support for him if the policies and programmes of the administration were not discriminatory against Ikot Ekpene geo-political zone.
He lamented that some of the projects embarked upon by his (Akpabio’s) administration including the multi-million naira Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at Ikot Ekpene and the dualized Uyo-Ikot Ekpene road, had been abandoned by governor Emmanuel, noting that the completion of the projects would form part of the recommendations for his re-election in 2019.
According to him: “2018 is less than one year to election, all is not well, don’t allow anybody to deceive you that all is well. If the hotel in Ikot Ekpene rots after so much money had been expended on the project, would that be a good thing? That road from Uyo to Ikot Ekpene, is still the way it was.
“In the 2018 budget, what is the percentage for Ikot Ekpene senatorial district?”, Akpabio asked, and charged the governor to remove the wedge that stifles development in his zone or be prepared to face the consequences of such action in 2019.
“My job is to say the truth because if at this level I cannot say the truth, then I am not doing well. So please I want us to start the hotel because when the Commissioner for Works addressed the youths in August, he assured them that the hotel would be opened in December.
“Please let us check the budget to know what has been earmarked for that place. I am not interested in what I did and what I did not do, I am only interested in what I am going to do.
“The truth is that Godswill Akpabio expects us to set our path straight so that we can take one route. Even when you are going for communion, you must be in a state of grace, so let us have something from the senatorial district to use in talking about election; to use in convincing the people to stand by us. We are in opposition, we don’t have government, we don’t have Police, we don’t have INEC.”
However, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, warned against playing politics with development projects enunciated by the administration since coming on board in 2015.
Udoh scored the administration high in areas of physical infrastructure, agriculture, human capital development and free education for children up to secondary school level.
He solicited for more support for the administration as it strived to spread development projects across the three senatorial districts.
“Let us bury our political differences and unite in love for governor Udom Emmanuel to build a state we will all be proud of. Akwa Ibom belongs to all of us, the governor is poised to ensure sustainable development for the state and the people that will outlive this administration,” he said.