Indication has emerged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom state may settle for the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Obong (Dr.) Nsima Ekere as its consensus candidate for the 2019 governorship election.
This came to the fore yesterday at the grand solidarity/reception rally organized by the people of Akwa Ibom South (Eket) senatorial district for President Muhammadu Buhari and Ekere at the QIC Primary School, Eket town.
Leaders of the party across the three senatorial districts of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket had bought and presented the nomination and expression of interest form to the NDDC boss yesterday at the event.
The rally was attended by APC supporters from the three federal constituencies of the senatorial district and graced by bigwigs of the party including Senator Godswill Akpabio, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, Chief Don Etiebet, the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZA), Mr. Umana O. Umana among others.
Leader of the party in the state and national caucus member, Chief Don Etiebet, who presented the forms to Ekere said leaders of the party across the state decided to purchase the forms for the NDDC boss because they wanted him to replicate his sterling performance in the commission when he becomes governor in 2019.
Etiebet said that though the APC in the state was yet to agree on direct primary or consensus arrangement for picking its governorship candidate, the stakeholders and member of the party in the three senatorial districts have endorsed Ekere for governorship.
He reaffirmed the readiness of the party to oust Governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP from the Hilltop Mansion next year, adding that the state will give President Muhammadu Buhari over one million votes to return him to power for a second term.
“Today I am saying that the APC is the only party in Akwa Ibom state. I am saying this because the actors that made PDP the only party in the state have all left PDP and they are here on this podium.
“So we are going to return more than one million votes to President Buhari and all candidates of the APC. I want to acknowledge and appreciate my brother Senator Godswill Akpabio who had thrown the killer punch to bury the PDP in Akwa Ibom state”, he said.
Also speaking, Senator Akpabio promised to canvass for votes across the state for the APC, assuring that Akwa Ibom state would give Buhari over one million votes to return him for a second term in office.
In his response, Ekere expressed appreciation to leaders of the party for purchasing the governorship nomination and expression of interest forms, adding that he has accepted their directive for him to contest the governorship.
The NDDC MD promised that he would do just term in office if elected as governor next year to give room for Uyo senatorial district to produce and take over in 2023 in the spirit of power rotation among the three senatorial districts of the state.