Godswill Akpabio, Governor, Akwa Ibom State
With less than two years to go in his administration, Chief Godswill Akpabio seems to be climbing a dangerous cliff in his determination to produce a successor of his choice. The governor is currently facing a determined opposition to his proposed town hall meetings, one of his strategies to ensure that his choice prevails.
Recently, it was the PDP Elders in the state that went public in opposing the town hall meeting ploy, calling, instead to the use of the known party method of selecting a candidate through free and open party primaries.
The latest in opposing both the zoning and town hall gambit is the influential Akwa Ibom Community in the nation’s capital city Abuja. In a communiqué released after a General Assembly held on Sunday, 13th October, 2013 in Akwa Ibom House, Central Business District, Abuja, and made available to Weekend Insight and signed by all the members of the executive committee, patrons and principal stakeholders in the capital city, the community demanded for the opening up of the governorship contest to achieve the result of electing a credible, capable and acceptable governor for the state in 2015.
“As stakeholders in Akwa Ibom project, we have watched keen interest the political developments and trends in the state geared towards denying our people of quality leadership in 2015”, the community said.
They further stressed that; “democracy is predicated on openness, transparency, participation and accountability in governance as universal ethos. To this effect, we demand that for the 2015 elections and subsequently, government should allow all Akwa Ibom indigenes with proven integrity to vote and be voted for; irrespective of gender, ethnicity, religion and senatorial district affiliations”.
They condemned; “all attempts and efforts to intimidate prospective aspirants from expressing their intention to vie for the governorship position in and beyond 2015”.
“Akwa Ibom people deserve a governor that knows the people and is known by them; a governor who is competent, credible and seasoned. Akwa Ibom people do not want a senatorial or ethnic governor”, they insisted, adding that, “Accordingly, we call on all competent, credible, astute and capable aspirants to come out and prepare to lead the state when the time comes”.
The community singled out the former Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Umana Okon Umana for praise in his contributions to the success story of the present administration in the state.
“We congratulate Mr. Umana Okon Umana, on his incredible sense of service and patriotism and integral role in the uncommon transformation agenda in the over six years he served as secretary to state government”, said adding, “It is a thing of joy for us at Akwa Ibom Community, Abuja that Mr. Umana showed the same passion and commitment throughout his unblemished public service career”.
They called on the former SSG to brace up for high service by accepting to be part of the governorship race in 2015. They said, “He has done enough in the service of state and Akwa Ibom community, Abuja for us to appeal to him and other credible Akwa Ibom sons and daughters to prepare to step out when the time comes, to lead Akwa Ibom”.