The Chairperson of Essien Udim Local Government Council, Anthony Luke, has vowed that a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, would fail “woefully” in the 2023 senatorial election for the Akwa Ibom North-West District.
Mr Akpabio, a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the district, is from Essien Udim Local Government Area.
The chairperson of the Essien Udim council, Mr Luke, who was speaking with journalists in Uyo on Monday, said Mr Akpabio is not popular in Essien Udim as people are made to believe.
He said Mr Akpabio, while he was the governor, concentrated development projects in his Ukana community to the detriment of several other communities in the local government area. This, he said, has rendered him unpopular among the people.
“What yardstick would they use to support him (Akpabio), when we have Ukana Clinic in Ukana, when we have MOPOL Base in Ukana, when we have Federal Polytechnic in Ukana, when we have Police Secondary School in Ukana?
“What will my people and others have to show? What is there in Odoro Ikot? What do we have to show in Afaha? What do we have to show in Ukana West 1? What do we have to show in Ikpe? What do we have to show in Adiasim? What do we have to show in Ekpenyong 1 and 2?
“Ukana may support him but write it down, he (Akpabio) cannot win in Essien Udim,” Mr Luke said.
“My ward would not support him. The other time (2019 elections), their party (APC) got zero votes in my community, Okon.”
Besides Akwa Ibom being predominantly a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state, Mr Luke said the people in Essien Udim would vote massively for all the PDP candidates to show appreciation to the party for making Mr Akapbio governor and later a minority leader in the Senate when he was a member of the PDP.
“Essien Udim people can never be ungrateful to the PDP. What are you saying, because he is in another party we will go and support him. An Essien Udim man is not an ungrateful man. Therefore, we cannot support anyone that is not of the PDP. An Essien Udim man has integrity, we don’t do that.
“The Senate is for the 10 local government areas of the district, it is not for Essien Udim. And for God’s sake, in Ikot Ekpene (federal constituency) we have produced five senators from 1963 till date, while nobody has been a senator from Abak Federal Constituency, for about 60-something years now. Is that place not part of the senatorial district?
“They too should be given a chance. Akpabio should rest and send his boys to go to the Senate.
“For Senate, Essien Udim people are supporting Emmanuel Enoidem. He will get more than 90 per cent of the votes in Essien Udim. They will vote for Umo Eno for the governorship.
“Akpabio has only done well for his Ukana community, not Essien Udim. Akpabio does not have special anointing to remain in political power, he has to give another person a chance. The people who think Akpabio will win this election are dreaming,” Mr Luke said.
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