I won’t impose anyone on Akwa Ibom – Governor Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom on Wednesday in Abuja said he had no plans to impose any candidate as his successor.

He made the denial while speaking with journalists in an interview in Abuja.

According to him, there is no iota of truth that he planned to impose the Secretary to the State Government on the people as being alleged by some Peoples Democratic Party stakeholders in the state.

The governor also denied hijacking the state party membership register as alleged by some of the party`s stakeholders who appeared before the PDP National Integration Committee.

He said that all the wards and chapters of the party in the state had their membership register while the state party chairman also had his own.

“Such allegation is baseless and it is false. You have to understand that this is political time and people are doing their best to blackmail one another.

“I assure you that am a democrat and I will never impose any candidate on the good people of Akwa Ibom. The people will select their candidate,’’ he said.

Mr. Akpabio said that some politicians indulged in falsehood in an attempt to win elections, primaries or gain political power.

He, however, said that he would not be distracted by the allegations but remain focused in ensuring good governance in the state.

The governor assured that PDP was out to ensure electoral independence.

Mr. Akpabio said that he had a lot of respect for elders and founding fathers of the party.

He commended President Goodluck Jonathan, whom he said found it expedient to make him a member of the party`s inner caucus.

“I’m a strong party man and I identify with the working committee in my state, the people and all the funding and founding fathers.

“The problem in my state is that, we have one or two party founding fathers that lost primaries in 2006 and from that period, they lost interest in the PDP.

“In 2011, they attended ACN rallies and stood on the podium to raise the hands of the opposition and if those people had won, PDP would have been extinct in Akwa Ibom.’’

Mr. Akpabio maintained that the PDP in the state was intact, stressing, however, that a few people in the state “had decided to be on a voyage of discovery’’.

He expressed gratitude to the PDP leadership for constituting the integration committee, which he said would ensure true reconciliation among the party members in the state.

“The doors are still open for all of them who are still interested to join the party, whoever wants to come back, can come.

“If the elders want to return, they can come, but we cannot do so by compromising the election of Mr President and the Governorship election of PDP in Akwa Ibom.

“Akwa Ibom is a PDP state, we do not mind opposition, but we would not want to be defeated by the opposition.’’

The committee, chaired by Iya Abubakar, received a total of five memos from PDP Akwa-Ibom stakeholders.

Addressing journalists at the end of the meeting of the committee, Mr. Abubakar said that some of the memos were signed by individuals, while others were collectively signed.

He added that those who submitted the memos were, however, made to personally present them to the committee members.

The committee chairman, however, said that the committee was still open to aggrieved members of the party across the country to submit memos.

The chairman said that the committee would study the memos with a view to addressing issues raised.

Akwa-Ibom, which has Cairo Ojobo, National Vice-Chairman, South South PDP, was the first state to appear before the committee.

Other members of the committee include; Oyenma Ugochukwu, Abubakar Maikafe, Martins Elechi of Ebonyi and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, among others.

The Chairman of Akwa Ibom PDP, Obong Paul Ekpo, described the meeting with the committee as very structured, adding that it would bring lasting peace to the state chapter of the PDP.

(NAN)


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