The widely accepted belief about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is that it has assumed the status of a religion in Akwa Ibom State; due to its popularity, general acceptance and trust as instrument or platform for the revival of Nigeria.
For this, believers within the religion called PDP, beginning from its Chairman, National Caretaker Committee, Senator Ahmed Makarfi look upto Akwa Ibom as a crucial state in the expected victory of the PDP during the 2019 general elections.
To carefully position itself for the expected nationwide takeover therefore, the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom State has remained very attentive to details in ensuring that every step toward the realization of such dream is seriously followed up.
This best explains why the party in the State, for the first time in its history, accorded a very unusual importance to the nomination of aspirants from the ward congresses, its primaries to fill in candidates for councillorship and Local Government Council Chairmanship positions, and the flag off of Local Government Election campaigns by the National Chairman of the party himself.
Confirming his trust on the strength of the stake held by the Akwa Ibom State Chapter of the party during the flag off of the Local Government campaigns in Uyo, the National Caretaker Committee Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sen Ahmed Markafi while addressing enthusiastic party members and teeming supporters, considered any form of campaign by the PDP in the state as mere formality, which must however be done to satisfy the party’s quest for handwork, free, fair and credible processes.
“We are here for just formalities; PDP is like a religion in Akwa Ibom state and of course today has shown that, our brothers who left have today returned, the state House of assembly is now 100 percent PDP, I
have no doubt that the local government election will produce all PDP”.
“We belief in free and fair elections, that was why we relinquished power in spite of the fact that we have reservations and observations during the 2015 general election and we handed over power without making any problem.
“In 2019 we want to record 100 per cent for PDP in the country, Akwa Ibom state is one of the States that will make that happen. PDP is one here, don’t allow rumour mongers to come into your fold because they will want to distract you”, he said.
He thanked governor Udom Emmanuel for always standing by the party,
noting that such has made the party to succeed thus far.
“I am absolutely sure he will stand with the party to have free, fair and successful national convention in December where national officers will be elected to drive the party into 2019 elections”, he added
Makarfi, flanked by national officers of the party, used the occasion to receive Hon. Samuel Effanga former Commissioner, Hon. Anietie Ekong- former Secretary of the Party, Hon. Bassey Etienam, former Member, AKHA, Hon. Sunny Elijah, the only member of the House of Assembly in APC among others. He expressed optimism that with such former members returning to the party, PDP is on its way to success come 2019.
The National Chairman challenged the party to ensure it records 100percent in 2019 general election, as nothing short of complete victory would be accepted.
Earlier, governor Udom Emmanuel who cautioned Akwa Ibom people against looking outside the PDP, as it is the only organ that would provide them the needed democratic dividends, assured those returning to the party of equal opportunities, adding that, they have taken the rightful decision at the right time.
Justifying why the entire Akwa Ibom and indeed Nigeria must embrace and stick to PDP Governor Emmanuel said; “We are standing here as the highest oil producer in the country, but we have not seen anything from the government at the centre”.
“Today, oil price has gone over $61 per barrel. Last month, the allocation they gave to Akwa Ibom State was lower than what they gave to us a month before now.
How can you explain that? It is only PDP that can ensure fairness, justice and equity in the country. Only PDP federal government will carry the state along as the state cannot boost of any federal presence today”.
He charged party supporters to eschew violence during and after the
forthcoming local government elections.
In his remarks, the state PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo said the flag off was simply a step taken to affirm PDP as a religion in Akwa Ibom State, he assured that the Party will continue to file candidates who will uphold the philosophy and belief of the Party in people-centered leadership in every election in Akwa Ibom State.
To come out victorious, Ekpo assured that members of the party at all levels will work together to ensure total victory for the PDP in the forthcoming election, as well as the 2019 general elections.
“We gather today to affirm our belief that PDP is a religion in Akwa Ibom State. Nigerians should note that come 2nd December we are going to win the 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State.
We hereby announce that we are not going to sit at home, write names and submit, but we are going to the field to win.We have set our targets and we have outlined strategies that will assist us in getting these targets.” He said
Addressing the flag off ceremony, the Speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Rt. Hon Onofiok Luke used the occasion to present the only of the 26 members of the house who was of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as 25th anniversary gift from the legislature to the PDP in the state and pledged that all 26 members will unite with the party to move the state forward.
He declared that the 31 Local Government Areas and the 329 Wards will be completely won by PDP, promising that as lawmakers, they will go to their various constituencies to campaign and guarantee the success and Victory on 2nd December Polls.
Mr Luke said the PDP in the state has earned for itself the people’s love following its track record of performance in Akwa Ibom which could be witnessed during the past and current administrations.
“What has given us the audacity to say this is the record of performance of the PDP which has been attained both during past and present governments. The roads crossing the length and breadth of the state, linking headquarters of our local government areas were done and are still being done by the PDP.
Our people are happy. The women, students youths and everyone has felt the impact of the PDP government”.
“Today in the nooks and crannies of our communities, small businesses are springing up, our young people are having sustainable means of livelihood, our women are been given grants to do business, our students and youth are being supported in education.These and many more are the reasons PDP will win in the 31 LGAs and the 339 wards; we don’t go campaigning on empty words”
The Senate Minority Leader; Senator Godswill Akpabio, who delivered a goodwill message on behalf of members of the National Assembly, lauded the Party Leadership, other Members and Supporters for their continued support for the party, adding that with the mammoth Crowd, PDP will win convincingly in the forth coming election. “if we have this kind of crowd on a mere local Government campaign Flag off, then on the day of election, it will be a work over for PDP”. He said
Highpoint of the occasion was the presentation of party flags to chairmanship candidates of the party from the 31 council areas by the state party chairman, Mr. Paul Ekpo.