Following the affirmation of the senatorial candidacy of Godswill Akpabio by the supreme court for the 2023 elections, the Chairman of Essien Udim local government area of Akwa Ibom state, Mr Anthony Luke has noted that Akpabio would not win even in Essien Udim, his local government area.
In an interview with journalists in his Uyo residence on Tuesday, the council boss explained that apart from Akpabio’s own community of Ukana, he did not do anything in other communities in Essien Udim, to deserve their votes in the forthcoming elections.
Luke revealed that his community, Okpo, as well as other communities, will not vote for Akpabio alleging he did nothing for them when he was in public service but channelled everything to Ukana, his (Akpabio) community.
Luke said: “What yardstick will they use in supporting him (Akpabio), when we have Ukana clinic in Ukana, when we have Mopol base, Federal Polytechnic, and Police Secondary School all in Ukana, what will my people show for it? What of Odoro Ikot? What do we have in Afaha Ikot Ebak? 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 Ekpeyong 1&2? Ukana where he comes from may support him but surely, I am telling you he cannot win in Essien Udim
“Akpabio will not have even 5% vote in Okon, what will I have to show as an Okon man? The only road that got into Okon has not been completed to date, what will I use to campaign for him?
The chairman said he and his people would remain grateful and committed to the Peoples Democratic Party because it was through their platform that an Essien Udim son rose to an enviable position as governor and as Minority leader.
According to him “You and I know that Akwa Ibom State is predominantly a PDP state, I have been grateful to the leadership of the PDP, it is the PDP that gave an Essien Udim son ticket to be the governor of Akwa Ibom state, PDP gave Akpabio Minority leader position even when he was a first timer, so we don’t have to be ungrateful to such a party and you expect an Essien Udim son to leave the party? Is that how it works? An Essien Udim man is a truthful man; he has integrity, we don’t do that because it is anti-party”
He also argued that it is the turn of the Abak federal constituency, not Ikot Ekpene which had had the opportunity to produce five senators since 1963, adding that as a stateman Akpabio ought to have left the stage for his boys whom he has trained.
“And for God’s sake, Ikot Ekpene Senatorial district has produced five senators since 1963 to date, nobody has been a senator in Abak federal constituency, is that area not part of the senatorial district? They are our brothers, our sisters and deserve to be given the chance,
“As an elder statesman, we expect him to rest and send his boys whom he has trained very well to go and represent him, when he left for APC he did not inform anybody”
Responding, the former Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs who spoke through the Director, Publicity of his campaign organisation, Mr Joe Iniodu, described the chairman’s argument as spurious and false.
He said ” That is a complete fallacy because some of us who are not from Essien Udim are envious of Essien Udim because of the transformation that trailed that community during the era of Godswill Akpabio, they are a big beneficiary of his government because, during his tenure, Akpabio acted as a man who loves Akwa Ibom state and his community.
“So, when people say that Akpabio cannot win his LGA, apart from the fact that that argument is spurious and banal as it is, just last Sunday a congregation of Catholic people waited for Akpabio, a Catholic church that has a tradition of punctuality and decorum waited because Akpabio was expected to in the church and immediately he arrived the congregation erupted in Joy not because of money but just to see a man who had made the Essien Udim proud.”