Akpabio Harps on Credible 2011 Elections Based on Grassroot Support
20 Oct 2010
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill O. Akpabio has harped on the need for credible 2011 elections in the Country based on the popular mandate of the grass root people.
Chief Godswill O. Akpabio who disclosed this Tuesday when the Uyo Senatorial District Elders Council led by Major-General Edet Akpan (rtd.) paid him a courtesy visit at Governor’s Lodge, Uyo said, ‘’The underlying factor is that 2011 general elections in Country remains a one-man-one-vote affair. The government will ensure a level playing ground for all aspirants in 2011 general elections’’.
The elders had called on the governor to register their quest for justice, equity and fair play in the 2011 Uyo Senatorial District elections in Akwa Ibom. Akpabio pointed out ‘’It is not just enough for the elders to advice, but you must also participate in the elections processes: consultation with elders; views of opinion leaders; election of party delegate conference participants; emergence of candidates; and confirmation from Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Then, the Elections Tribunal will settle disputes between aggrieved candidates before the final confirmation of the winner’’.
‘’I am delighted that I granted the courtesy visit. I must say that I am enriched now. A situation where a child in Uyo Senatorial District will wait for 108 years before he tastes power is not good enough. I am a product of free and fair elections. I will make sure that fairness, equity and justice form the hallmark during the elections’’, he stated.
The state chief executive thanked the elders in the district for using a peaceful means to resolve political logjam and called on other senatorial districts in the state to emulate their gesture, remarking ‘’Peace politically is not when there is no war, but when there is justice, equity and fairness among the people’’.
The Governor lauded the elders in the district for giving their unalloyed loyalty and support to his administration despite blackmail, name calling, insinuations and innuendoes bordering on kidnapping and other security issues against him, adding that it would be disastrous for the political blackmailers to use security issues in the state as a decoy to get votes from the electorate.
He recalled that his emergence in 2007 general elections was attributed to the massive support from people in the senatorial district, saying that as a gesture he has appointed two third of his personal assistants from the area, appointment of Secretary to the State Government as well as execution of development projects worth more than N200 billion in Uyo Senatorial District to give the metropolis a facelift.
The projects, according to him, include the construction of Tropicana Entertainment Centre, Ekritam-Ikot Oku Ikono Road, Uyo Urbanisation Scheme, flyovers, drainage system, Aka–Nung Udoe Road, e-library, banquet hall and bank roads, among others.
In their communiqué read by the Secretary-General of the council, Akparawa Godwin Ntukude, they reaffirmed their support for the election of President Goodluck Jonathan and re-election of Governor Godswill Akpabio in the 2011 general elections.
The council, however, said in view of the several petitions before them on the third term ambition of an individual in the district and considering the three Federal constituencies in the district, there was need to observe the zoning policy in all elective political offices to allow for justice, equity and fair play otherwise some children might have to wait for 108 years before tasting power.
At the occasion, a one-time Minister of Women Affairs, Obong Rita Akpan, the political leader of Uyo, Dr. Maurice Ebong, the political leader of Etinan, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udo, the President of Itu Elders Forum, Otuekong Udoekop Uodusoro, spoke on the need the people to adhere to the existing zoning formula.