Jonathan`s Victory a Watershed for Unity – Gov Akpabio
19 Apr 2011
Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State says the voting pattern of last Saturday’s Presidential Election, which saw President Goodluck Jonathan clinching an overwhelming victory in most states was a watershed for national unity.
Speaking in Government House, Uyo, on Monday, the governor said for once, the outcome of the election would rekindle confidence of all the diverse nationalities in the Nigerian entity.
“I must thank the entire country for coming out en mass to vote for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Those of us from South-south Nigeria are very delighted that our years of affiliation with other political blocs in the country have paid off. Because now that our son contested, our compatriots from other parts of the country also did what we had done for their sons in the past. They came out en-block and voted for our son and that shows the unity of this country” he said.
Akpabio’s excitement stemmed from the fact that President Jonathan won even up to 25 per cent in his opponents’ stronghold, like Kaduna State.
“With the vote for Jonathan”, the governor added, “you have shown that any child, no matter where he is born in Nigeria, can rise to any position of responsibility”.
He said for once, parochial sentiments have been buried in Nigeria’s politics. “You have buried the issue of racism; you have buried the issue of ethnicity; you have buried the issue of tribalism and you have brought about one Nigeria”, Akpabio said.
While appealing to Nigerians to eschew violence and bitterness, Akpabio expressed happiness that the nation’s democracy was growing to a point of full integration of the minorities and other diverging interests.
“Our youths must know that what has happened today is a watershed for unity; it is a very important event in the history of the country because by that we have reintegrated the entirety of Nigeria and we have brought about unity by voting across board”.
He charged Nigerians to eschew bitterness and avoid division; urging them not to go on rampage simply because a particular candidate did not win overwhelmingly to clinch victory. “Let us focus on things that would unite this country”.
The governor assured all that Jonathan would do well as Nigeria’s president and not the president of a particular segment of the country.
Also, prominent indigenes of Akwa Ibom State who monitored the April 16 presidential polls in their respective communities hailed the peaceful conduct of the exercise and its smooth logistics back-up by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, describing the unprecedentedly-massive turn-out of voters as a justification of President Goodluck Jonathan’s victory.
Never in the history of voting in the state has there been a parallel degree of enthusiasm by voters, as even the aged and nursing mothers suckling their babies waited patiently from morning till evening to be participants in the making of history.
This scenario invalidates the anarchy and mayhem unleashed by supporters of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in certain parts of the north, in the misguided notion that their candidate and former military ruler, Maj-Gen Muhammadu Buhari ought to have won the presidential polls.
Incumbent President Jonathan defeated Gen. Buhari but the religious and ethnic zealots do not want to know why their idol lost in all parts of the state and irrespective of party affiliation, every voter was unequivocal that since this is the first time in the country’s history that someone from the minority, oil-rich South-South geo-political zone was getting the opportunity to vie for the presidency, then it had to be Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
According to the Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal, Rt., Hon Nduese Essien, who personally supervised the exercise in his hometown in Eket, the turn-out of voters was 100 per cent more during the national assembly elections while INEC had improved logistics support greatly.
The minister said that in all polling units in Eket proper sitting arrangements, including canopies, had been provided for voters to cover the length of time between accreditation and actual voting. He was emphatic that President Jonathan would win because people are enthusiastic that he should continue.
Also speaking at the polling unit in his Usuk Obio Ediene homestead, the senator representing Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Hon Alloysius Etok expressed satisfaction with both the conduct of the exercise and its logistics back-up by the INEC, compared to the previous week’s exercise.
Asked to hazard a guess as to the outcome of the elections, the senator said it was not about guessing, stressing that he was prophesying victory for President Jonathan.
After touring the 11 wards that make up Abak. The commissioner for Information and Social Re- Orientation, Hon Aniekan Umanah described the exercise as a huge success, describing the exercise as the freest and fairest election ever in the state. There was massive turn-out of voters at most polling units in the area.
Expressing satisfaction with the peaceful conduct of the exercise as well as logistics support by the INEC, Hon Umanah said the massive turn-out of voters across the state reflected the enthusiasm of the people to return President Jonathan to power because they are satisfied with the manner he is running the country.
At his Ididep Usuk homestead where he took personal charge of mobilising voters to troop out and perform their civic responsibilities, the state finance commissioner, Hon. Bassey Albert Akpan, demonstrated that though he may belong upscale, he is not alienated but truly loved and respected by his people. He was all over the Government School grounds, venue of the exercise, trying to ensure smooth and orderly conduct of the exercise.
Describing the elections as the freest ever, the finance commissioner attributed the peaceful and conducive atmosphere under which the elections were conducted in the state to the integrated logistics support provided by Governor Godswill Akpabio administration, especially in the area of security.
Also speaking, the chairmen of Essien Udim, Nsit Ibom and Ika local government areas, Hon. Sunny Ibanga Elder (Hon) Joshua Eyo Asuquo and Hon. Saviour Aniekere respectively, hailed the peaceful conduct of the presidential polls in their LGAs and praised the peaceful conduct of the voters as well as the INEC’s demonstration of capacity to meet the challenges of managing elections.