‘’Weep no more! Go and get your PVC. That’s your power, that’s your strength,’’ were the terse message as Nsima Ekere, Akwa Ibom All Progressives Congress, APC governorship aspirant addressed his teeming supporters and partymen in Eket town.
Ekere, who is also the Managing Director of Niger Delta Developing Commission, NDDC spoke this at APC rally organised by the Eket senatorial district to show solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari’s ambition to run for a second term in office and to officially receive him by the party in the district.
The NDDC chief who was presented with APC governorship form by the state party leaders said he was surprised by the decision of the party leaders.
Mr Ekere, while receiving the form, “I was told that this was going to be a reception, I am surprised that the elders of the party ambushed me,” he said.
He thanked the party leaders and the people of the Eket Senatorial District for the “love” they have shown him, and pledged that he would stay for only one term in office as governor if elected.
Ekere, however, berated the performance of Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom, who is running for a second term in office under the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him,“When they want to run, get them to run on the basis of performance. We are here in this primary school because the (Eket) stadium has been under renovation. Do you need three years to renovate a stadium?”
The Akwa Ibom state government is currently renovating the mini-stadium in Eket.
“Here in Eket, there is no road, except the NDDC roads. This governor must stop deceiving Akwa Ibom people.
Earlier, some APC leaders in the state had urged Ekere to contest for the 2019 governorship election in the state.
The APC leaders led by Don Etiebet, a former minister of petroleum, during a rally on Tuesday in Eket presented Mr Ekere with the party governorship form which he said was bought by him (Etiebet) and other state leaders of the party.
Also Senator Godswill Akpabio, the state party leader; Umana Umana, the Managing Director, Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority; and Nelson Effiong, a senator representing Akwa Ibom South witnessed the presentation of the form to Ekere.
“All of us from the three senatorial districts in Akwa Ibom state bought the form for Nsima Ekere, and we are asking him to run for governor in 2019,” said Mr Etiebet who is the chairman of the APC caucus in the state.
Akpabio, a former governor of the state, said his senatorial district, Akwa Ibom North West, has already endorsed Ekere for governor.
Eme Ekaete, a former senator and wife of a former secretary to the Government of the Federation, Ufot Ekaette, spoke at the rally.
Mrs Ekaete, who is from Onna, where Governor Emmanuel comes from, formally announced her defection from the PDP to the APC.
The former deputy governor of the state, Valerie Ebe, also formally announced her defection from the PDP to the APC.
Meanwhile, Eme Ekaete, a former Senator, who represented Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, and a former deputy governor of the state, Valerie Ebe, on Tuesday defected to the APC.
Others who defected from the PDP to the APC were Udom Ekpoudom, a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police and Dr. Francis Udoikpong, a former Chairman of Ika local government area and a one-time state Commissioner for Health.
The state Chairman of APC, Ini Okopido, received the defectors at a solidarity district rally, saying that the PDP in the state has virtually collapsed.
“On behalf of Akwa Ibom APC, I stand as Chairman to receive the latest members of our party in their hundreds in the state.
“They are here ably led by former Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom, Mrs Valerie Ebe and Distinguished Sen. Eme Ekaette.
Okopido handed over the defectors to Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of APC, represented by Mr. Hilary Etta, the National Vice-Chairman of APC South-South.
Mr Etta expressed delight at the defection of the former PDP chieftains into APC fold, describing the defectors as `wonderful Nigerians’.
“I am the luckiest National Vice Chairman in APC because I am superintending over the fast growing people in the party,’’ he said.
He explained that APC started with one senator in the South-South but today the party has eight senators of Federal Republic of Nigeria in the South-South.
“Not too long from now, I promise you, we are going to have a majority of senators of South-south from the APC in the National Assembly,’’ Eta said.
He said that when President Buhari-led government took over power in 2015, things were difficult but today things are getting better.
“It is not yet completely good but it is getting better,’’ he added.
He urged Akwa Ibom people to vote massively for President Buhari during the 2019 general elections in the state, saying that the present administration was not corrupt.
“I receive to this party, Her Excellency, Valerie Ebe and Sen. Eme Ekaette and others to APC in the state.
Mrs Ebesaid, “I saw that without changing to APC, we will be doing serious mistakes.’’
The former deputy governor said that the government of PDP in the state had not performed well.
“We turn around and say if we are not members of the ruling party we will lose out at the national level.
“We have been suffering in the PDP-led government in the state. So we say so long as we have APC government led by President Buhari we are fine,’’ she said. (Premium Times/NAN)