Stakeholders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State have met to strategise and deepen grassroots engagements towards electoral victory in 2023, while ushering a horde of defectors across different wards in the state from the opposition APC into PDP.
In a simultaneous ward meeting of PDP across the state Saturday July 9, leaders and members of the party while discussing issues of party development and good governance, held a concensus that the government produced by the party in the state has delivered sufficient dividends of democracy and that Akwa Ibom deserves another class of people-centric leaders by 2023.
In Onna LGA, Governor Udom Emmanuel, who received defectors and returnees from other political parties to PDP, described the move as a pointer to the party’s dominance of the state.
He encouraged party faithful and stakeholders of the PDP across all political wards in the state to embrace and integrate the returning politicians back to the fold.
The governor also noted that the purpose of the meeting holding simultaneously in all the 329 wards of the state was to strengthen the party and gave assurances that Akwa Ibom remains a PDP state.
“We are holding ward meetings to look at our ward structures, to do a review and also receive decampees.
“In all the 329 wards of the state we are receiving returnees to the party, 20,000 people returning to the party and there’s no way we could have done that at one location.”
“What we are doing today is also to reassure the people that this is a PDP state and that we are ready to hold the ground and win the game.
“You can see that the who-is-who in the ward is here and as a party man I have also come down to my ward because nobody is above the party”, he added.
In Uruan, the speaker of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr Aniekan Bassey attended the ward meeting at his home ward, Southern Uruan Ward 2, where he rallied support for the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the state, Pastor UmoEno as well as all other candidates of the party across board. Bassey urged the people of Uruan not to forget the many benefits they have reaped from supporting PDP in the past.
At Ward 4 in Ukanafun, the state chairman of the party, MrElder Aniekan Akpan, thanked the members of the party for the overwhelming support in past elections. While commending the leader of the party, Gov. Udom Emmanuel, for his unquantifiable love for ward 4 and Ukanafun Local Government generally, called on the party members to remain united, cordial and committed to yield more victories for the PDP in the various elections to be held 2023.
Meanwhile, the governorship candidate of PDP in Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, in Ibiakpan Obotim Ward II, Nsit UbiumLGA, charged party faithful to register and get their permanent voters’ cards (PVCs) to enable them to vote for leaders of their choice in the next elections.
He affirmed that it was necessary for everyone to be involved in the political process and to elect leaders with capacity and proven integrity who can steer the state to prosperity.
At Ward 4 in Ibiono Ibom, the commissioner for information comrade Ini Ememobong, PDP candidate for the Itu/Ibiono Ibom House of Representatives seat, Mr Ime Okon, the PDP state publicity secretary, Comrade Borono Bassey, in their separate charges to the party faithful urged them to continue to keep faith with the PDP as it is the party that holds the assurance for a collective reward system for the people.
In Ubium North Ward 3 the political leader of Uyo Senatorial District and chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party Reconciliation Committee, Senator Effiong Bob, who assured party faithful in the ward of victory ahead, sued for greater commitment for the growth of the party.
Senator Bob also used the opportunity to officially receive the massive dacampees from APC led by Mr Amanam Ndem into the party, advising them to stay loyal as the party continues in its tradition of engaging members at the grassroot.
In Ikpe Ward 2, Ini LGA, the Ini chapter chairman of the party in his remarks stressed that the meeting was to sensitise and reaffirm the support of Ward 2 for PDP,
The immediate-past commissioner for agriculture and PDP flagbearer for Ikono/Ini Federal Constituency, Dr. Glory Edet, expressed delight at the level of unity enjoyed in the party structure of Ikpe Ward 2, adding that the two wards are solidly behind the party and will continue to promote its cause.
“We are here to reaffirm our stand as members of PDP which by God’s grace is the largest party in Africa and to assure the party that its candidates will cruise to victory come 2023”. She added.
Speaking at the ward meeting at Ikpa Ibekwe Ward 1, Ikot AbasiLocal Government Area,
Mr Uwem Okoko thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for showing love towards members of the party.
Okoko said the only way members of the party can continue to enjoy the benefits they are getting from the government is to ensure that they support the PDP to remain in power come next year’s election through their votes. He therefore urged PDP members in the ward to ensure that they register and get their voters card and are prepared to vote massively for the party.
In the 50 wards of Oron Federal Constituency leaders of the party charged members to go out and register to get their PVC in order to vote PDP at all levels.
Senator representing Eket Senatorial District and PDP deputy governorship candidate, Sen. Akon Eyakenyi, Ph.D, thanked members of the umbrella family for their support and solidarity, expressing gratitude to Governor Udom Emmanuel and the leadership of the party for endorsing her as running mate to Pastor Umo Eno.
In Mbo there was mass defection from APC to PDP, some of whom were supporters of Chief Effiong Johnson in his former party before he rejoined PDP.
In Oruk Anam, speaking at Ward 7 centre, the chapter chairman, Mr Nsikan Titus, commended party faithful for adhering to the directives of the state chairman, and urged them to stay committed ahead of the incoming election.
In Wards 10 and 2, member representing Oruk Anam State Constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr UdoKieran Akpan and the chairman of the council, Mr Kingsley Frank, in their separate speeches thanked members of the party for the support given to His Excellency, Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and called for continued support beyond 2023.
At the Government Primary School, Ntak Obio Akpa, where Ward 5 party members held their meeting, the PDP Candidate for Oruk Anam State Constituency election in 2023, Prince Sampson Idiong, thanked the leader of the party in the state, Governor Udom Emmanuel, and the state chairman of the party, MrAniekan Akpan, for an opportunity for reconciliation and consolidation of the bond of unity among members of the party, thanking the delegates and members of the party for their support during the just concluded party primaries.
On his part, the immediate-past chairman of Akwa Ibom State Universal Basic Education Board and the PDP standard bearer for Etinan Federal Constituency in the 2023 general elections, ObongPaul Ekpo, who spoke in Nkana Iman, Etinan LGA, said PDP is intact, unshaken and urged the people to continue to keep faith with it, noting that PDP stands victorious in future elections.
In Northern Iman Ward 2, Etinan LGA, the commissioner for justice and attorney general of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Uko UdomSAN, at the meeting thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for the numerous projects done in Iman, and assured faithful in the ward of more dividends of good governance.
Udom also used the opportunity to officially receive the massive defectors from APC led by a renowned businessman, Dr. Friday Etuk (CEO of Assur Electronics) and promised a fare treatment as members of the party.
At the meeting of PDP in Ward 5, Esit Eket LGA, attended by the ward political leader, Dr. Okon Daniel Umoh, SSA to the governor on Projects Monitoring, Obongiwaad Pastor Godwin Williams, MD of Point Code/Uranus House, Mr Nsikan Matthew, reaffirmed their total support for Governor Udom Emmanuel, PDP and Umo Bassey Eno’s governorship aspiration.
In Nsit Atai, the member representing Nsit Atai in the State Assembly and PDP candidate for Uyo Federal Constituency, MrMark Esset, who took part in the ward meeting, observed that the next polling exercise in 2023 will be characterized by transparency as there will be zero rigging, while urging the people to vote PDP candidates in all positions in the state and national.
The meeting which was a directive from the state chairman of the party, gave members, elders and stakeholders the chance to rejigand better get prepared for the polls in 2023.