The Chairman of Essien Udim Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, Mr Anthony Luke, has said Senator Godswill Akpabio would lose the senatorial elections.
The Supreme Court recently affirmed Akpabio as the rightful candidate for Akwa Ibom North West Senatorial District under the All Progressives Party (APC), and not retired DIG, Udom Ekpo Udom.
Akpabio, who hails from Essien Udim, was the former Senate Minority Leader and Niger Delta Minister before he resigned to contest as a presidential candidate.
Luke claimed that apart from Akpabio’s own community of Ukana, he has done nothing in other communities in Essien Udim to deserve the votes of the people in the forthcoming elections.
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He said, “I am the chairman of Essien Udim LGA, let us count the wards that will support him (Akpabio). My ward will not support him. The other time, their party, APC, got zero vote in my community, Okon. So, what makes you think he will get 100% votes of the people of Essien Udim?
“What yardstick will they use in supporting him (Akpabio) when we have Ukana clinic in Ukana, when we have Mopol base, Federal Polytechnic, Police Secondary Secondary 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? Want 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’m telling you he cannot win in Essien Udim.
“Akpabio will not have even 5 per cent vote in Okon. What will I have to show as an Okon man? The only road that got into Okon has not been completed till date, what will I use to campaign for him?”
Luke said he and his people would remain grateful and committed to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because it was through the party that an Essien Udim son rose to an enviable position as governor and as minority leader.
“You and I know that Akwa Ibom state is predominantly a PDP state. I have be 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 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”
The chairman insisted that it is the turn of Abak federal constituency not Ikot Ekpene which had had opportunity to produce five senators since 1963, adding that as as a stateman, Akpabio ought to have left the stage for his mentees whom he had trained.
Reacting, the Director, Media and Publicity of Akpabio campaign organisation, Mr Joe Iniodu, said the chairman’s argument was spurious and a complete fallacy.
He said, “That is 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 big beneficiaries 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 br 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 Essien Udim proud.”