• Defectors part of PDP rot
From Joe Effiong, Uyo
Former minister of state of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator John Akpanudoedeghe, has said 2019 will be disastrous for the All Progressives Congress (APC) if stopped from contesting the governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.
Akpanudoedeghe, also known as Udoedehe, who took Akwa Ibom gubernatorial race by storm as the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate in 2011, but lost to former governor, Godswill Akpabio, told Daily Sun that APC cannot stop him from contesting as governor in 2019 because the party has never adopted zoning in the state before.
He said it would amount to self-destruction if the party rewards those who defected from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the party and got empowered with juicy appointments, with the 2019 governorship slot.
“What I know is that I am going to run. Everybody who says I am not running, that is their business. I built the APC, to take over from the PDP. I have never left APC.
“My ambition is like that of President Muhammadu Buhari. It doesn’t matter whether you deny it or not. Buhari ran for so many times because he is a man of principles. But, if he had left APC, he wouldn’t have defeated Jonathan. So, if APC fields the right candidate, I will win. If they conduct a free and fair primary and I lose, I will even become campaign manager to the candidate. But, if all their intention is to stop me from running, so that they will field those who defected to the party to take over, APC cannot win because it would be like fielding PDP candidate against PDP,” he said.
Udoedehe said those challenging the PDP-led administration in the state on accountability and openness in government business are only paying lip-service as they cannot probe the state government, if given the opportunity because they were part of the rot in the state.
“Now, Buhari is the right candidate for APC because he was not party to the looting gang in the PDP; he can send a message that these people are thieves; I am coming to probe them and I am coming to fight corruption. That is why the people reasoned with him. Without Buhari, I don’t even understand what will happen to APC because people believe in him.”
“Listen to me, the people that have come into the party, if their aim is to defeat PDP, that may be possible only if they field the right candidate. But if their aim is to stop me because they have heard that I will probe the administration that they were part of, that is catastrophe and it is not politics.”
He appealed to the state government to allow a free and fair election in the December 2, 2017 local government election in the state in order for each party to know its real strength, arguing that winning election does not depend on the crowd at campaigns venues.