Ahead of the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), leaders of the party in Akwa Ibom State have unanimously adopted senator representing Akwa Ibom North West, Godswill Akpabio, as consensus candidate o.
A statement by the media aide of the senator, Anietie Ekong, disclosed that the decision was taken yesterday morning, after a protracted meeting of party elders at Obong Ntak, country home of Chief Inibehe Okorie, who is also a senatorial aspirant.
Addressing his supporters after the meeting, Obong Okorie said he decided to forgo his aspiration, in the interest of the party and senatorial district.
He extolled Akpabio as an “uncommon senator” and said he was excited at his entry into the APC. He enjoined his supporters to work for Akpabio and the APC.
“As far as his aspiration is concerned, we, in Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district, have declared Akpabio as the unopposed candidate of the APC. We decided that we have to send our best to be our voice at the national level. Akpabio is a prophet whom we all respect at home,” he said.
On his part, Akpabio thanked Okorie for his dedication to the party and his decision to forgo his ambition. He said Okorie decided to step down, unconditionally, to avoid any acrimony in the party.
Akpabio said picking him as consensus candidate in the senatorial race meant his coming into the APC in Akwa Ibom was generally accepted because he came along with others to add value to the party and that APC in the state is working hard to mobilise support for the party at all levels, so as to go into the elections with a united front.
“We are trying as a party to work as a family in the state. With the policy of the federal government that every vote must count as we witnessed in the election in Osun State, we have to work extra hard to deliver our party at all levels.
“I thank the leaders of the party in the state for the confidence they have reposed in me. I promise to redouble my effort in giving Akwa Ibom North West senatorial district and, indeed, Akwa Ibom State effective representation,” he said.
Atuekong Etiebet announced that earlier another aspirant Obong Ekperikpe Ekpo had also stepped down for Akpabio and expressed delight at the unanimity of purpose of members of the party in the state. He said the coming of Akpabio into the party in the state would boost the fortune of the party. Those in attendance at the meeting included, former Petroleum minister and Chairman of the state caucus of the party, Atuekong Don Etiebet, APC State Chairman, Mr. Ini Okopido, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Obong Nsima, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr Udom Ekpoudom (retd), among others.