The president of the Essien Udim Local Government Council, Anthony Luke, promised that a former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabiohe would fail “miserably” in the 2023 senatorial election for Akwa Ibom’s North-West District.
Akpabio, candidate of the Congress of all progressives (APC) in the district, is from the local government area of Essien Udim.
Essien Udim board chairman Mr Luke, who spoke to reporters in Uyo on Monday, said Mr Akpabio is not popular in Essien Udim as people are led to believe.
He said that Mr. Akpabio, while governor, concentrated development projects in his Ukana community to the detriment of various other communities in the local government area. This, he said, has made him unpopular with the people.
“What criteria would you use to support him (Akpabio), when we have the Ukana Clinic in Ukana, when we have the MOPOL Base in Ukana, when we have the Federal Polytechnic in Ukana, when we have the Police High School in Ukana?
“What will my people and the others have to show? What is in Odoro Ikot? What do we have to show in Afaha? What do we have to show at Ukana West 1? What do we have to show in Ikpe? What do we have to show in Adiasim? What do we have to show at Ekpenyong 1 and 2?
“Ukana can support him, but write him down, he (Akpabio) can’t win at Essien Udim,” Luke said.
“My neighborhood would not support it. The other time (2019 election), his party (APC) got zero votes in my community, Okon”.
In addition to Akwa Ibom being predominantly a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) state, Luke said the people of Essien Udim would massively vote for all PDP candidates to show their appreciation to the party for making Akapbio governor and then minority leader in the Senate when he was a member of the PPD.
“The people of Essien Udim can never be ungrateful to the PDP. What do you say, because he is in another party we are going to support him. An Essien Udim man is not an ungrateful man. Therefore, we cannot support anyone who is not from the PPD. An Essien Udim man has integrity, we don’t do that.
“The Senate is for the 10 local government areas of the district, it is not for Essien Udim. And for God’s sake, in Ikot Ekpene (federal constituency) we have produced five senators from 1963 to date, whereas no one has been a senator from Abak federal constituency, for about 60 years. Isn’t that place part of the senatorial district?
“They too should be given a chance. Akpabio should rest and send his boys to the Senate.
“For the Senate, the people of Essien Udim are supporting Emmanuel Enoidem. He will get more than 90 percent of the votes in Essien Udim. They will vote for Umo Eno for governor.
“Akpabio has only done well for his Ukana community, not for Essien Udim. Akpabio does not have a special anointing to stay in political power, he has to give someone else a chance. The people who believe that Akpabio will win these elections are dreaming,” Luke said.