Tuesday, 20 January 2015

G22, Umana unite ahead guber race *We will work together-Nsima Ekere

* We reject Udom in totality - Group


It was a carnival-like at  mosphere penultimate  Saturday when the Peoples  Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirants under the banner of G22 stormed the state after spending 40 days in Abuja trying to get the leadership of the party to listen to them as regards the December 8 purported governorship primary conducted in the state. The aggrieved aspirants who touched down at the Akwa Ibom International Airport aboard a chartered flight at some minutes past 5pm were assailed by a mammoth crowd who thronged the airport to receive them from their sojourn in Abuja after a prolonged absence from their native land since December 9, 2014. Also at the airport to receive the group was the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Umana O. Umana, whose arrival sent the excited crowd into wild ecstasy. 

The enthusiasm exhibited by the surging supporters smacked of faith and uncommon belief in the G22. Banners and placards with different solidarity messages were hoisted by the jubilant supporters as they competed for recognition. The sea of heads at the airport was unprecedented; the turnout was akin to the kind of crowd seen in matches involving big soccer playing nations.

Security officials had a  hectic time controlling  the elated crowd as everyone were anxious to have an unhindered view of their returning heroes. Soon after acknowledging cheers from the crowd, they convened at Obong Nsima Ekere’s campaign office at Edet Akpan Avenue were all the aspirants took turns to address the almost uncontrollable supporters. Setting the tone, the Forum chairman, Obong Nsima Ekere stated that the last six weeks has been very interesting and deeply revealing. He thanked the people for supporting and standing by them in the bid to get justice. Hear him: Akwa Ibom state has been fantastic; you have shown that you reject autocracy; undemocratic practices and that you are democrats. 

You can see that all of us wanted to be governor, but we have come to a position that it does not really matter who becomes governor amongst us. The only thing we are saying is that Akwa Ibom people must choose for themselves who they want as their governor. We say no to impunity. We are saying here that whosoever has the privilege of governing Akwa Ibom state should do so with the fear of God, respect for the rule of law and respect for all of you. Those days were one person stays in the comfort of his room to choose a governor for us has long passed.
The G22 as a whole and  indeed the good people    of Akwa Ibom state are saying that we do not accept the undemocratic way somebody emerged as PDP flag bearer. We will not recognise Udom Emmanuel, under any circumstances as the PDP standard bearer for Akwa Ibom state. There has been all manner of lies making the round that G22 has split. As you can see, we are very much intact and nobody has bought any of us as is being speculated.  I assure you that we are intact and are united in the struggle to liberate Akwa Ibom state. We are united in the resolve that never again will we experience this kind of rubbish.’’ He enthused. Speaking in the same vein, DR. Peter Esuh stated that the G22 cannot be bought by money, adding that what they stand for is the soul of Akwa Ibom. His words: “we won’t allow this impunity to continue for the sake of the future of the state. If we allow it to continue, what will we tell our children? If we allow it to continue, we will lose the generation to come. Will they say that we were here when one person was ruling the state like a dynasty of his family? The G22 says no to impunity. 

We will not desert you; we will stand  by you and we want you to stand by us. We must return this land back to God. We must say no to foreign gods because it’s time for Jesus Christ to reign in our state. We will stand together and win this war for Jesus.’’  Also lending a voice to the people, the only female aspirant in the group, Senator Helen Esuene thanked the people for their solidarity especially for spending the whole day to receive them. Her words: “we have been on a pilgrimage of 40 days (forty days) in Abuja and this pilgrimage was for the soul of Akwa Ibom state. We were there to ensure that what is right is upheld. G22 stands for (God’s 22). During these forty days, we have bonded together as brothers and sisters.
We have come to a  conclusion that whoever will be the governor of Akwa Ibom state should not do so with an iron fist and shouldn’t spend state money injudiciously outside the state. What is ours will be used for the benefit of our state. We hold no grudge against anyone; all we are saying is that things should be done in the proper way in our state. We stand for justice, equity and fairness so that Akwa Ibom State will be one, which will bring about jobs for the youths. Akwa Ibom is the only state that ‘unusual’ things happen.  It has never happened before that 22 people left their homes and families, even at Christmas for the sake of the people. It has never happened that people across party lines have come to receive their sons and daughters in the political history of the country. She added that the group will speak to the supporters again in the next couple of days.

Also speaking, Barr.  Effiong Abia said that  with the significance of the number, 40 in the bible, coupled with their return, that sanctity, unity and prosperity has returned to Akwa Ibom state. Engr. Effiong Usin also thanked the people for showing great faith and support for the G22 for the past 40 days. Hear him: we appreciate you all for your gesture. As has been pointed out, we have been offered a lot but we have stood firm and together, we will have victory because Udom will not be governor in this state.’’  Thanking the supporters for turning out en masse to receive the group, Mr. Chris-Abasi Eyoh, who spoke in a manner that reminded one of the statements of hope famously made by the legendary Martin Luther King held the mammoth crowd spell bound with strong-worded anecdotes and unmistakable grandiloquence. 

He warned that nobody is a special breed in life hence the need for equality in matters of state.  Mr. Ita Udo thanked his supporters for their steadfastness, calls and text messages. He noted that their coming out is a clear indication that they are not happy because the G22 is equally not happy, adding that that’s why the group is shouting out against injustice.  Speaking in the same vein, a two-time governorship aspirant, Engr. Larry Esin said that. “On the 8 of December, 2014, the 22 of us said no to tyranny; we stood up and said no to impunity and that struggle belongs to all of you. It has gone beyond us, but I assure you that the 40 days we spent outside the state will not be in vein. If we want this struggle to come to fruition, all of us must remain united. 

The time has come for democracy to be sustained in Akwa Ibom state. All we ask for is government of the people, by the people and for the people.’’  Former Ambassador to Russia and Belarus Assam Assam said that one man cannot produce 26 House of Assembly members, three senators, himself inclusive, ten House of Reps members and governor. 

On the comment made  by former Military governor of Akwa Ibom state, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga that they are not members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Assam Assam rubbished the comment noting that he does not know what it takes to sack someone from a party. He pointed out that when someone loses his dignity for a pot of porridge, that’s how he behaves. “If I see him anywhere, in the church or market, I’ll tell him he’s a fool.’’ He thundered. Other aspirants who addressed the crowd included Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim; Mike Sebastine; Anietie Johnny Ufot (AJU); Davids Okpon; Jerome Isangedighi; Barr. Asuquo Okpo and new entrant into the group, Umana Okon Umana, amongst others. Senator Ita Enang was also on hand to lend support to the group. The group assured their teeming supporters that they will fight the injustice meted out to the people of Akwa Ibom state to a logical conclusion even as they promised to brief the people of Akwa Ibom state on their next line of action in the coming days.

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