Thursday, 22 January 2015

Udom set to meet with G22

Udom set to meet with G22


Plans are underway  by the peoples   Democratic Party governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom state, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel to meet with the twenty-two aggrieved governorship aspirants popularly known as G22. The move, we learnt is premised on the need for the G22, dubbed by Senator Helen Esuene as (God’s 22) to sheathe their sword and join forces with him to ensure sweeping victory for the party at the polls. This latest Olive branch by the Onna born banker, turned politician is the second time in an attempt by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to broker peace with the group. 

It could be recalled that Mr. Udom Emmanuel, along with governor Godswill Akpabio, Sir Emem Akpabio and Emmanuel Enoidem had earlier met the group in Abuja sometime ago with the intention to sue for peace and woo their support for Udom’s aspiration, but the peace initiative allegedly went awry when Udom Emmanuel likened himself to Jesus Christ that has come to save Akwa Ibom state. The statement did not go down well with the G22 who were said to have been highly infuriated by Udom’s grandstanding or better still, what keen observers noted was a faux pas on the part of the former Zenith Bank guru. The statement was said to have defeated the purpose of the peace treaty and expectedly led to a logjam as the peace parley ended in fiasco. 

Udom set to meet with G22

Sources informed our reporter that subsequent efforts by the state governor and his team to persuade the group to reach a common ground proved abortive leading to anxiety within the rank of the PDP in the state as to the next line of action to take. While the waiting game lasted, the G22 remained adamant in their quest to overturn the result that produced Udom as the party’s gubernatorial candidate for Akwa Ibom state. The group, who staged a walkout from the venue of the said primary election where Udom emerged as the party’s standard bearer on 8 December 2014 over allegations of gross irregularities that marred the exercise, proceeded to the Federal Capital territory, Abuja the following day with the intention to table their grievances to the party and have them correct what the group described as a farce election. Their efforts, numerous petitions and complaints seemingly fell on deaf ears as the party hierarchy failed to neither heed to their position nor meet with them. It was alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan and top brass of the party deliberately refused to listen to the group, an act; THE INK learnt frustrated their efforts and thus put them in a fix. 

After spending the  Christmas and  New Year festivities away from their families, the G22 returned to the state amidst a rousing welcome and told the people of Akwa Ibom state that having spent 40 (forty) days and nights in Abuja to get justice, it was only imperative that they returned home to continue the struggle for the liberation of the state. While addressing the mammoth crowd that thronged his campaign office, the former deputy governor of the state and leader of the G22, Obong Nsima Ekere told them that they are resolved in their position to fight for the liberation of the state and see to it that justice and the rule of law prevails in Akwa Ibom state. Speaking further on behalf of the group, the Ikot Abasi born politician stated that the group will always reject Udom as the standard bearer of the PDP in the state since the process that produced him was flawed and alarmingly undemocratic. Other aggrieved aspirants, including Ambassador Assam Assam all reechoed Nsima Ekere’s sentiments.

Though, the G22, whose camp has recently swelled in rank with the entrant of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Obong Umana Okon Umana are still not at ease with the emergence of Udom as PDP’s flag bearer in the state, despite the fact the he (Udom) has since commenced state wide campaigns, there’s seemingly no let up in the crisis rocking the party in the state. This is more so as the G22 is yet to make public pronouncement on their next line of action since returning to the state. 

As it is, their seeming silence has sent cold shivers into the PDP’s camp with the fears unconnected to insinuations and belief in some quarters that they may remain in the PDP but work against its success at the polls. This, sources within the party hinted our paper, has led to uncertainty in Akpabio’s camp thereby prompting the party to instigate moves to broker peace with the aggrieved aspirants. It could also be recalled that a similar move to make peace with the G22 in a panel that was chaired by Senator Effiong Bob met a brick wall as the group rejected the invitation, saying that they won’t offer themselves for the purported peace parley; giving their reasons to include the dubious constitution of the panel and for the fact that they already knew the outcome of the said peace meeting. 

Those move by the PDP’s leadership in the state failed to yield any positive fruits thereby giving governor Akpabio and his camp more thinking and work to do.

While Mr. Udom Emmanuel is going about his campaign across the state as PDP’s flag bearer without blinking an eyelid, sources within his camp informed this paper that all is not well within the party’s rank owing to fears that the G22 who just returned from their sojourn in Abuja may be up to something sinister. They said that anxiety has gripped Akpabio, who, incidentally is the ‘chief driver’ of the governorship aspiration of Mr. Udom Emmanuel and he is said to have fortified himself ahead of what is proving to be a titanic battle to the Hilltop mansion. 

While this latest peace move  by Udom is a welcome development in some circles, those sympathetic to the G22, especially those of Oro extraction, are threatening fire and brimstone over the peace deal. Informed sources say that the aspirants from Oro may prove to be a huge obstacle to the deal as they continue to agitate for the number one seat in the state. Another gridlock is the recent pronouncement by the group that Udom Emmanuel stands rejected by them as their candidate, stating emphatically that they reject him as the party’s candidate now and always. We were unable to reach the G22 for comments on the said peace deal at the time of going to press.

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