Stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ikot-Ekpene senatorial district have unanimously adopted Senator Godswill Akpabio as the party’s consensus aspirant for the 2019 general elections.
This agreement was reached after a midnight meeting on Sunday where his top contender, Inibehe Okori, agreed to step down for him.
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and governorship aspirant under the platform of the party, Nsima Ekere, was also adopted as the sole aspirant for the governorship position of Akwa Ibom state.
The two aspirants are to be officially presented to the people of the senatorial district at a later date.
Addressing party faithful after the senatorial district caucus meeting, the leader of the party, Otuekong Don Etiebet, said the decision was reached for the common good of Akwa Ibom people.
According to Etiebet, “We leaders have decided tonight that Obong Nsima Ekere, be our governor in 2019, we have also decided to endorse Godwill Akpabio to represent the Ikot-Ekpene senatorial district.
“After individual experimentation, we have decided to work together for the common good of the people of Akwa Ibom state.
“We are going to work for our collective interest, we recognized the importance of contributory arrangements that between us the leaders, all of us are known in the country and that if we go to Abuja, we can get something working together”.
The state party chairman, Ini Okopido, expressed satisfaction that the leaders at the meeting were able to bring out amicable resolutions that are binding on all parties.
“I thank God that we have arrived at definite decisions, one of which is to support Obong Nsima Ekere, for the governorship position of the state, support Godswill Akpabio, because when the national leaders of our party came here,they respected him and we have decided to respect him, so that he would not be like the proverbial prophet who is not respected in his hometown,” Okopido stated.
On his part, the host and the senatorial aspirant for Akwa Ibom North-West district, Otuekong, Inibehe Okori, who accepted to step down for Akpabio, assured that the decision of the elders would remain binding on all the parties involved.
“I must admit that we had a tough meeting that lasted for over four hours, but I thank God we were able to resolve and all of us as gentlemen will abide by the resolutions of the meeting.
“The progress we have made is that we have decided to support Obon Nsima Ekere for Governorship and Akpabio for the senate.
In their responses, the two aspirants, Nsima Ekere and Godswill Akpabio, collectively promised not to betray the confidence reposed in them and assured that they would carry everybody along.
The meeting which started at about 11pm at the Etim Ekpo residence of Otuekong Inihebe Okori, had in attendance the leaders of the party in the state, including Otuekong Don Etiebet, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and governorship aspirant, Nsima Ekere, and Senator Godswill Akpabio.
Others included the state party chairman, Ini Okopido, the host, Inibehe Okori and other top party faithful.