The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akwa Ibom State said on Thursday, December 27, 2018, that the state government’s decision to allow President Muhammadu Buhari use the Godswill Akpabio International stadium for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign flag-off after some initial concerns was not a sign of weakness.
PDP said the decision was glaring evidence of a sound and matured leadership exhibited by the state governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
A statement by Idongesit Nkanga, the Director General of Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, said such humane disposition of the governor was a clear indication that, the leadership of the state has respect for constitutional offices, especially the office of the President.
Nkanga, a former military governor of the state noted that, the way and manner the opposition interpreted the initial decision of the government over the use of the stadium not minding the huge cost to the state to refurbish the facility after the event, was an indication of “desperation anchored in selfish agenda”.
He recalled a similar incident where the state government denied a former governor the use of Ibom hotel and Golf Resorts during the celebration of former Governor Victor Attah’s 70th birthday, but noted that history has offered the state the opportunity to right the wrongs of the past.
He said,“We wish to state unequivocally that the PDP and indeed the good people of Akwa Ibom State are united in a common determination not to mortgage the soul of state for a pittance.
“It is also worthy to note that the decision is a clear indication of the huge sense of maturity and exemplary statesmanship by the Governor. This action is more profane if you consider that some of the key protagonists of APC today while in power, had several times displayed a clear lack of tact and class.
“One incident that most Akwa Ibomites would not forget in a hurry is the deliberate denial of Obong Victor Attah of the use of the facilities of the Ibom Hotels and Resort for events to celebrate his 70th birthday.
“History offered the state an opportunity to right the wrong when the current government of Akwa Ibom state not only approved the use of the facility for the former Governor’s 80th Birthday but also bankrolled the events.
“At the national level, we are all living witnesses to the blatant refusal by the management of the Eagle Square in Abuja, to grant a former PDP Presidential aspirant the use of the facility despite having made the requisite rental payments.
“On the contrast, it is on record that the Akwa Ibom State Government has at several instances granted APC the use Uyo Township Stadium even when it wasn’t the most convenient thing to do.
“In September 2018, the State Government approved for the APC to use the Uyo Township Stadium less than 24hours before and after events of the State’s 31st anniversary which took place at the same venue”, he said.
The DG Divine Mandate said the people of the state would ever remain grateful for having a person like Mr. Emmanuel as governor of the state; because of his humane disposition.
“The opposition can continue to sound the drumbeats of violence; the opposition can continue to dream of criminality but the people of Akwa Ibom State will remain united in one voice and one accord to maintain the peace and prosperity the state has enjoyed in the last three and half years.
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