Saturday, March 3, 2018


Indigenes of former Abak Division have urged the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere, to join the 2019 gubernatorial race in Akwa Ibom State. 

Led by Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, a former member of the House of Representatives, the people, under the aegis of Abak Division Development Assembly (ADDA), on a solidarity visit, presented a symbolic sword to Ekere to clear his way to the Hilltop Mansion in 2019.

Making the presentation, Ekpo said the group will rally and mobilize the whole of Abak Division to support Ekere; maintaining that Ekere has shown love to the people of the Division by awarding contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of key roads in the Division, principal amongst them the Hospital Road in Abak which was impassible before the NDDC moved in to effect repairs on it. 

Ekpo also thanked the NDDC MD for appointing one of their sons, Hon. Uwem Udoma, as his Special Adviser and for the award of contracts for the renovation of schools in the Division. 

He, however, asked the NDDC MD to use his "federal might" to tackle the security challenge in the area, noting that the state government has shown itself to be incapable of handling the security situation in Ukanafun and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas.

Ekpo said the security challenge in the North East was a child's play compared to what is going on in the area. 

"We are in trouble and total disarray because of insecurity. The situation in the North East is a child's play compared to what is happening in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun. Please use your federal connection to ensure peace returns to the areas."

Responding, Obong Ekere said he was flattered by the encomiums poured on him and the request for him to contest the 2019 elections. 

He, however, declined to comment on the 2019 race in the state, saying, "at the appropriate time, we will respond."

He said the intervention by the NDDC in roads in the area was part of the fulfillment of its mandate. He, however, said the contractor that was initially awarded the contract for the Hospital Road, Abak, had to be changed because he succumbed to threats by presumed agents of government who threatened to send him out of business if he moved into site. 

He wondered why anybody elected to serve his people will, in the name of politics, deny the same people the basic dividends of democracy. 

"We terminated that contract (Hospital Road, Abak reconstruction) and awarded it to another contractor who agreed to commence work. We are determined to touch the lives of the people of the Niger Delta including Akwa Ibom State. No blackmail and sabotage will stop us. Unfortunately, this happens only in Akwa Ibom State."

On the security challenges in the area, Ekere empathised with the people and said he will consult with relevant federal security agencies to deal with the situation, but called on the state government to wake up to its responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of the people. 

"Government is a source of power to serve the people positively. Can the state government explain to the people why Abak 5 and even up to Ikot Ekpene is suffering security breaches now that it is fully in charge of security agencies in the state according to a release by the State Commissioner for Information? The major responsibility of government is protection of the lives of citizens and properties."

He charged the people of Abak 5 to take advantage of the voter registration exercise by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, by registering to vote in the next election, saying, "in the next elections, votes will count. Nobody will make up results at the end of the day."




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