In this interview with Iniobong Ekponta in Uyo, Mr Bassey James, Chancellor of Akpabioism Center for Leadership Center give reason Governor Emmanuel Udom will win a rerun election as directed by the Tribunal in 18 of 31 LGs in the state
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and the incumbent governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, will win even if elections were to be held many times over”.
These were the words of the Chancellor in-charge of the Akpabioism Centre for Leadership Development (ACLD), Mr. Bassey James, soon after the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting at Abuja, ordered a rerun in 18 Local Government Areas of the State last week Wednesday.
Speaking in an interview in his office in Uyo, the State capital, the man popularly referred to as
Akpabiosim’, urged supporters of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) not to panic, assuring that governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel has all it takes to be the governor of the 28-year-old State.
The Chancellor drew the peoples’ attention to the fact that governor Emmanuel merited the throne based on the principle of power rotation across the three Senatorial Districts of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket.
He recalled that at the return of democracy in 1999, the Uyo Senatorial District had taken its turn from 1999 to 2007, under Obong Victor Attah, who handed over to Senator Godswill Akpabio of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, adding that “in the spirit of equity, fairness, justice and peace, Eket Senatorial District must take its turn in the current era”.
“Governor Emmanuel represents the face of equity, justice and unity of the State. Therefore, the divine mandate given to him at the last elections should be allowed to stand”, he stressed.
Besides, he explained that governor Emmanuel came from the business world, having been thoroughly trained in the art of financial and human resources management, noting that such experience would be brought to bear in the running of the State.
In the rerun polls, what would speak for the sitting governor, according to the clergy, is his devotion to some people- oriented policies his administration has initiated in the last couple of months to turn around the fortunes of the State.
He pointed at the foundation for industrialization laid by the current administration including the ground breaking ceremonies for auto assembly plant at Itu Local Government Area, the resuscitation of the Peacock Paint company at Etinan and plans for the actualization of the Ibom Deep Seaport project billed for Mbo and Ibeno axis of the State.
Besides, he pointed at various implementation Committees established to harmonise effective framework for agriculture project, economic revitalization, empowerment and prudent financial engineering.
“Udom Emmanuel is a blessing to Akwa Ibom and we are lucky to have an economic manager as a governor”, he said, adding that “he understands the process of financial engineering especially now that the global economy is giving the whole world a source of concern given the dwindling resources for crude oil”.
“We must thank God for him to have accepted to leave his lucrative banking job at Zenith Bank, where he served as an Executive Director to come and offer his service in the development of the State and its people”, he stressed.
Under his watch in the last five months in office, big businesses, he noted, have been relocating to the State, assuring that more jobs, wealth and human capital development would be created in the current era and urged the people to avoid sentiments during the rerun polls.
On criticisms trailing the governor’s decision to borrow N11 billion naira from the Federal Government reserves, James berated such critics, explaining governments all over the world borrow in order to implement good policies and programmes for the people.
He assured that the governor, who is a financial expert would utilize the loans into productive ventures that would impact positively on lives of the people and reposition infrastructure as well as the industrialization policy of the current era.
“As a big player in the banking and business sector, the governor understands the dynamics of loans and transparency in financial transactions”, he noted, adding that Akwa Ibom remains in the safest hands of Governor Emmanuel.
With his achievements so far, the Chancellor envisaged that under him, Akwa Ibom would become a tourism heaven for investors, tourists and visitors in the next four years when all the good policies and programmes of the government would have matured.
He, therefore, appealed to supporters and well-meaning people of the State to brace up for the challenge of ensuring that Emmanuel wins the rerun polls in the affected councils.