WHEN AKPABIO WAS DECLARED WANTED
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Chief Godswill Akpabio has been declared wanted! On September 20, 2010, the political leaders and the masses of the state, cutting across ethnic, social and religious strata, gathered at Ibom Hall Grounds to declare Akpabio a wanted man…for daring odds to thread where angels feared!
It was a day the electorate challenged the governor to respect their will …by presenting himself for reelection. They told him point-blank that for giving the state and the people the needed good governance, he MUST return to the Hilltop Manson to finish his good works!
Prior to the 'hooking' of Akpabio, the people from several ethnic groups especially the Ibibio, the Annang, the Oro, the Ekid, etc said they had conducted searches across the land. Arriving at an unchallenged findings about three days to the celebration of the 23rd anniversary of Akwa Ibom State creation, they culminated in an unprecedented crowd at the Ibom Hall venue; leading to traffic snarl on major roads in the State capital.
The effect was that Governor Akpabio, now caged on all sides by the people, had to succumb; hence he made a brief stop there to voice his intention…in line with the wishes of the people! Frankly, words can hardly describe the expression of love, passion and support that day. From the wee hours of the said day, the venue became filled to capacity with banners, flags, and carnival floats.
The groups spoke with drums and timbales; flutes and trumpets; applauding the uncommon achievements of the governor in three and half years. It was a sea of heads formed by politicians, community leaders, civil organizations, local and national artistes, musicians, women, youths as well as socio political groups.
The struggle to gain prominence by the various groups gave the security agencies tough time at crowd control. When one of the leading politicians in the South South, Senator Anietie Okon, he commended the large turn out – despite the short notice. As Chairman of the rally, Okon noted that the response of the people was inspiring and would help in the repositioning of Akwa Ibom State to become a reference point in the Gulf of Guinea. He then commended the people for the courage and sincerity in their collective clarion call to the governor to remain on the seat 2015.
For him, the people had demonstrated the civic duty of seeking the right candidates for elective positions. He observed that blackmailers trying to drag the people back to the dark ages of underdevelopment have been proven wrong, hence the mass support for Akpabio. 'There is no opposition in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party', he submitted.
He maintained that from all indications drawing from the countless verifiable projects like education, environmental cleaning and drainage, road rehabilitation and reconstruction, completion of the international airport, Ibom Power plant, e-library, flyovers, etc, Akpabio was ready to 'turn Akwa Ibom State into a triangle of development with models for emulation by other States' in the country.
After the tone setting, member of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Don Etiebet, said that 'the unopposed candidature' of Chief Akpabio was 'not an organized gimmick for imposition on the people as arrangements used to be by a clique', rather the overwhelming wishes and demands of the entire State.
Etiebet stated that the acceptability of Akpabio stemmed from the governor's unbeatable track-record of achievements. He said, Akpabio has 'emancipated Akwa Ibom State nationally and internationally'. The response at the rally, he added, was a reciprocation aimed at granting the governor an opportunity for second term based on his avowed sacrifices, commitment and zeal to make the State a destination for investors and tourists.
Similarly, Chief Assam Assam ,SAN, said the governor has made the entire state happy with the fulfillment of his promises.