The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party has said that the decision of the state government to release Godswill Akpabio International stadium for the All Progressives Congress presidential campaign flag-off was not due to weakness.
The ruling party in the state stated that the decision to make the staduim available was a display of maturity by Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.
The Director general of the Divine Mandate Campaign Organization, Idongesit Nkanga, in a statement 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 lambasted those who criticize the state government for initially turning down the request of the APC to make use of the staduim, adding that it cost the state a lot to maintain the facility, while also describing their reaction as 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.
According to the DG. of the campaign organization, Mr. Emmanuel will continue to be respected by the people of the state for his humane deposition to issues.
“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.” the statement added.
Naija News recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari will be lunching his campaign for his re-election bid in Akwa Ibom state capital on Friday 28th December.