Abak Division Development Assembly (ADDA), a frontline political group in Abak, Etim Ekpo, Ika, Ukanafun and Oruk Anam Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State, has appealed to the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, to run for the governorship seat of the state in 2019.
The group made the appeal over the weekend during a courtesy call to Ekere in Uyo.
Speaking on behalf of the group, its Chairman, Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo, explained that its members decided to make the appeal after careful deliberations, consultations and prayers.
He said the people of the five local government areas were ready and willing to support Ekere if he agreed to run because of his development strides in their areas since his assumption of office as NDDC boss in November 2016.
Ekpo enumerated the strides to include emergency intervention in the deplorable Hospital and Esteem School Roads in Abak and the Mercantile Bank Road in Ekparakwa, Oruk Anam, as well as renovation of primary school buildings across the five local government areas.
He appreciated Ekere for the appointment of a prominent member of the group, Mr. Uwem Udoma, as his Special Assistant on Political Affairs.
Ekpo, a former Member of the House of Representatives for Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, however, urged Ekere to facilitate the appointment of more indigenes of Abak 5 into federal boards.
He also sought the allocation of more NDDC road construction and primary school renovation projects to the five local government areas.
On the worsening security situation in Etim Ekpo and Ukanafun, Ekpo appealed to Ekere to use his connections to help restore peace in the two local government areas which, according to him, were in total disarray.
He equally pleaded with Ekere to back ADDA’s long-running agitation for the zoning of the Senate seat of Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District to Abak 5.
Also speaking, a leading member of the ADDA, Obong Koko Abia, assured Ekere that “the people of Abak 5 will go with you, fly with you and succeed with you.”
In his remarks, the NDDC boss promised to respond at the appropriate time to ADDA’s call to run in 2019.
He endorsed the group’s agitation for the Senate seat but urged its members to work to achieve their aim.
Ekere disclosed that the contract for the reconstruction of the Hospital Road in Abak was terminated and re-awarded to a new contractor after the previous contractor stopped work due to pressure from the State Government.
“We are determined to touch the lives of the people of Abak and the entire Niger Delta,” he declared. “I keep saying we in government should leave playing politics for now. Let us concentrate on giving democracy dividends to the people.”
He decried the deteriorating security situation in Etim Ekpo, Ukanafun and Ikot Ekpene and called on the State Government to be alive to its responsibility of securing lives and property in the three local government areas.
The highpoint of the visit was the presentation of a symbolic sword to Ekere by ADDA leadership.