The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State may have shut out other intended aspirants in the party from contesting the 2019 governorship election.
The development followed the automatic ticket by the party to Governor Udom Emmanuel.
State publicity secretary of the party, Comrade Iniobong Ememobong, disclosed this at the weekend while fielding questions from members of the Correspondents’ Chapel, NUJ, Akwa Ibom State Council.
“Apart from the governor, whom we have already given automatic ticket, every aspirant from the House of Assembly to the National Assembly must follow the due process,” the party’s spokesman said.
Ememobong also debunked the allegation that the State PDP Chairman, Obong Paul Ekpo, was bribed with N2 million to endorse former Commissioner for Information Aniekan Umanah for the Abak Federal Constituency seat at a public forum in Abak.
Angry youths under the aegis of the Abak Federal Constituency Assembly (AFCA), led by Comrade Emayak Williams, worried by the allegation had impressed it on the party Chairman “to clear his name of the allegation”, pointing out that “so far, we have about five persons who have indicated interest for the post including Umanah”.
But the party scribe dismissed the allegation, explaining that “Aniekan Umanah was the Chairman of the Planning Committee of the event held at Abak to honour the governor and the wife”, explaining that Ekpo only lifted his hand after organising a successful ceremony”.
Emmanuel, he stressed, remains the only person with automatic ticket to again fly the party’s flag in 2019, adding that the party arrived at such decision in view of the governor’s achievements in the last three years.
According to him, Emmanuel has acquitted himself creditably well with the mandate entrusted in his care since 2015, noting that he has substantially delivered on the five-point agenda of his administration.
He added that the foundation of industrialisation laid by the administration would ensure the largely civil service state becomes an industrialised economy soon.
Besides, Ememobong explained that under the current administration, more jobs have been created for the youths through agricultural interventions, interest-free loans for market unions, free basic education for the young ones, scholarships for higher education students and N600million earmarks every year as WAEC fees for final year secondary schools’ pupils.
He warned against unfounded rumour that has the capacity to overheat the polity ahead of the polls.