A former governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, John Udoedehe, has appealed to his supporters to put aside their grievances and support the party in the forthcoming general elections.
Mr Udoedehe, a former senator, had earlier rejected the governorship primary won by Nsima Ekere, the managing director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“The truth of the matter is that Nsima’s name has been submitted as the flagbearer of the party,” Mr Udoedehe said on Friday to a large crowd of his supporters who gathered in his house in Uyo.
“Nsima has agreed at the highest level of the party that he will do only one term when elected as governor.
“They have also agreed that when APC wins we will form part of the government at the national, state, and the local level,” he told his supporters
.It was a sombre atmosphere at Mr Udoedehe’s home; some of those who gathered to listen to him openly shed tears apparently at the former senator’s decision to accept the primaries.
There were audible murmurings but Mr Udoedehe kept appealing for understanding and calm.
“The position I have taken is a bitter pill for me,” he said.
“But I have taken it with the hope it will help cure my back pain.”
“I don’t have any understanding with PDP. What PDP has been doing is going through the backdoor to offer some of you money to join them.
“Today, I forbid anyone of you from having anything to do with PDP,” Mr Udoedehe said.
He assured them that APC would win all the elections in Akwa Ibom State.
“We have decided to support all the candidates of APC from the president, the governor, the national and state house of assembly candidates.
“When you leave here, no matter how they insult you, you must integrate yourselves in APC at your ward level.
“If you stay away, if you don’t fight for APC, and PDP wins, they will not remember you.
“I have the signs, APC will win Akwa Ibom state. I can tell you PDP will not win this state in 2019.
“If you have been writing things on the Internet against Nsima, please stop it. Please stop it.”
One minute silence was observed for supporters of Mr Udoedehe who lost their lives during the APC governorship primary in the state.
Mr Udoedehe said he would ensure the families of the victims are compensated before the elections.
Minutes after Mr Udoedehe finished addressing his supporters, the APC governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, Mr Ekere, drove into the compound, accompanied by Godswill Akpabio, a senator and former governor of the state; Don Etiebet, a former minister of petroleum and the chairman, APC caucus in the state; Ita Enang, a former senator and an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Akpabio, in his typical style, energised the crowd with songs.
He told the people he has sorted out the differences he had with Mr Udoedehe in the past.
Mr Ekere, while appealing to the crowd to put aside their grievances over the last governorship primaries, said with Mr Udoedehe in the party, APC would emerge victorious at the elections in Akwa Ibom.