Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday presented the party’s gubernatorial Expression of Interest and Nomination forms, which they had bought, to the Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, with a call on him to contest the 2019 election. Ekere was presented with the forms at a rally by the people of Eket senatorial district to honour him and endorse President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term.
Led by the APC state Caucus Chairman and former Petroleum Resources Minister, Atuekong Don Etiebet, the party leaders that bought and presented the forms to Ekere included Senator Godswill Akpabio, former senate minority leader; Senator Nelson Efiong, representative of Akwa Ibom South senatorial district; Senator Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on National Assembly (Senate) Matters; Umana Umana, managing director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority and Ben Ukpong, national population commissioner for Akwa Ibom State.
Ntufam Hilliard Ettah, the APC national vice-chairman, South-South Zone; Ini Okopido, Akwa Ibom State APC chairman and Bassey Dan-Abia, a governorship aspirant and former NDDC managing director, were among those who witnessed the presentation. Etiebet urged Ekere to accept the form, fill and return it before the deadline set by the party’s national headquarters.
He hinted that with all the major APC leaders in Akwa Ibom State supporting Ekere, the party may choose its governorship candidate by consensus. Akpabio, who drove the crowd ecstatic with solidarity songs for Ekere, said the NDDC boss had already been endorsed by his Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial district. “We are yet to fully take a decision on whether it should be direct primaries or consensus but I know in Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Nsima Ekere has already been endorsed. APC is going to rule Akwa Ibom in 2019,” he said.