A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nsima Ekere, has expressed belief that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-controlled states in the South-south and the South-east regions would take a cue from the just-concluded Ekiti election, and align with the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the 2019 general elections.
APC’s candidate, Kayode Fayemi, won on Saturday in the PDP-controlled state to become the governor-elect of Ekiti.
Mr Ekere, from Akwa Ibom State, is the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
He is said to be interested in running for the governorship of the state in 2019, although he has repeatedly denied having such ambition.
Mr Ekere, in a congratulatory message to Mr Fayemi, said the outcome of the election was a “signpost” of what is to come in the 2019 general elections in the country.
“The election was not significant to Ekiti State alone but to the whole country because of its credibility and direction to the voting pattern in 2019,” Mr Ekere said.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari; the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; the Chairman of the APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council for Ekiti State, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State; the APC leader, Bola Tinubu; and other party leaders for their contributions to the party’s victory.
Mr Ekere said the Ekiti election “clearly indicated” that APC was certain to sweep the 2019 elections in the country despite “the gang-up against” the party which he described as “deeply unpopular and ill-fated”.
However, Ekong Sampson, an aide to the Akwa Ibom governor, Udom Emmanuel, has cautioned Mr Ekere and the APC not to think that Akwa Ibom would be like Ekiti, in the 2019 election.
“Akwa Ibom is not Ekiti. Akwa Ibom is fully PDP. We will ensure that we return Governor Udom Emmanuel in 2019,” Mr Sampson, who is the governor’s special adviser on politics, told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday.
“Anybody who thinks Akwa Ibom is Ekiti would be making a mistake.
“Over 500 mainstream groups are supporting Governor Udom Emmanuel. We will defend Governor Udom Emmanuel’s mandate most vigorously,” he said, adding that “massive deployment of security personnel and the intimidation of voters have raised concerns over the integrity of the Ekiti election.”