A group of former governorship aspirants of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State, known as G-8, is angry with Governor Udom Emmanuel over the outcome of the PDP Senate primary for the Akwa Ibom South District. PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The G-8 is made up of aspirants who lost the 2015 PDP governorship primary to Mr Emmanuel under controversial circumstances, but chose to remain in the party.
They had thrown their weight behind Mr Emmanuel, instead of defecting like some of their co-aspirants to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The G-8 members include Assam Assam, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a former Nigerian ambassador to Russian Federation and Belarus; Nkpenyong Ntekim, a legal practitioner and former attorney general of the state; Peter Esuh, a professor of mass communication; Samuel Udonsak, a medical practitioner; Ita Udo, a former commissioner in the state; Mike Sebastian, a businessman; and Chris Abasieyo, a former commissioner in the state.
A source, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES Friday morning, said the G-8 members met at Calabar on Thursday to review the outcome of the PDP primary for Akwa Ibom South District in which one of their members, Mr Ntekim, was an aspirant.
Akon Eyakenyi, a former minister of Lands, Housing and Urban development, won the primary.
The source, who did not want his name mentioned because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, said the group felt betrayed and angry that the governor turned around to support Mrs Eyakenyi after he had given his words to the group that he was going to support Mr Ntekim.
He did not mention how many of the G-8 members attended the meeting.
“The governor apart from later endorsing Akon Eyakenyi, caused people around him to sponsor her (Mrs Eyakenyi) at the primary,” said the source, who added that the governor met with some party leaders at the Eket Local Government Secretariat on the day of the election and directed them to support Mrs Eyakenyi.
“The G-8 has nothing to hold on to, and yet none of its members contested the primary for governor. They have their cards on the table, anything can happen,” he said.
When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Governor Emmanuel’s spokesperson, Ekerete Udoh, he said the issue was “purely political”, and that a PDP spokesperson would be appropriate official to speak on it.
PREMIUM TIMES couldn’t immediately reach the PDP spokesperson in the state, Ini Ememobong, as his telephone line was switched off as at the time of filing this report.