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By Darlington DAVID

Aspirants in the just concluded local government primaries of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), under the aegis of Akwa Ibom PDP Defenders, have vowed to remain firm, resolute and committed in their defense of the party in all elections.

Receiving the delegation during a call on him, the Special Adviser to the Governor in the Bureau of Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Barrister Ekong Sampson, commended members of the group for their role in the party primaries and commitments to ensuring victory for PDP in all elections.

According to Barrister Sampson, “I congratulate all of you for putting up a good fight during the party primaries. You have registered yourselves as great Akwa Ibomites. But let me commend you for your foresight and your message, which is very strong and insightful, that those who thought that PDP will implode because of the outcome of the local government primaries would be so disappointed. And this is true because unknown to them that PDP has a very robust stabilization mechanism that can withstand tensions, concerns and anxieties. We have a very robust mechanism that can resolve controversy, stabilize the party and win elections. PDP in Akwa Ibom State is prepared for victory in 2019. We are committed to holding the ground and winning the game.”

He commended members of the group for their belief in the vision of Governor Udom Emmanuel regarding zoning, saying “Your belief in the larger Akwa Ibom project, your belief that no matter the outcome of the party primary, you remain true to your faith in PDP and unshaken in your support for Governor Udom Emmanuel. Your commitment to the Akwa Ibom ideals is firm and unshaken. Coming together early enough shows you have adopted a common framework of action to drive your interests. Our party, the PDP, has an elaborate roadmap for reconciliation which is the reason why the party is well-driven. Your warm thought about zoning is highly commendable. For me, zoning provides a safety belt against injustice, creates a platform for inclusiveness and it’s the commitment of Governor Udom Emmanuel that every strand of Akwa Ibom community be given access to opportunity and this is what informed his interest in zoning. And as been seen, the peace that we have enjoyed before, during and after the party primaries flows from that vision that zoning should be entrenched as a culture to guarantee access to opportunity and to create a basis for peace to exist in our polity. We have to remain thankful to Governor Udom Emmanuel for his vision and programmes for Akwa Ibom State.”

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The Governor’s Special Adviser charged members of the group to see the outcome of the primaries as a scenario that gave birth to a no-victor, no-vanquish situation where the winner is Akwa Ibom State, stressing “My office will work closely with you to deepen democracy and promote good governance in the state. The move you have made is because of your love for Governor Udom Emmanuel. You have come together, turbo-charged to say yes, we may have lose, let Udom win. This is very patriotic and it singles you out as a clan of young patriots in Akwa Ibom State. Indeed, you are the emerging future and spirit of Akwa Ibom.”

Barrister Sampson further appealed to members of the group to continue to encourage their family members and supporters to take advantage of the ongoing voter registration exercise in their respective localities.

In his remarks, the Coordinator of the group and Chairmanship aspirant of Mkpat Enin, Mr. Cyril Umoren, said the group, which has been officially adopted by the State Chapter of PDP, has become an answer to everyone that doubted the capacity of PDP to reinvent itself and win elections.

“We have said this on several fora and perhaps for emphasis we are here to restate our position on the matter of the PDP primaries conducted on September 18 and that position is: that election was conclusive, peaceful and very successful. For everyone still doubting, we came here today to let the whole world know that the PDP Chairmanship and Councellorship aspirants in Akwa Ibom State have accepted the decision of the party regarding that primaries and we congratulate the State Governor, who is the leader of the party, for entrenching zoning and sticking to it irrespective of the pressure from various quarters. We thank the party for the sterling job in conducting that primary and for giving all of us the opportunities,” he said.

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Mr. Umoren further stressed the group’s position by saying “Today, we have decided that the PDP does not only owe us but that we also owe the PDP and we have decided to be defenders of the party and we have given ourselves the task of going to every village and hamlet in Akwa Ibom State to preach the good news of the party and to defend the party with every energy in our system. We are here to assure that these able and courageous defenders of the party will deliver the 31 Local Government Areas to the PDP in the forthcoming local government elections. We appeal to the party through the Governor to continue to us better platforms to work and necessary tools to serve the party better.”

Others who spoke, including representatives of Eket Senatorial District, Mr. Victor Henry; Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, Mr. Inemesit Okoko; Uyo Sentorial District, Mr. Etieneabasi Ukpong, and Oron Federal Constituency, Mr. Ben Eting, stressed their resolution to stand by PDP in all elections, the need for proper reconciliation and integration of all for success in 2019.

They appealed to those that eventually got the nominations of the party for the forthcoming local government elections to extend hands of sportsmanship to other aspirants for total victory for PDP.

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