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Thursday, July 15, 2021

Group Wants End to Imposition of Candidates in Akwa Ibom State

A highly influential political group in Akwa Ibom state, PROJECT INTEGRITY, has announced that they won't allow the imposition of a candidate on the party, PDP by anybody in 2023.

The group which is steered by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and

former Ambassador of Nigeria to Russia, Chief Assam Assam, said that the body comprising mostly Members of the PDP resolved that it was necessary to adopt the model which produced the Governorship candidate of the PDP for the state in 1998 to avoid the mistakes of imposing candidate for the party. 

In a well-attended meeting held on Tuesday at Watbridge hotel, Uyo, the group set yardsticks for the emergence of the next Governor of the state and promised to follow it through. 

In his speech at the meeting, Chief Assam appealed that all Governorship aspirants on the platform of the PDP nominate their representatives to attend proceedings at subsequent meetings of the Group. 

According to Chief Assam, who is also a former Governorship aspirant in 2014, the decision to bring everyone on board was an indication of the fairness of the Group essential for confidence building between the Group and the aspirants. The former Ambassador to Russia explained further why they won't allow the imposition of a candidate on the Party by anybody is because what happened to him and others who contested the party primary in 2014 was an aberration. 

The former Attorney - General and Commissioner for Justice in the state gave prominence to the fact that the state must be returned to a society where character and integrity determined leadership. 

Ahead, the Chairman of the Committee on the Template for Assessing Gubernatorial Aspirants for the 2023 Primaries in AKWA IBOM state set up by the Group in April, Barr Uwem Ekanem, in his report, recommended Spirituality and Morals, Productivity, Personability, and Fidelity as Templates for assessing Governorship Aspirants in the coming 2023 general elections. Other characteristics included in the report of the Committee contained Experientiality and Literacy, and Leadership / Ethnocentricity.

Barr. Ekanem pointed out that aspirants would be expected to defend their candidature to the electorate on 'expectations of the populace, current national and international economic realities, the state of domestic infrastructure and the aspirant's loyalty to the Party.' 

Other expectations outlined in the report include 'public service experience, private sector experience, and initiatives, ability to work as a Team leader and under pressure, contacts within the Nigerian political space, ability to raise election funding, spouse ability to lead the gender of his/her spouse and possession of National, state, local and international connections.'

The meeting was attended by Senators Emmanuel Ibokessien and Aloysius Etok, Barr. Ekpenyong Ntekim, Justice Ifiok Ukana (Rtd), Arc. Okon Obot, Dr. Etido Ibekwe, Obong Ani Asikpo, Prince Chris Abasi-Eyo, and Dr. Chris Nyong. Others were Mrs. Alice Ekpenyong, SIR Essang Nsa Bassey, Dr. Monday Dickson, Barr. Nse Ekanem, Dr. Udeme Nana, Chief Soni Udom, Hon Victor Anwanakak, Dr. Okon Emah, Mr. David Etuk, and Hon Ernest Ukpong among other eminent persons.

The Group also resolved to interface with the leadership of the PDP and the Governor who is the Leader of the Party in the state on their resolutions.

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