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15 gov candidates sign peace accord in Akwa Ibom

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Fifteen governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday signed a peace accord and pledged to guarantee peaceful conduct of the March 18 governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state.

The parties present include the Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Congress, Young Progressive Party, Labour party and the New Nigeria People’s Party

Also at the signing are the Accord Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance, Social Democratic Party and African Democratic Party, among others

Speaking during the event at the command headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia, the Commissioner of Police, Olatoye Durosinmi, urged the candidates to warn their supporters against perpetuating violence or indulging in any form of thuggery.

Durosinmi noted that the peace accord was aimed at promoting peace in all aspects and making candidates eschew inflammatory comments which could ignite violence before, during or after the polls.

While promising to ensure security during the March 18 elections, the CP encouraged members of the public to come out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice without fear of molestation.

He said, “I urge all the candidates to talk to your supporters, some of whom are overzealous. Tell them that elections cannot be won by violence. Signing the peace accord is not enough but talking to your supporters to comport themselves during and after the polls.

“See the peace of Akwa Ibom State as paramount and beyond your personal interest, elections will come and go but the state will remain for us.”

In his remarks, the Independent National Electoral Commission Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Cyril Omorogbe, who was represented by the Administrative Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Ogbodu, promised a level playing ground for all candidates even as he maintained that INEC remains an “unbiased umpire for the elections.”

He also reassured that materials would arrive at polling units on time.

The governorship candidates in their separate remarks urged INEC to remain unbiased umpire and deliver free, fair and credible elections.

They also challenged INEC to ensure the early arrival of election materials to different polling units as well as the transmission of election results.15 governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday signed a peace accord and pledged to guarantee peaceful conduct of the March 18 governorship and State House of Assembly elections in the state.

The parties present include the Peoples Democratic Party, All Progressives Congress, Young Progressive Party Labour party and the New Nigeria People’s Party

Others include the Accord Party, All Progressive Grand Alliance, Social Democratic Party and African Democratic Party among others

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Former Akwa Ibom Governor Advocates for Maintenance Culture for National Development

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During the Easter celebrations, Udom Emmanuel, the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, emphasized the critical need for Nigerians to develop a culture of maintenance and protection towards public utilities and amenities.

Speaking in his hometown of Awa, in the Onna Local Government Area, Emmanuel highlighted that the path to national development is through the collective prudence and preservation of public resources and heritage.

In a message delivered at a Thanksgiving Service held at the United Evangelical Church in Awa, the former governor pointed out that public facilities are established for the welfare of the citizenry, warranting their protection against acts of vandalism.

Emmanuel’s call to action comes amidst observations of rising vandalism and theft of public properties, including electricity transformers and their components, within the state.

Lamenting the negative impact of such actions on community welfare and development, Emmanuel urged the people of Akwa Ibom and Nigerians at large to embody the virtues of unity, eschewing ethnic biases and sentiments detrimental to progress.

He underscored the importance of community vigilance and the establishment of protective mechanisms to safeguard government installations and public utilities.

Emphasizing the spiritual significance of the Easter season, Emmanuel prayed for blessings upon the people and encouraged living in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

He commended the efforts of the current governor, Umo Eno, in prioritizing the welfare of the people and reiterated the essential role of individual and communal responsibility in fostering a conducive environment for development.

The call to cultivate a maintenance culture underscores a broader vision for sustainable development and the effective utilization of public resources, pivotal for the progress and well-being of the nation.

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Governor Umo Eno Inaugurates Board for Akwa Ibom Bulk Purchasing Agency

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Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State has inaugurated the Board of the State’s Bulk Purchasing Agency, charging its members to uphold transparency and accountability in line with its operational blueprint.

The newly constituted Board is chaired by Dan Akpan, with Unyime Etim serving as the General Manager/Secretary. It also includes commissioners from the Ministries of Economic Development, Agriculture, Justice, and Internal Security, as well as representatives from various sectors such as ALGON, economic advisory, market matters, the Chamber of Commerce, and Labour.

During the inauguration ceremony held at the State Executive Council Chamber, Governor Eno reiterated the importance of the Bulk Purchasing Agency in providing essential food items to the needy and vulnerable in the state, particularly amid challenging economic conditions nationwide. He commended the State House of Assembly for swiftly passing the Bulk Purchase Agency Bill, emphasizing the legislative support received for the initiative.

Governor Eno charged the Board members to collaborate closely with relevant ministries and stakeholders to ensure the effective administration of the food voucher programme. He stressed the need for accountability, urging the committee to be prepared for audits to maintain transparency in their operations.

The ARISE Food Security Programme, which is set to be launched next week, aims to address the soaring prices of staple food items by providing free food vouchers to the most vulnerable individuals identified through the social register. Governor Eno reiterated the government’s commitment to administering the programme based on the updated social register to ensure fairness and transparency.

While acknowledging the temporary nature of the food intervention programme, Governor Eno emphasized the importance of returning to agricultural practices for long-term food security. He assured the commencement of the government’s seedlings distribution programme through the Ministry of Agriculture to support farmers in the state.

Overall, the newly inaugurated Bulk Purchasing Agency is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the prompt delivery of food items to the people of Akwa Ibom State, underscoring the government’s commitment to addressing food insecurity and supporting vulnerable populations in the state.

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PDP Demands Senate President Akpabio’s Resignation Amid Allegations of Budget Padding, N108bn Akwa Ibom Fund

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Godswill Akpabio

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate resignation of Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, amidst allegations of budget padding and corruption.

The party demanded an independent investigation into the claim that a whopping N3.7 trillion was clandestinely inserted into the 2024 budget for purported non-existent projects.

In a statement issued by Debo Ologunagba, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, the opposition party also urged Akpabio to report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) regarding a pending case involving the alleged looting of N108 billion from the coffers of Akwa Ibom State during his tenure as governor.

Furthermore, the PDP insisted that Akpabio should address allegations of an N86 billion contract scam that reportedly occurred during his tenure as the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, particularly within the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The PDP strongly criticized the suspension of Senator Abdul Ningi by the All Progressives Congress (APC) leadership in the Senate, labeling it as an attempt to stifle investigation into the budget padding issue raised by Ningi. The party denounced the suspension as a desperate move to conceal facts and suppress accountability.

Expressing concern over the refusal of the APC Senate leadership to initiate a transparent investigation, the PDP questioned the motives behind avoiding a thorough inquiry into the matter. The party also raised eyebrows at Akpabio’s involvement in presiding over the suspension proceedings, which it deemed as detrimental to the Senate’s integrity.

The PDP emphasized that the gravity of the allegations against Akpabio warrants his immediate resignation to facilitate an impartial investigation. The party reiterated its support for Senator Ningi’s quest for transparency and accountability in the polity.

In conclusion, the PDP urged Akpabio to step aside and allow for an independent probe into the budget padding allegations, while also calling on him to address the corruption allegations leveled against him.

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