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2023: GROUP URGES AKPABIO TO JOIN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

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A group of professionals that draws its membership from all over Nigeria has called on former Akwa-Ibom State Governor and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to step out and run for the presidency of Nigeria.

The group, known as the Godswill Akpabio Uncommon Transformational Support Organisation (GAUTSO), posits that with what Nigeria is experiencing today, only a proven leader and an accomplished performer like Senator Akpabio can take us out of the woods and calls on the popular politician to throw his hat into the ring.
In a statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Chief Bennett Akar, GAUTSO noted that Nigeria has reached a stage where it can no longer gamble with its future. In their own words, “we have looked at all the people who have so far declared their interest in the presidency and we have come to the unimpeachable conclusion that there is none that has Senator Godswill Akpabio’s political profile and track record of achievements. Nigeria needs an experienced, tested and steady hand as its pilot at this point in time.”

According to Chief Akar, apart from being energetic and focused, Akpabio has exhibited uncommon courage. “One of the biggest challenges Nigeria is facing at the moment is insecurity. Nigeria needs a tested and proven man of courage to manage its security architecture and rid the nation of these criminal elements”.
In Chief Akar’s words “When the Niger Delta militancy was at its peak, Sen Akpabio was one of those patriotic Nigerians who braved the odds, stepped into the ring and found this win-win solution that has held the region at peace till today. He has demonstrated his political sagacity in recently meeting with a Niger Delta warlord and finding a peaceful way to calm frayed nerves. Nigeria needs a leader who is proactive and has problem-solving skills.

“Still speaking about courage, we know how he followed through the forensic audit at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). He rose above stiff opposition to get the job done. In addition, under his leadership, NDDC moved to its permanent headquarters after many years, saving the nation millions of naira.
Akar also noted that the group was also inspired by Sen Akpabio’s power of vision and capacity to keep his promise. “When he was sworn in as governor, he declared that Akwa Ibom will no longer be known as a state where people come for houseboys, maids and cooks, that he will return the indigenes to their pride of place. He delivered by embarking on a massive free education programme in both primary and secondary schools, enacted a law to make it illegal for parents not to send their children to school and then gave incentives to headmasters and principals.

“Furthermore, as a detribalized Nigerian, the schools were open to indigenes and non-indigenes. This kind of unity is what Nigeria needs at this time that many regions are crying about marginalization. Sen Akpabio is connected to people from all ethnic groups in the country. This he clearly exhibited when he was Chairman, PDP’s Governors’ Forum and also the minority leader of the Senate.

That is not all “Everyone knows there is a synergy between quality education and security because though national security is the first duty of every government, education is its foundation. Senator Akpabio clearly knows how to tackle these head on and resolve them very quickly”

In addition, Chief Akar stated that a visionary, dynamic, effective, efficient and credible leader is what the nation needs to continue the present government’s infrastructural policies. “Akpabio became popular in Nigeria because of his investment in infrastructure, anyone who has been to Akwa Ibom in the last 6 years will see the infrastructural renewal in the state, he was incomparable amongst his peers and therefore the best person to continue with President Buhari’s current infrastructural development programme’.

Chief Akar revealed that Sen Akpabio being a former student union activist and student parliamentarian, is youthful, and has the charm, the charisma and the gravitas to connect to the next generation. “His easy-going nature, always fair but firm attitude, has certainly endeared him to the youths. He inspires the youths to greater heights.

“Having developed energy infrastructure via the Independent Power Projects (IPP) as Akwa Ibom state governor, Sen Akpabio has demonstrated good understanding of the need to immediately arrest the energy crises as a key to shoring up the economy and creating jobs, both of which are urgently needed today.

“A man who has done something before, can only get better at it and with his experience. We are certain that Sen. Akpabio is sure to return Nigeria to its rightful place in the comity of nations”

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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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