Coalition Of Peter Obi Support Groups Endorse OBA for A’Ibom Governorship
A coalition of over 100 political support groups of the 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has endorsed the governorship candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP), Senator Obong Bassey Albert Akpan, ahead of the March 11, 2023 governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.
Making the declaration at the Multi-purpose Hall of OBA Recreational Centre at Ifa, Uyo, on Saturday, the groups under the aegis of Obi-Datti Movement, said they chose the YPP candidate upon assessing and realizing that he is an embodiment of competence, capacity, character and compassion.
The endorsement notice read on behalf of the groups by Engr. Otoabasi Ntiah, Director of Mobilization and Grassroots Engagement of the Obi-Datti Presidential Campaign Council in Akwa Ibom State, said OBA’s persona is in sync with that of Mr Peter Obi, and labelled the duo as great Nigerians who have earned overwhelming trust and respect of citizens across political parties, religious and ethnic lines.
They divulged that they met after the presidential election on February 25 to review “the various factors that contributed to the manipulation of Labour Party votes at the various local government areas collation centres and also deliberated on the way forward for Obi-Datti Movement with regards to the March 11 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State.”
They said among the resolutions reached at the meeting were the need for foolproof vigilance in ensuring that “manipulation of votes” is not repeated during the governorship and State Assembly elections as well as a resolve to support a people-oriented governorship candidate.
Insisting that Peter Obi won the presidential election at respective polling units in the state, the groups reasoned that with their structure subsumed into the YPP structure, manipulation of the polls against Sen. Bassey Albert will be impossible.
“Even when Akwa Ibom people voted for Peter Obi, the PDP manipulated the results to ensure Obi, our in-law, lost in Akwa Ibom. We have learnt our lessons. We will support the political party that supported our principal on the 25th of February. We will support OBA and his party YPP to win in Akwa Ibom State. We charge all our polling unit structures to work with the YPP and Vote massively for OBA on the 11th of March 2023 as we trust that the same God that granted us victory at the Feb 25 polls will also grant us victory at the March 11 polls,” Engr Ntiah declared on behalf of the groups.
The endorsement which attracted applauses and elongated jubilation was duly accepted by the governorship candidate who said the group’s populist ideology makes him feel comfortable with aligning with them.
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“I accept this endorsement with the greatest sense of responsibility. Together, we shall succeed,” he declared as he began his speech.
Thanking the groups for deeming him fit to lead the state, OBA promised that as governor, he would ensure that he repays the confidence reposed on him by running a people-oriented and impact-driven administration.
Senator Albert said his administration will liberate the state from hunger and maladministration, pay gratuity to retirees; pay leave grants, promotion arrears and imprests to civil servants, provide free and qualitative education, provide massive infrastructures, boost healthcare delivery, and ensure that everyone in Akwa Ibom State feels the impact of good leadership.
Addressing a section of the groups made up of non-indigenes, OBA said “as long as you reside in Akwa Ibom State, your welfare shall be prominent.”
Cautioning voters against being financially induced to sell their votes, he said “the dollars and pounds thrown around now is a sign of failure and desperation.”
“The dollars should be used in paying retirees,” he advised.
Earlier in his speech, Mr Atai Albert, one of the leaders of the coalition, was optimistic that the same “passion and energy” exerted in supporting and voting for Mr Peter Obi shall be replicated for OBA on March 11.
“We will vote and protect our votes on March 11,” he declared.
Chief convener of the groups, Apostle Otoabasi Asuquo, on his part, emphasized that “OBA represents the hopes and aspirations of Akwa Ibom State.”
Mr Ugochukwu aka Ugo Parker equally stressed that the Obi-Datti Movement will make a strong statement with its votes on March 11.
Other members of the coalition also gave a thumbs-up to the candidacy of the YPP candidate.
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A roll call of the over 100 groups showed that their coordinators and members were in attendance. The auditorium was filled to the brim. Those who couldn’t access the hall monitored proceedings from live-streaming platforms mounted on the grounds of the recreational facility.
Speaking on behalf of the Akwa UbokAbasi Campaign Council, the Chairman, Sir Emem Akpabio thanked the coalition for exhibiting the courage to “key into the conscious movement of freeing people from the shackles of poverty and maladministration.”
Acknowledging the endorsement as a big boost, the campaign chairman observed that “with this partnership, the people of Akwa Ibom State will truly decide who will govern them.”
Highpoint of the event was the official endorsement and proclamation of Bassey Albert as the sole governorship candidate of the coalition.
According to the coalition, the endorsement was the verdict of its leaders and members, about 90 per cent of members of the Peter Obi Presidential Campaign Council in Akwa Ibom State and Local Government, Wards and coordinators in the 4,354 polling units in Akwa Ibom State.
Sir Emem Akpabio, the campaign DG; Apostle Nyeneime Andy, YPP State Chairman; Archbishop Andrew Unwanta, Deputy Chairman, Akwa Ubok Abasi Campaign Organization; Chief Jerry Okpo, Chairman, Elders Advisory Council of the campaign Council; Obong Daniel Udoh (North-South), Director, Contact and Mobilization, Akwa Ubok Abasi Campaign Organization; Uyo Senatorial District candidate, Rt. Hon. Usenobong Akpabio; Hon. Pastor Sunny Ibuot, Obong Hon. Sunny Ibuot, Hon. Samuel Effanga, Rt Hon. Friday Iwok, and several other bigwigs and members of the YPP and Akwa Ubok Abasi Campaign Organization attended in good numbers.