The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and Senator representating Akwa Ibom North East Senatorial District, Obong Bassey Albert has condemned a news report alleging his purported endorsement by Governnor Udom Emmanuel for 2023 Governorship.
Senator Albert, popularly called OBA, said the report published in a national tabloid, the Independent of Monday, April 26, 2021, was merely speculative, false and a figment of imagination by the said writer.
In a statement on Monday, titled “Re: 2023: Akwa Ibom Governnor, Udom Emmanuel Endorses Senator Bassey Albert As Succesor”, the two-term Senator urged members of the public to discountenance the story in its entirety, as 2023 was still far away.
He said, “My attention has been drawn to a speculative report published in a national tabloid, the Independent of Monday, April 26, 2021, and circulated widely on social media, with the headline: 2023:Akwa Ibom Governor, Udom Emmanuel Endorses Senator Bassey Albert As Successor.”
“Ordinarily, such false and ill-motivated report has no value for commentary but I have decided to react in order to dissuade members of the public from being gullible to the wild shenanigans pushed by political rabble-rousers to heat up the polity and perhaps distract and create enmity between my brother and Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and my humble self.”
He reiterated that the Governor and political stakeholders including himself, have repeatedly advised that 2023 was still far away and that it was therefore odd for discourse on it to occupy the centre stage at the moment.
“It is on record that the Governor, and indeed political stakeholders of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and I, have repeatedly cautioned that considering the about two years ahead for 2023 elections; the politics of succession should not be hyped to the detriment of the now – being to ensure the continuous delivery of dividends of democracy to the people and for the general development of Akwa Ibom State.
“Spewing out such wild report negates this disposition. Whatever are the intentions schemed by these dark forces cannot therefore succeed. As a faithful Christian, I have always yielded to the divine reality that “Power belongs to the Almighty God” (Psalm 62:11). The year 2023 is quite open before God and so no man can thwart His supreme will for Akwa Ibom people.
OBA restated his harmonious relationship with Governnor Emmanuel, dating back to 2013 and recalled that such bond of friendship, and his faithfulness to the PDP, disuaded him from defecting to another political party in the build-up to 2019 general elections.
“His Excellency, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and I have enjoyed the best of friendship dating back to 2013 when he came on board as Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, and 2015 when he was elected the Executive Governor.
“The healthiness of our rapport and clear faithfulness to the party was quite noticeable in the build-up to the politics of 2019 when I refused, despite all entreaties, blackmail and persecutions, to defect from PDP – a game plan that was concocted by the opposition to stop Governor Udom Emmanuel and our party from winning the governorship election and the State as a whole.
“That I worshipped at the “Government House Chapel on Sunday, April 25, 2021” after a service in my church, Full Life Christian Centre, Uyo, cannot be spiced to make-up the outright falsehood churned out by the ‘reporter’ of the said news, one Temidayo Akinsuyi, who is not known within the ranks of correspondents in Akwa Ibom State or the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
“It is known that I remain very loyal to my party, the PDP; my Leader, Governor Udom Emmanuel and the Constituents of Akwa Ibom North East (Uyo) Senatorial District and will therefore, as ever; remain committed in offering services that will continue to enhance the collective wellbeing of my constituents and the people of Akwa Ibom State generally.
“Therefore, I wish to advice that we learn to draw lines between the time for service and the time for political engineering and to do so when the time comes with decorum and the fear of God. Political positions we hold are privileges made possible by God who wants us to stand in the gap for Him and to serve the people diligently,” he stated.
Senator Albert, who is the Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Caucus, National Assembly, Abuja, appealed to all political stakeholders to rally round Governnor Emmanuel and PDP to sustain the pace of development in the State.
“Let us rally round our Governor, my brother, Mr. Udom Emmanuel and together with our great Party, continue to move Akwa Ibom State forward progressively in love and unity,” he added.