*Akpabio, Alao-Akala, Shinkafi, others submit guber forms

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA—THE National Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, said yesterday that he was impressed with the calibre of presidential aspirants on the platform of the party for the 2011 presidential election.

Speaking when he received the immediate past National Security Adviser to the president, General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau, Nwodo said with these aspirants on the platform of the PDP, it gave him hope that Nigeria would be in good hands, whoever emerged the flag-bearer of the party.

“I am excited at the calibre of presidential aspirants coming up for this general elections, it means Nigeria will be in a good hands, whoever emerges our flag-bearer,” Nwodo said.

Aspirants will be given level-playing ground

He, however, reiterated that all aspirants would be given a level playing ground and that only members of the party, as designated by the party’s constitution, would determine anybody’s fate.

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio, has denied insinuations that he was intimidating and depriving other aspirants in the state from coming out for the 2011 gubernatorial election.

He said his coming back as governor rested on God and the people of the state.

Answering questions from newsmen yesterday, after submitting his expression of interest and nomination forms at the PDP National Secretariat, Akpabio said:
“No, that’s not true.

“What is intimidating them could be the achievements on the ground. Even for me as a governor, I get intimidated by what we have achieved in three and half years; that is a fact.

“If you come to Akwa Ibom State, the difference is clear. The president said so, the vice president said so, the first lady said so and many senators in Nigeria said so .

“I am a firm believer in the word of God that every authority in the universe comes from God and unless God builds the house, the labourer labours in vain.”

On whether he was going with his deputy, Engr. Patrick Ekpotu, he said: “I haven’t heard at all. In fact, every state has its own peculiarity. In some states, you have zoning arrangement that might necessitate movement of candidate from one area to the other and I think time will tell.”

Also yesterday, Oyo State governor, Christopher Alao-Akala, Mahmud Shinkafi of Zamfara State, Minister of Police Affairs, Waziri Maina for Yobe State, Jimmy Cheto for Plateau State and Ali-Al Makura for Nasarawa State also submitted forms for the 2011 governorship election.

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