By Harris-Okon Emmanuel
UYO—As aspirants collect expression of intent and nomination forms to vie for elective offices, Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that Governor Udom Emmanuel does not have preferred candidates, pledging to provide a level playing field for all the aspirants to realise their ambitions.
The clarification came following insinuations in some quarters that the party’s hierarchy had already given automatic tickets to some serving lawmakers while others were allegedly strongly instructed not to buy the party’s forms.
State Publicity Secretary, Mr Iniobong Ememobong, of PDP, described as a fluke, the allegation that the governor had anointed some candidates, maintaining that the party would be fair to all aspirants even as the party caucus would attempt to facilitate consensus candidates among the contestants and would only go for indirect primaries if the effort fails.
He said: “We have received reports from aspirants, delegates and party members, of some aspirants who have made the focal point of their campaign, the announcement that they are the preferred candidate of the governor or state party chairman, for the offices they are seeking. This infantile and most ineffective campaign strategy is very archaic, mundane and must be condemned by all persons of rational thinking.
“Governor Emmanuel, as the leader of our party has maintained at several public and private occasions that he doesn’t have preferred candidates and that as the father of all, he must be seen to be fair to all.”