By Ukpong Ukpong
Mr Akan Okon, the immediate past Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Akwa Ibom State, is currently consulting stakeholders across the State for his governorship aspiration with a striking theme of “Value-added leadership and shared prosperity” centred on strengthening the peace, brotherhood and progress, which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has built over the years.
Speaking with chapter officers and statutory delegates of the party in Nsit Ubium and Nsit Ibom local government areas, Mr. Okon revealed that his candidacy will enhance peace and douse the tension between Uyo and Itu/Ibiono Inom Federal Constituencies over the governorship of the State in 2023.
He pointed out that the strong agitation for the governorship by these federal constituencies, on one hand and the interest shown by governorship aspirants, from other areas, will end with him as candidate of the party.
“Itu/Ibiono Ibom has made a strong case for the governorship in 2023, and we also have many aspirants from Nsit Ubium and Nsit Ibom (all within Uyo Senatorial District). I am from Itu and my wife is from Nsit Ubium. If Itu produces the Governor that means the First Lady will come from Nsit Ubium. This will douse the tension, enhance our brotherhood and strengthen the cords of peace binding us together”, Mr Okon said.
There is a consensus in Akwa Ibom State as regards peace and progress, which Okon referred to in his arguments, pointing to the uninterrupted growth we have witnessed since 1999 to date as dividends of PDP’s efforts at sustaining peace in the State. He declared that his vision is to build on this peace by bringing economic growth to every community in order to create a commonwealth accessible to every citizen.
Earlier in Mbiatok Itam – Itu Local Government Area, where he officially flagged off his consultation, Okon stated that he will provide the best solutions to the challenges facing every sector in Akwa Ibom state if given the opportunity to serve as governor.
He said having worked as a commissioner in six ministries, he better understands what should be done to add to what the current administration is doing in the areas of job creation, food sufficiency, education, security, industrialisation and human capacity development, maintaining that public service experience should count in the choice of who becomes the next governor of the state.
“At 34 years, Akwa Ibom needs someone who has been around and understudied the various sectors of the State’s economy and also understands the challenges that our people are facing so that from day one, he will hit the ground running in embarking on those policies and programmes that will lead to an improvement in the standard of living of our people.
“I have served in six ministries and in each of those ministries God helped me to deliver on all the projects assigned to me. Through my experience in public service, I know the challenges facing this state and I will provide the best solutions to them.”
In Mbo Local Government Area, Mr Okon assured the people that the issues of their status as an oil-producing community will be addressed as well as other development needs of the area, pledging that the completion of the Ibom Deep Seaport will be a top priority since it will bring total economic turn around to Oro communities and the State in general.
He vowed to continue with the strategic development of the three gateways into the state – land, air and sea – to ensure even development and job creation. “Our state has three development gateways and by God’s special grace I have worked in ministries that supervised all these three gateways. We will expand development in air, land, and sea so that every part of the state can experience even development.”
At Ini Local Government Area, Okon appreciated the area as the food basket of Akwa Ibom State, informing party delegates that when elected as governor his policy on development will prioritize providing all necessary infrastructure in such areas in order to enhance food sufficiency in the state and add value to local produce for export.
He said he will ensure improvement in security and the ease of doing business in the State and will invest in large-scale agriculture, and create incubation hubs as means of creating jobs and ensuring food security.
“My records are there for everyone to see and affirm my experiences have positioned me as the best man for the job of leading our people as governor”, he submitted.
In their various reactions, stakeholders across the areas visited respectively poured encomiums on Mr. Akan Okon for his diligence in service, loyalty to the party, humility and empathy towards people across the State.
Among them, Mr Emmanuel Umah, the Chapter Chairman of the People Democratic Party ( PDP) Ini Local Government Area, expressed satisfaction for the honour bestowed on the Ini people by Akan Okon and the One With God Campaign Organisation.
He pleaded that when Mr Akan Okon is elected as Governor of Akwa Ibom State, he should remember the promises he made to the people of Ini for posterity’s sake.
On his part, Hon. Emmanuel Etim Akpan, the Chapter Chairman of PDP in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Area, reaffirmed the position of the people of Ibiono Ibom to fully support sons of the federal constituency vying for the governorship seat of Akwa Ibom State.
“It is the turn of Itu/Ibiono Federal Constituency to produce the next governor of Akwa Ibom State, since the inception of democratic rule of the state, the governorship has been rotated to all the federal constituencies in Uyo Senatorial District, except us”.
He, therefore, urged Akwa Ibom PDP faithful from all the federal constituencies to support Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency to achieve this objective just as they have been supporting others.
Meanwhile, as the One with God campaign team continues consulting, Mr Akan Okon has enjoined the PDP delegates in the State to consider the principles of equity, fairness and justice while casting their votes, saying the party has sustained peace and development in the State by operating equitable rotation of power to every section, which in this case, favours Itu Local Government Area, urging them to come out in their numbers and vote for him to emerge the party’s Governorship flagbearer in the forthcoming party primaries slated for 21st May 2022.