Why I left PDP for APC’
Obong Akanimo Asuquo Udofia, a leading governorship aspirant in Akwa Ibom State on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, APC, on May 18 2022 was given a heroic reception, praises and commendations by faithful of the party and some members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this exclusive interview with a Vanguard team, the business mogul and oil magnate bares his mind on his plans to take Akwa Ibom State to a global destination among other issues.
It is another season of political jamborees, people of Akwa Ibom have been deceived, fooled and shot changed, what do you have for the people?
Prosperity! In a nutshell, I am coming to eradicate poverty, ensure healthcare, education, social security, and create employment. So when I say prosperity, these are the kind of things I have for the people.
People are of the opinion that this is another political nosedive after the PDP did not accommodate you, what is your plan should APC fail you?
I don’t know about any nosedive, PDP is the one nose-diving. I started my political ambition in APC and then there was a little bit of rancour so I left. It is all about my people and emancipating my people, not the current emasculation of the people. PDP was just a vehicle.
You seem to be so passionate about the people, so very passionate about serving the people. What is your drive for this optimism?
When I look at the wanton waste in the last seven years, it would take an unconscionable person not to be interested and passionate about emanacipating Akwa Ibomites. Godswill Akpabio built all the roads, he developed all the industries here, he employed all the youths. All these politicians are his products. I came from the private sector.
There is no state institution today that is employing 50 people, no parastatal that employs 50 people. So why won’t I be angry or not employing people? My quest is to serve my people, imagine that salary has not been paid, civil service has been destroyed. I come with great experience.
The way you are talking is like you are crying for the people…
Yes, I still remain the biggest philanthropist in the state. I have never done government work. I have never done government contract.
There is a lot of work to do. There are things we need to fix up urgently. There is no noticeable project in the state. Seven years ago, there was road from Ikot Ekpene to Aba, Seven years after there is no road. There would be an Industrial Revolution when I come in because I know how to do it. I have partners waiting who can do it. They have numerously done it before. I came with a rich scorecard, very rich scorecard. I am experienced, not just experienced, but also know how to do it.
You are leaving your comfort zone to come and live among people who are seriously emasculated, are you going to be comfortable moving from your comfort to where sometimes we have power outages, insecurity?
Yes. I have to leave my comfort zone because of the plight of my people. At 52 years I have been the biggest entrepreneur in the state. I have employed 4,700 people worldwide, I have grown businesses from less than $100 to a billion Dollars in 26 years. I have created businesses all over the world in 26 years. There is so much going on in the state that people don’t know. I am coming to make progress.
Today appears to be your judgment day. Today you have gone into a serious covenant with Akwa Ibom people in very specific terms what should they do to you if you fail to deliver?
I went into this covenant the first day I showed my face so it’s not even today and that is why I said when I saw the hanky panky PDP are playing because I have committed myself to Akwa Ibomites, that is why I came to APC.
So if somebody has been selling rice and stew in Eket and they want to give him ticket, that is their business. I have a rich pedigree with international experience, international relations and international business from oil and gas for 32 years. I still run the oldest family owned business in Akwa Ibom State. I took over the business in Akwa Ibom 26 years ago and I have been managing it. I am the Managing Director of Desicon Engineering Ltd, a leader in the Nigerian energy industry. I have a rich culture of success in my DNA.
- Of all the people that have come out to declare their intentions, you seem to have a better offer and a very high profile, why didn’t you come out earlier?
I am a very simple man and action speaks louder than words. My action will tell people who I am, what I am and how I am. I built a 105-bedroom postgraduate Hostel that the government refused to commission. That is not my problem. The governor has been sitting down there.
It has been three years since I completed that project at the cost of almost two Billion Naira, those poor children are there, if I was making noise, I am sure somebody would have come to commission it. But God sees my heart that I am doing these for my people. Even the governor’s wife community, I was the one that put borehole water there – Charity yes I don’t make noise. I can give something that I represent. I have trained the first and only female pilot from Akwa Ibom extraction, Susan Ekpo. I trained her, finished training her, sent her to Ibom Air and they rejected her, they said she wasn’t qualified but I am a man that does not like to fail and I hate to fail. I sent her back and put her on my jet. Today she flies a private jet.