Group to govt : Don’t allow YPP use Eket stadium for campaigns

...PDP denies allegations over church

By Chioma Onuegbu Uyo

A political advocacy group, Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance, has advised the State Government not to grant state chapter of Young Progressives Party, YPP’s request to use the newly inaugurated Eket Sports Stadium to flag off its political campaign.

The Chairman of the group Barr Stephen Abia, who gave the advice in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo, said they gathered from a reliable source in the Ministry of Youth and Sports that YPP wrote requesting to use the 18000 capacity new Eket stadium.

His words: “We know that Governor Udom Emmanuel, being a leader with a good heart and fairness to all, will not hesitate to grant such approval irrespective of party divides.

“It is against this background that we humbly beg the governor never to consider approving Eket ultra modern Sports Stadium for use by the Young People’s Party under the guise of a political rally.

“It may just be an opportunity they have been waiting for to hit and score a political point.
This should never be allowed to happen.The young opposition party with an old trick is bent on destroying the cynosure achievements of Governor Udom Emmanuel.

“Apart from the fact that they worked tirelessly to discredit the project, they are not happy that the world is celebrating Akwa Ibom State because of these great feats by the governor
They particularly made Eket Sports Stadium a major subject of their negative campaign, where they neither believed construction was going on, and will eventually be inaugurated”

Meanwhile, newsmen gathered that pastor of Apostolic Church identified as Pastor.E Henshaw, was suspended for hosting a thanksgiving and dedication service of YPP at Ndon Eyo township assembly on Sunday, in Onna LGA, while ‘Apostolic Mount Olive’ Church in Awa Iman, the governor’s village, was sealed two days earlier by policemen on the order of the governor.

Corroborating, Chief Usoro Usoro, Director of Communications of campaign organization of the YPP governorship candidate, Senator Bassey Akpan said state government has been denying YPP’s request to use public venues, therefore the statement by Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance was not surprising , because it is a pro-government group.

Usoro said:”The truth is that they (government) have denied the YPP and Senator Bassey Akpan from all the public venues in Akwa Ibom state. For instance we requested to use Ibom Hall, we were denied, we requested to use Ikot Ekpene Stadium we were also denied.

“As I speak to you, the Apostolic Church in Onna, has just been suspended a Pastor for hosting YPP. So we are facing serious persecution but we are not detrred”.

But the State Publicity Secretary of the
People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Borono Bassey denies the allegations by YPP.

He regretted that, while Nigerians were still in a reflective mood of the Nation’s Independence, some agents in their desperate bid to turn attention to their party, went into their Falsehood Manufacturing Factory (FMF) and produced untrue report that a church was sealed on the orders of the governor.

Bassey in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday queried if Governor Udom is a clergy or member of any of the churches mentioned to have directed the suspension of a priest, or if the members of YPP had applied and paid for any public venue and were denied use?

His words: “While those who trafficked the report were too afraid to expressly state which of the governments they were referring to in that attention-seeking drivel of a report, they however made innuendos suggestive that they were making reference to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State.

“As a Party deeply interested in sustaining the God-given Peace we enjoy in the State, several calls were put across to the leadership of the Apostolic Church in that field to ascertain the veracity of the story and the bewildered leaders stated that nothing of the sort happened.

‘It is quite sad that if not for the wisdom of Akwa Ibom people who rose in unity to pick holes in that false report and call it what it is – a complete Hogwash..we will, in concert with millions of Akwa Ibom people, beginning from now, push back all forms of smear campaigns on Governor Emmanuel and other members of the PDP in Akwa Ibom State.

The Peoples Democratic Party in the State is confident that as it has been the tradition of Akwa Ibom people, they will together, in unison, tell off, those who seek to sow seeds of division amongst us through their selfish aspiration.

“They will also maintain a patriotic distance from candidates who in the bid to curry public sympathy degenerate to outright falsehood and traffic in painting the State in dark colours.
Akwa Ibom has been on a journey of Progress with the PDP. With the trusted, unfailing support and consent of the people, we will continue on that journey”


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