Former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio has vouched for the candidacy of the incumbent Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, for the 2019 Akwa Ibom State governorship election.
Senator Akpabio made this declaration in a statement recently, affirming that Ekere is the right person among the lot to fly the All Progressives Congress’ flag in the coming election, given his vast experience and commitment to the party over the years. The former Minority Leader in the Senate, who recently left the Peoples Democratic Party for the APC, appealed the people of the state to forgive him for supporting Udom Emmanuel in the 2015 election to be governor, adding that God has now opened his eyes and given him a second chance to make amendment, hence his support for Ekere. According to him, he made a mistake for not allowing Ekere to be Governor in 2015, saying it is only God who cannot make mistakes.
Akpabio emphatically said: “I made a mistake as a human being, it is only God who is perfect, and making mistakes just shows us that we are human. Part of my mistakes is for not allowing Ekere to become Governor, but as a human being, God gave me a second chance to redeem my past mistakes. I must not let him down now.”
For the record, elitist and very forthright Ekere, a former Deputy Governor in the state, was the leader of the G22, a group of 22 PDP governorship aspirants for the 2015 governorship election, but due to internal party decisions and elections, Emmanuel Udom subsequently emerged as the governorship flag bearer of the PDP. Following this, Ekere had to resign his membership of the PDP and joined hands with Umana Okon Umana in the APC in their quest to win the 2015 governorship election in the state. He once chaired the Akwa Ibom State Emergency Management Agency and simultaneously with that of Ibom Power Company, the independent power generating company, owned by Akwa Ibom State.
His appointment to the current position as MD of NDDC by President Muhammadu Bihari in 2016 was widely celebrated by the APC in the state. Reacting to the appointment, the Akwa Ibom State Working Committee of the APC, in a statement jointly signed by the then leader of the party, Obong Umana Umana and the state Chairman of the party, Dr. Amadu Attai, commended the President for the reconstitution of the board of the NDDC. “On behalf of the State Working Committee and the entire membership of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), we want to commend President Muhammadu Buhari on the reconstitution of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The party described the former Deputy Governor as the right pick for the top job at the Commission in terms of his track record, exposure and other indicators of leadership, and expressed confidence in his ability to discharge the office of Managing Director of the Commission with utmost prudence, dedication and exemplary sense of duty.