As the race to the Akwa Ibom Hill Top Mansion continues to gather momentum, the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has stressed the need for stakeholders to operate within the ambit of the electoral acts.
The SSG who made the call in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Oliver Oloukpo, further clarified that he had not made up his mind yet to contest the governorship election in the state as is being speculated.
“However, it is pertinent to clarify that, though Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the SSG is under intense pressure to join other illustrious sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom State who have already indicated interest to contest the 2015 governorship election, he is yet to make a statement on the issue or declare his intention to contest the 2015 gubernatorial election.
“As a law abiding citizen, I am directed by Mr. Udom Emmanuel to advise all those drumming up support for his participation in the forthcoming governorship election to exercise such legitimate demands within the ambit of the extant laws and in strict compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Acts of Nigeria,” the statement declared.
The SSG disowned various posters, handbills, billboards or any other promotional material that dotted most of the local government headquarters of the state as well as on the streets of Uyo, the state capital, alluding to his candidacy in the forthcoming 2015 governorship election in the state.
Odoukpo in the statement stressed that the SSG had not sanctioned publication of articles or authorised the production of posters, handbills, billboards or any other promotional materials to enhance his popularity in the governorship race.
The clarification and position of the SSG concerning his commitment to the governorship election came just as indigenes of the state in tertiary institutions across the country endorsed him to contest the 2015 governorship election.
Meanwhile students of various tertiary institutions in state under the aegis of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS) Joint Campus Committee (JCC) also endorsed Emmanuel, as Governor in 2015.
Led by its National Vice-President, Comrade Ubon Marcus and the State Chairperson, Comrade Aquila Akpan, the students during a solidarity visit to the SSG at the Government House, Uyo, said they were in total support of his governorship aspiration because of his numerous achievements.
The students were mostly drawn from the University of Uyo; Akwa Ibom State University; Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic, Ikot Osura; Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron; College of Education, Afaha Nsit; School of Health Science and the Uyo City Polytechnic, among others.
The National Vice-President of the group, Marcus said the call on the SSG to succeed Governor Godswill Akpabio in 2015 was born out of patriotism by students who are concerned indigenes of the state, saying they will do whatever it takes to maintain their solidarity and support, describing Emmanuel as the choice of the students of Akwa Ibom State.
“The Akwa Ibom State students hereby persuade you to consider the clarion call by all and sundry in the state and declare your intension to contest for governorship in the state come 2015 within the shortest possible time or else we the Nigerian students in the state will declare for you.” she stressed.
Responding, the SSG who described the state Governor as a man of immense merit, charged the students to be good ambassadors of the state and strive to be excellent in their chosen disciplines
He urged all the students and their parents to support the Godswill Akpabio-led administration and cautioned them against cultism, saying “the state government has committed more resources into the education sector than any previous administration in the state.”
The SSG, who donated a brand new Toyota Hiace bus to the state branch of NANS/JCC among other requests, charged the students to justify the state’s commitment in education by coming out in flying colours saying, “the Akwa Ibom State of your dream lies in your hands.”