…reaffirms stance on party position on zoning, women inclusion

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno, has clarified his stance on strict adherence to zoning permutations of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and women inclusion in the upcoming local government council elections, stressing that no one will be compensated for any unnecessary expenses incurred while defying the party’s position.

The Governor therefore, dismissed the speculations that he will purchase forms for favoured aspirants or prevent certain aspirants from vying for offices in the elections as a misrepresentation, stating clearly that he will not purchase nomination form for any candidate but will support whoever the party’s internal arrangement favours.

Governor Eno made the clarification while speaking at the 70th birthday celebration of a foremost Oro political leader and women right advocate, Ikpoto Okon Osung, at Emerald Event Centre, Uyo.

In his words: “Someone said I have begun buying forms. I never said I am buying forms for anybody. I only said before you buy your forms, check where zoning favours because I will not hereinafter, be told that there were some aggrieved people who bought forms and I should come and refund money. I am not stopping you from buying forms. But I am only telling you that I will support the party’s decision.”

Furthermore, on the issue of inclusion of women, the Governor said the PDP in Akwa Ibom State see the women as very loyal and valuable components of the party and the society at large, hence will not leave their fate hanging in the upcoming election.

He reaffirmed that women will be supported to produce six of the 31 Chairmen, and some vice chairmen, but that no particular local government area have been earmarked for women.

“We have women that have been with us years, and we all know the truth that if you don’t deliberately give them opportunity, the men will over-run them. These women are very loyal people. We will intentionally include women in the things we are doing. It is an intentional move.

“The truth is that, such is the position of the party. I am only conveying the position of the party as the leader of the party in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.

Felicitating the celebrant, Ikpoto Okon Osung, on his 70th birthday, Governor Eno expressed his high regards for his honesty and integrity, acknowledging the significant role he played during the gubernatorial campaigns.

“Life in the 70 years of our dear Ikpoto has been one driven by purpose. The purpose to provide selfless service, a life of deep convictions, following the dictates of one’s conscience and adhering strictly and totally to the concept of right and wrong.

“This ennobling ideal you have championed in the last seventy years has distinguished you as one of our highly respected States-men whose voice is respected and admired deeply and profoundly. So I am proud to call you my friend.

“As you turn seventy years today, I wish you God’s continuous blessing, good health, and happiness and strength so that you can continue to avail us of your wise counsel,” he added.

Ikpoto Osung was the former Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission and former Chairman of Oro Think Tank, a foremost sociopolitical group and opinion bearer for the five LGAs that make up Oro Nation.

Earlier in his remark, Ikpoto Okon Osung, thanked the Governor and the various personalities in the State for honouring him with their presence at the event and urged the people to foster a spirit of unity and harmony, devoid of ethnicity, religious differences and political affiliations.

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