APC Caucus member Chief Enefiok Ekefre has dismissed the One Term claims by APC governorship candidate Mr Nsima Ekere, saying it was a ploy to shortchange Akwa Ibom people.
Speaking on a radio interview on Comfort FM in Uyo, the APC leader also said that Senator John Udoedehe has blamed alleged blackmail against him by Mr Ekere as the reason for his recent support to the NDDC Managing Director.
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Chief Ekefre said he was pricked to come out and expose the illegalities and the deceit by leaders of his party to scuttle the existing zoning arrangement in the state , and deny Uyo senatorial district,opportunity of producing a governor in 2023.
“Udoedehe is my friend, I helped him become local government chairman in 1996 and I also assisted him become senator in 1999. He called me few weeks ago and said that Ekere blackmailed him to the president and that he has been compelled to openly support Mr Ekere’s candidacy.”
Chief Ekefre said on his part, since no one can blackmail him, he is free to route his support to anyone of his choice, citing peace and economic boom in the state as his major indices for supporting the incumbent governor.
“We have had series of meetings among stakeholders in my party with Nsima Ekere and the stakeholders and we were asked to support him to do eight years, and that we would all be well taken care of.”
Ekefre however said he opted out of such an agreement because having known the character of his party’s governorship candidate, he knew he was going to drag the state into another round of poor leadership
The caucus member of APC who refused to be branded as playing anti party, said politics is local and the interest and wellbeing of his people in Uyo senatorial district superseded his personal interests.
“You can’t fault me for not supporting Nsima Ekere after all Collin Powell as a Republican did not support John McCain as Presidential candidate of his party in 2008, but opted for Barack Obama who won.”
He said that Ekere is currently lobbying Eket senatorial district leaders and stakeholders to support his candidacy, which is an opportunity for Eket to rule for 12 years, as the district which produces all the wealth in Akwa Ibom state.
The APC leader who recounted the ordeals of his party in 2011 during the reelection campaigns of Chief Godswill Akpabio, appealed to Governor Udom Emmanuel to intervene and grant pardon to all those he claimed where unjustly arrested and incarcerated for no reasons by the Akpabio administration.
While he faulted Sen Udoedehe for claiming that he has forgiven Akpabio and Nsima Ekere over the alleged atrocious genocide on their opponent’s supporters in 2011, he prayed for the repose of hundreds of supporters allegedly killed in the genocide.
He explained further that while some politicians went cap in hand to seek contracts and favour from the NDDC boss, he was independent minded and guided solely by the interest of his people.
“Nobody can call me a political neophyte, as far back as 1995, I was at the forefront to elect Obong Victor Attah to represent the state in the national constitutional conference, and I am saying that my people have not followed Udoedehe to Mr Ekere.