A frontline aspirant to the office of governor in Akwa Ibom state, Obong Akan Udofia (OAU), has declared that he will run a people-focused government, if given the chance come 2023.
He told journalists at Victor Attah International Airport, where he arrived to a rousing reception by his teeming supporters, that everything he will do will be to ensure a better future for the children, youths and elders of the state.
Specifically, he said: “The people, of course, will be my focus. It’s going to be about prosperity, like I have often said. We are going to continue with the laudable programmes of His Excellency Udom Emmanuel. We pray today that God should make his Completion Agenda to come to fruition. And then, we will take it from there and run with it. He has laid a good foundation. Now, we are going to come and complement what he has done”.
He further commended the governor on the recent agreement for the supply of 10
additional Airbus planes to Ibom Air.
Against speculations that he had no specific party, the billionaire businessman stated clearly that he had always been a member of PDP. Asked by a report where he belonged, Udofia said: “I belong to Akwa Ibom State, I belong to you all. I belong to everybody. But like you can clearly see today, I am a PDP member. I belong to PDP, I’ve always belonged to PDP and the PDP family, our great party”.
He also reacted to speculations that his gubernatorial ambition was just to test the waters or that he may just be trying his luck. Rather, he explained that he meant business as he was never known to try out on luck in his life.
“What am I trying? I’ve never tried anything in my life. I’m about success, I’m about prosperity, I have never tried. I go out and I win. I’m a winner. Now, I want to win with all of you. There’s nothing about trying. There’s nothing to try…I’ve come to continue the good works Gov Udom Emmanuel is doing. I intend to continue from where he stops. His Excellency has done exceedingly well, so what are you talking about trying? There’s nothing to try”.
The basis of his confidence and conviction, he said, was his experience in the past 32 years. After inheriting a family business with about 15-member staff and growing same to an empire of 4,700 workers, Udofia’s submission was that he has the proven experience to change Akwa Ibom economic fortunes.
Hence, he said he was not bothered concerning his other co-contestants. “I am not bothered about other contestants. But I want to beg each and everyone of you not to be fooled. Don’t let anyone fool you. Anyone who has not done it before, don’t believe him. I am a man who has done it for 32 years; I have been succeeding for 32 years. I am a pride of Akwa Ibom state. I’ve done it right from my youthful days. And so this time, I’m not doing it for myself. I’m doing it for the future of our children. I’m doing it for the next generation. So, let’s not talk about me, let’s talk about the next generation”, he added.
Asked if he was confident that PDP will win at the centre as well as retain its leadership in Akwa Ibom State, the GMD of Desicon Group, a global leader in oil and gas, answered unequivocally in the affirmative.
“Of course”, he said, “ we are going to take 2023. PDP is getting to power in 2023 by the grace of God. I know God has done it for us before and God has continued to do it for Akwa Ibom state.
He acknowledged that power comes from God and He gives to whoever he desires, stating that should PDP fail to give him ticket in the run up to the general election, he will not abandon the party. “Why would I defect? Defect to where? God gives power, so if PDP doesn’t give me ticket , I will know that God has not given me political power”, he submitted.
Reacting to a question on how he would reconcile his ambition with that of his close friend, Senator Bassey Albert, Udofia said there was nothing to reconcile as Albert was not just his friend but a brother.
His words: “I need to correct an impression. Obong Bassey Albert is not my friend, he is my brother and I love him dearly. So there’s nothing to reconcile. And actually, we are not fighting, we are not quarrelling, so there’s nothing to reconcile. God gives power, that’s all”.
His advice to Akwa Ibom people on transition was that they should continue to pray and be steadfast.
“It is God’s project, let’s continue to pray, let’s continue to be steadfast. Let’s continue to pray that His Excellency, Gov Emmanuel, will finish well. But for the future, the future is very bright. God has never forgotten Akwa Ibom, God has never forgotten us”, he submitted
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