By Dennis Udoma, Uyo
The enthusiasm by Akwa Ibom people to receive President Muhammadu Buhari in a tumultuous welcome to the state on Friday December 28, 2018 for his campaign flag-off reached a crescendo on Wednesday.
This is even as concerns earlier bandied between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and All Progressives Congress, APC, over the use of Godswill Akpabio International Stadium otherwise called, Nest of Champions, for the event have been put to rest as the Chairman, Central Planning Committee for the APC Presidential rally, Obong Umana Okon Umana has confirmed to newsmen at a press conference in Uyo, that approval has been given by the state government.
Umana, who said Akwa Ibom State APC is privileged to host Mr President in a presidential campaign flag-off in the state expressed excitement that, the launch would be the first time the presidential flag-bearer would be stepping out anywhere in the country to begin his campaigns.
He explained that, the people of the state were very enthusiastic to receive the President following the feed-backs the party was getting and that, over 30,000 supporters are already on ground to fill the stadium, while the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, the National Working Committee, national leader of the party, APC Governors, Ministers and members of the party across the country would throng the stadium for the Zonal rally.
‘‘The commencement of the rally is schedule for 12 noon and we are expecting over 30,000 party supporters. Also, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo, national Chairman, National Leader of APC, Ahmed Tinubu, members of the National Working Committee (NWC), APC Governors, Ministers, National Assembly lawmakers and all other members from all over Nigeria will attend the campaign launch.
‘‘So, indeed this rally will provide the foundation for the take-off of the presidential rally of APC and the feed-back the party is receiving from the people of Akwa Ibom State are very enthusiastic and we are waiting to receive Mr President’’.
Obong Umana, who is also the Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone in the country maintained that, the excitement by the people did not come as a surprise to him because, the people of the state have felt the impact of good work undertaken by President Buhari.
According to him, ‘‘we have had occasions in the past to review his score card as it affects Akwa Ibom State, that is why APC members in the state are very excited, and other good people of the state who are not members of APC are also very enthusiastic, would want to receive and thank him even before the election for all he has done to Akwa Ibom, the South-South and the good people of Nigeria.
He added that, the attendance and participation at the campaign rally would also send a strong signal to Mr President that, the people of Akwa Ibom have appreciated what he has done to the state in terms of key strategic appointments, which he has given to the sons and daughters of Akwa Ibom as unprecedented.
Umana thanked the President for what he described as massive infrastructure renaissance going on in the country presently, the social investment programme for Nigerian youth, the school feeding programme, achievement in the agricultural sector, revenue generation and the intervention to 24 states through the bail-out funds which Akwa Ibom was a beneficiary amongst others.
Meanwhile, speculations are rife that five serving commissioners, eight Chairmen of Local Government Areas and some personal aides to governor Udom Emmanuel are set to dump the PDP during the launch of President Buhari on Friday citing the usual abysmal performance of the governor as their reason.