The Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, has reassured the people of Niger Delta of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to the development of the region.
Speaking during the inauguration of the Akwa Ibom State Caucus of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) in Uyo on Friday, Mr. Ekere said it was clear that the President had the best interest of the region at heart from the steps he has taken so far to solve regional problems.
The NDDC boss pledged that the commission will work vigorously to bring sustainable development to the region and urged the people of Akwa Ibom State to support the Buhari Administration which, he said, was working tirelessly to address the economic problems of the country.
Mr. Ekere lauded the quality of the APC Caucus members, particularly the Caucus Chairman, Atuekong Don Etiebet, who he described as an experienced and dogged leader.
While commending the hard work and resilience of the party leadership and faithful, he called for a greater synergy between them to enable increased grassroots’ mobilization.
The Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, Mr. Umana Umana, expressed confidence that the caucus will strengthen and reposition the APC, describing its Chairman, Atuekong Etiebet, as an experienced and cerebral leader.
He recalled how the APC was robbed of victory in the last elections but urged the party faithful to leave the past and plan for the future which, according to him, was certain.
Hailing Mr. Ekere as a true friend and brother, Mr. Umana declared that “we will all work together to strengthen the party to take back our state.”
He commended President Buhari for the appointment of Akwa Ibom indigenes, including himself, into positions of authority.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Affairs (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, solicited support for the Buhari Administration which, he said, has done well for Akwa Ibom State in terms of appointments and projects, hinting that more appointments were underway.
He described as deceit and falsehood the claim by a group, Akwa Ibom Vanguard, that the Buhari Administration only budgeted N1.9 Billion for projects in the state, pointing out that the budgetary provision for the Calabar-Itu Road alone was over N6 Billion.
The presidential aide stated that the huge monthly allocation from the Federation Account was not being well-utilized by the State Government as it was not commensurate with the level of development in the state.
He reasoned that the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) was unable to make progress in the state because its erstwhile members that joined the APC had left with the soul of the PDP, leaving behind only the carcass.
The Caucus Chairman, Atuekong Etiebet, thanked the party for the great honour accorded him and other caucus members and promised to work towards making the APC more virile.
Atuekong Etiebet, who inaugurated the Strategy, Finance and Contact Committees of the party, condemned rigging of past elections in the state but predicted victory for the APC in 2019 because “the time of rigging has gone.”
The APC National Vice Chairman (South-South Zone), Ntufam Hilliard Ettah, who inaugurated the caucus, stated that with the caucus the party was well-positioned to win the state.
Others who spoke at the occasion were the State APC Chairman, Dr. Amadu Attai, a former Minister of Women Affairs, Obong Rita Akpan, a former PDP National Vice Chairman (South-South Zone), Chief Edet Mkpubre, a former PDP State Chairman, Arc. Otu Ita-Toyo, and a former Member of the House of Representatives, Chief Soni Udom.