The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has given kudos to the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and its Managing Director, Mr Nsima Ekere, for fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region.
Akpabio spoke at the solidarity rally in honour of President Mohammadu Buhari and reception for Nsima Ekere, by the people of Akwa Ibom South (Eket) Senatorial District at the Qua Iboe Church Primary School. Eket.
The former Senate Minority Leader said that the numerous NDDC projects spread across the Niger Delta demonstrated that the Commission had changed for the better. He declared: “Everyone can attest to the fact that NDDC is now working.
“Ekere has shown that NDDC can work. Before he became the NDDC Managing Director, the interventionist agency was not living up to expectations. Today, we are seeing many programmes and projects being executed all over the Niger Delta.”
Akpabio noted that even the International Oil Companies, IOCs, were now meeting their statutory financial obligations to the NDDC because they were seeing the physical transformation being carried out by the Commission. According to him, the changes were possible because of the managerial abilities of Ekere.
He said: “I do hope that those who will take over from Ekere will continue to perform well. I have thrown my weight behind Ekere because he has pedigree, humility, wisdom and intellect.”
Akpabio said further: “Ekere has shown capacity to perform and I believe in performance. He was part and parcel of the uncommon transformation that took place in Akwa Ibom State between 2007 and 2015.
“Because of that, I know that he is well schooled in the process of good governance. I am confident that he will bring the state back into the trajectory of progress and development. We all belong to the progressives’ camp and we want a quantum leap in Akwa Ibom State. We don’t want the state to be moving backwards. That is why we are supporting Ekere to be the next governor of Akwa Ibom State.”
Speaking at the reception, Ekere lamented that there were no good roads in Eket except those constructed by NDDC. He advised Governor Udom Emmanuel to stop deceiving Akwa Ibom people, stating that the state deserved better.
He remarked: “I thank the people of Eket Senatorial District. You have shown love. You have shown that you appreciate hard work. I was part of the Government in 2010 – 2015. I was part of the decision making that the governorship should rotate between Senatorial Districts.
“I was the arrow head of the fight in 2015 for the governorship to come to Eket senatorial district and because of the agitation Senator Godswill Akpabio, standing here who was the governor then, agreed and Akwa Ibom people agreed for the governorship to come to Eket Senatorial district.
The NDDC Managing Director stated that anyone wishing to represent the Senatorial District must run on the basis of performance. He observed: “We are here in this primary school because the stadium has been under renovation. Do you need three years to renovate a stadium? Here in Eket, there is no road except NDDC roads. This Governor must stop deceiving Akwa Ibom people. Weep no more. Go and get your PVC. That is your power. That is your strength.”
Leaders of the party across the three senatorial districts of Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and Eket had bought and presented the nomination and expression of interest form to the NDDC boss at the reception.
The leader of the party in the state and national caucus member, Chief Don Etiebet, who presented the forms to Ekere, said elders of the party across the state decided to purchase the forms for the NDDC boss because they wanted him to replicate his sterling performance in the commission when he becomes governor in 2019.