Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, has denied plans to shield Akwa Ibom delegates from Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, describing the rumour as the work of mischief makers trying to divert attention.
In a press statement titled “Re: 2023 Presidential Shocker:
Udom Blocks Atiku from consulting Akwa Ibom delegates”, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, described the news item as false in all material particular.
He said: “The news item with the above heading surfaced on the media space, alleging that Gov. Udom Emmanuel barred Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from meeting with delegates from Akwa Ibom State.
“It also went on to make a lot of spurious allegations, laced with foul and profane language.
“Nothing can be farther from the truth as this. The said news is totally incompatible with the known accommodating disposition of Gov. Emmanuel.
“The truth is that the Governor, who has been in communication and contact with all other Presidential Aspirants (Atiku Abubakar inclusive), was informed that the former Vice President will be visiting on Monday, 16th May,2022 to meet with delegates and thereafter see him (Gov. Emmanuel) by 4pm, a proposal that was unhesitatingly accepted.
“It is therefore pure mischief for anyone to insinuate that the Governor is preventing Alhaji Abubakar from seeing delegates.
“Other Presidential Aspirants have visited the party in Akwa Ibom without a hitch, so why would Atiku’s be different?
“In the light of current circumstances surrounding Atiku’s media posture, especially online, we will like to discard the news item as not coming from him or his media handlers.
“We also want to believe that this spurious statement does not have the authorization of the Presidential Aspirant himself, especially since the allegation is not personally signed off and is not posted on any of his verified social media accounts.
“We urge the entire public to discountenance the fake news and treat it as an act of mischief of the highest order.
“Our delegates and team are waiting to receive the aspirant on the agreed date and time”
Contacted, the spokesperson for the Udom Emmanuel Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Bola Bolawole, confirmed the statement from Ememobong, adding that Gov. Emmanuel is noted as an apostle of politics without bitterness.
“Their type may not be many any more and their tribe may be fast diminishing but the personal choice made by Emmanuel is to be a man of peace and to address issues and not attack personalities.
“Check his antecedents. Emmanuel focuses on issues. Critical issues like the economy, which is the fulcrum of presidential contests in the advanced democracies, are what Emmanuel is bothered about, not personal attacks.
“Nigerians want to know who is better placed to handle the economy and rescue them from the clutches of poverty.
“With his training, cognate experience in the private sector and his track record so far as we witness and marvel in Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel is the man for the moment.
“He has a lot of what he has done, like Ibom Air, to campaign with and should therefore not be dragged into the murky waters of campaign of calumny”