The All Progressive Congress, APC, has on Thursday unveiled its governorship and deputy governorship candidates for the 2019 elections before a large crowd of party faithfuls and supporters who thronged the state secretariat in Calabar to witnessed the event.
This is coming barely 24-hour to the deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for parties to submit list of their governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
The Cross River State APC has been on the spotlight in recent time due to frictions within the party that has led to emergence of factions.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, factional chairman, Mr Etim John, said faithful party members and supporters have chosen to stand on the path of truth, despite the fact that the party has been enmeshed in series of crisis for the past two years. He said though the party is going through challenges, members should be resolute and steadfast in their commitment, assuring them that success would come at the end of it all.
While describing political parties as markets which offer choices, Mr Etim stated that the APC’s door is wide open for all, as it does not close the door against anyone.
Presenting Pastor(Hon.) Usani Uguru Usani as the party’s flagbearer in 2019 governorship elections, the state chairman said the Niger Delta Affairs minister is a man who has the overall interest of Cross River State at heart, adding that he is passionate about developing the state. He described the party’s governorship candidate as a man who has the fear of God, urging every Cross Riverian who desires to see the state progress to support Pastor Usani Usani and vote for the APC in next year’s election.
”Our supporters are in good faith and have resolve to stand for the truth. Cross River State APC is standing on the path of truth. We are standing on the platform of truth and nothing can deter us from this path. For two years now it has been
war, war, war… Trouble, trouble, trouble! But one thing is sure. Our God is a God of war.
”Nothing good comes easy. So I challenge everyone of us that no matter how tough this battle would be, the end is success, because we stand by the word of God.
”Thos of you who are jumping here and there should not be bordered. The door is wide open. We don’t close the door to anybody. Party is like a market, you are free to jump out and jump in. What is important is the interest that is beclouding your sense of reasoning. But I can assure you that the interest here is the right interest.
”I am here because a man who has the fear of God, a man who has concern for the downtrodden, a man who is concerned with ensuring that this state moves forward is the one leading this group. No other person than Pastor(Dr) Usani Uguru Usani. Because he is the one steering this ship, I decided to drop the cares and affairs of this life, to drop the pleasures that are for the moment, to drop the cucumber, the carrots and garlic of Egypt and decide to face that which has eternal value.
”I believe that every well meaning Cross Riverian who mean well for this state, who is desirous of seeing the good of this state, even to our second and third generations, should come here.”, Etim John said.
Responding, Pastor Usani Usani said that, ”This is an era establish on the salvation of Cross River State.” He added: ”We are not in politics just because we want to be famous or popular, we are in politics because we have a mission that is divine. I don’t want you to see anyone as an enemy. Lets go out and interact because if we have the privilege of presiding over the affairs of Cross River State… It is better for everybody to come together to do the work.”
Pastor Usani lauded the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying his anti corruption campaign has triggered fears in the minds of those who have looted the country’s wealth. He said contrary to speculations that the president is
unpopular in the south south, he expressed hope that President Buhari would have good outings in the region come 2019. The APC gubernatorial candidate however disclosed that the party would soon release its manifesto to the public which will reflect what it intends to offer the state.
Mr Francis Ekpenyong, state publicity secretary of the party, officially introduced Pastor Usani Uguru Usani and Barr.(Mrs) Helen Effiom Boco as APC’s governorship and deputy governorship candidates for Cross River State in the 2019 elections to the cheering crowd.
Meanwhile, Calabar South chapter of the party has officially received its deputy governorship candidate, Barr.(Mrs) Helen Effiom Boco.
Speaking during the reception ceremony held in her honour, Mrs Boco who was accompanied by her husband and other party stalwarts, expressed appreciation to president Muhammadu Buhari, saying without him, women would not have been recognised today. She also thanked party stakeholders and everyone for finding her worthy to stand as a deputy governorship candidate of the party. Mrs Helen Boco however promised to carry women along if the party eventually wins the governorship election next year.