By Emeka Samuel Uyo
A leading gubernatorial contender in the primary election of the All Progressives Congress in Akwa Ibom, Senator James Akpan udoedehe has handed over his political structure to the party’s candidate Mr Nsima Ekere
Udoedehe, a former FCT minister and a popular APC chieftain in the state also finally conceded defeat to Ekere who is also the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Addressing thousands of supporters, which comprised of party leaders drawn from the 31 local governments areas in the state at his residence in Uyo last weekend he said it was expedient to accept defeat in order not to set the party backwards with legal battles.
Udoedehe said that though, he had been shortchanged in the past he had decided to sheath his sword of anger and join hands with the party’s governorship candidate inorder to help the party dethrone the PDP in next year’s guber election in the state.
“The APC official flag bearer is Nsima Ekere. Though I have swallowed a bitter pill, but the bitter pill is good for my back. It pains me but we have to move forward and support our party.”
Udoedehe dispelled the rumour that he would carry his teeming supporters to the PDP having lost the APC’s governorship ticket stressing that he had invested so much to build the party in the state and would never back out.
He, however, encouraged his supporters to remain resolute and put more efforts in grassroots mobilizations as they were known for in the state.
Trying to calm the teeming fanatical supporters who were obviously disappointed with his concession, the APC chieftain said, “please on my part, no matter how difficult it is, try to assimilate yourselves in APC structure. If you are complacent what will be your benefit? It had already happened.
“Based on the interface of the President, we have been mandated to support all the candidates of APC across the nation. Therefore, we have decided to stay and support our party.
“Though, we felt betrayed and abandoned but with the appeal by the Federal government, we need to bottle our grievances, it is better we build our party than going to any other party to build it.
“We are taking over Akwa Ibom in 2019, and we are working towards integration of our members in the local wards.” He explained.
He said he would not want a repeat of the violence that happened in 2011 were people lost their lives during his fight for justice.
In a remark Ekere who expressed gratitude to Udoedehe and his supporters for the decision to sheat their sword assured the families of those who lost their lives in the last PDP primaries of compensation for the loss of their family members.
He maintained that the party has become even stronger with the reconciliation of the aggrieved groups and expressed confidence that the party would win next year’s gubernatorial elections in the state while promising to include Udoedehe supporters in the scheme of things.
“There is no division between us now and we are stronger and more united as a party now. We will begin to integrate aggrieved people now and we are sure of winning the governorship election in the state next year.” He said.
their deceased members who lost their lives during the primary election would be carried along and duly compensated.