2019: Nsima Ekere In Talks With Udoedehe For Governorship
As part of its efforts to resolve the lingering crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Akwa Ibom State, the national leadership of the party has moved to end the fierce rivalry between the managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Obong Nsima Ekere and Senator James Akpanudoedehe with negotiations ahead of 2019 gubernatorial race.
We can authoritatively report that there was a high-profile meeting held in Abuja last Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 December, 2017 at the instance of the national chairman of the party, Mr. John Oyegun and other members of the party’s hierarchy with both Nsima Ekere and Udoedehe in attendance but the meeting however ended in as deadlock as no compromise was reached between Nsima and Udoedehe.
It is no longer news that the APC intends to hand the governorship ticket to Nsima Ekere in 2019 but the party considers Udoedehe’s continuous antagonism as a serious threat to the plan and has showed willingness to negotiate.
According to our source, at the meeting, Udoedehe said that he will only agree for Nsima Ekere to fly the party’s flag in 2019 if his terms are met. “Among other demands, Udoedehe said that he must be given the ticket to contest for Uyo Senatorial District in 2019, five House of Assembly slots in Uyo Senatorial District, two House of Assembly slots each in Eket and Ikot Ekpene Senatorial Districts and Uyo Federal House slot”, the source said.
Udoedehe, who was also in Abuja to attend the call to bar of his daughter, Barr. Abasiodiong James Akpanudoedehe, further demanded that Nsima Ekere must agree to fund his (Udoedehe) senatorial district election and those of his key men who will be contesting elections also in 2019.
The source further disclosed that after due considerations, the national leaders agreed to Udoedehe’s terms, but however, the meeting, which went on peacefully, took a different shape when Nsima Ekere disclosed that he will only fund Udoedehe’s election on the condition that he (Ekere) will be allowed to run for a second term, adding that he will in turn ensure that Uyo Senatorial District produces the governor in 2027.
“As soon as Nsima Ekere mentioned the second term issue, all hell was let loose. That is how the meeting ended without both parties reaching a compromise. However, the national chairman has informed us of another meeting to continue the negotiations and both Nsima Ekere and Udoedehe have agreed to attend”, the source added.