Former and current speakers of state Houses of Assembly controlled by the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, have eulogised the governor of Akwa Ibom State and presidential aspirant on the party’s platform, Udom Emmanuel, for his performance in office as governor.
The party men and women gathered in Abuja Monday night to listen to the governor who advanced his quest for the party nomination at the party presidential primary coming up later this month.
In a statement by the spokesperson of Udom Emmanuel Presidential Council, Mr. Bola Bolawole, the presidential aspirant was introduced by Senator Gabriel Suswam.
After Emmanuel’s presentation, a cross-section of speakers and former speakers who spoke at the well-attended event were united in the position that the knowledge of the economy, which the aspirant could boast of, was the number one qualification for anyone aspiring to lead Nigeria in 2023.
They also described the turn-around that Akwa Ibom State had witnessed under Emmanuel within a short period as evidence of his ability and capacity to also turn Nigeria around if given the opportunity.
Suswam had earlier said: “Fix the economy and everything else will fall in place.
“We have not as a country had the good fortunes of having as a leader someone with a sound and deep knowledge of the economy like Udom Emmanuel has.
“That is why there is no longer a middle class in the country today. It is either you are rich or you are poor and we have been described as the poverty capital of the world.
“We have had leaders that have been bamboozled over the economy.
“More than ever before, we now need a president with a difference who can take this country to a positive level.
“Unlike them, we are not moving this country from top to bottom but we shall be moving it from bottom where they have dropped it to the top, which is the expectation of Nigerians.
“Nigeria needs a president who is creative and we must move away from primordial sentiments because it has not helped us.
“We must now choose a leader with capacity and capability to deliver the goods. We must choose a leader with requisite training in financial matters and whose track records speak eloquently for him.”
Responding, Emmanuel referred to his training in the leading accounting firm, Pricewaterhouse, and his achievements in the public sector.
He said while the nation’s economy was contracting and shrinking, that of his state was expanding through his ingenuity of creating money in a cash strapped economy.
He said while industries were relocating from Nigeria, Akwa Ibom had attracted not less than 22 new industries through creativity of ideas and innovations that had catapulted the state into the second best Foreign Direct Investment destination, coming only after Lagos.
He said while Nigeria is a net importer of foreign goods, Akwa Ibom now is an exporter of quality products like Made in Nigeria syringes.
“We are even struggling to meet up with demands,” he added.
He also said while Nigeria as a country had been unable to manage an airline, Akwa Ibom’s Ibom Air was one of the best managed airlines in the country today.
Reeling out series of his other achievements as governor, he said if he could do all of those things at the sub-national level where he did not control policies and where frustrations abound, he would do more as president of the country.
He therefore enjoined the speakers and former speakers to take the message to their colleagues that help was on the way and hope was not lost.
“We are coming to rescue and restore the lost glory of this country,” he added.