Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom state has declared his intention to run for a second term on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Udom made the declaration on Friday at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, the state capital.
The declaration was witnessed by a mammoth crowd of supporters and party members from the different parts of the state.
Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus and members of the National Working Committee of the party were also present at the event.
“Today I stand here on the strength of those ratings, commendations and endorsements to declare before our party that I will offer myself again to serve our people for a Second term beginning from 2019,” Udom said.
“I came today following the ratings and commendations Akwa Ibom People drawn from the 3 Senatorial Districts, and also cutting across diverse segments of our population, that I have made results-oriented efforts in serving Akwa Ibom people since I was elected in 2015.”
On his part, Obong Paul Ekpo, State Chairman of the PDP said: “As a party we have heard the commendations and endorsements that have followed your programmes, actions, policies and interventions in office. We stand here as a party to proclaim today that you have made us proud.”
Udom’s declaration brings an end to speculations that he was planning to defect to the All Progressives Congress (APC), after his predecessor Senator Godswill Akpabio, defected.
Akpabio’s defection was seen as a major threat to Udom’s re-election, with the former recently describing the governor as a mistake which must be corrected.
The state APC chairman, Don Etiebet, had hinted that the governor had reached out to the national leadership of the party on his “planned defection”.
“Honestly, I can tell you because I have been aware of it. It has been going on for a long time. His interest in joining APC is not new at all. The only thing is that Godswill Akpabio beat him up to it.
“He has realised that APC has become very strong in the state and as such his chances of retaining his position as governor have become very slim,” Mr Etiebet said on August 18.
The governor’s adviser on politics, Ekong Sampson, dismissed the speculations as untrue.