Defeated candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, in the recent gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom State, Ezekiel Nya-Etok has said that he is not yet sure of the next step to take following the dismissal of the petition he filed at the elections petition tribunal.
Responding to a message from TNN on the judgement, Nya-Etok said he was yet to get briefings from his lawyers and added that it was his style to take one day at a time. He would not, therefore, say if he would go on appeal.
But the governor, Pastor Umo Enoh has urged Nya-Etok and the other candidates who lost to him both at the election and at the tribunal to arise and join him to build the state. In a statement released to the media on Friday after his election was confirmed by the tribunal, Eno said Akwa Ibom people should get ready for the best of times in the days ahead.
The tribunal had dismissed petitions from all his opponents-John James Akpanudoedehe of the NNPP, Nya-Etok of the ADC, Akpan Jeremiah of the Action Alliance, Emem Coffie of the Accord Party, Obong Akan Udofia of the APC and Senator Bassey Albert of the Young Progressives Party.
In fact, Eno is the only governor in the country whose election victory was challenged by almost all the political parties and their candidates that took part in the election. The candidates showed very serious intentions to bring him down from the office. But in all, the tribunal ruled in the governor’s favour.
In the statement, Eno told Akwa Ibom people that he was dedicating the victories to them. “I dedicate this victory to you, the people of Akwa Ibom State, who on March 18th, 2023, came out and massively voted for me to usher in the Golden Era in continuation of the giant strides we have experienced in this State, 36 years after creation.
“Let me use this opportunity to thank and celebrate the Nigerian judiciary for the patriotic job they are doing to safeguard and consolidate our democracy. My faith in this critical institution remains rock-solid.
“As I have always said, politics is over, it’s time for governance. I call on my brothers, Distinguished Senator John Akpanudoedeghe, Architect Ezekiel Nya-Etok, Obong Akanimo Udofia, Emem Coffie, Akpan Jeremiah and Distinguished Senator Obong Bassey Albert to join me in building a State, founded on shared aspirations for growth, development, unity and brotherhood.
“I may have been elected on the platform of the PDP, but I am a Governor for all Akwaibomites, irrespective of political labels. That’s what I promised to do, when I put my hands on the Bible on May 29th, 2023 and took my Oath of Office.
“I urge all Akwa Ibomites, to keep faith in God who is leading us aright as our State will soon witness a litany of projects across the thirty one Local Government Areas, thus providing jobs for our youth. Let us therefore, ARISE, and together, usher in the golden era for us all.