December 16, 2022
By Innocent ANORUO
Despite incarceration of Akwa Ibom North-East Senator, Bassey Akpan, Young Progressives Party (YPP) faithful in the state have vowed to elect him as governor to liberate the state.
They insisted that their principal was undergoing political persecution, which would pass with time and he would regain his freedom.
Speaking on the telephone, yesterday, Chairman of OBA Campaign Council, Emem Akpabio, described the senator’s imprisonment as a test of the party’s resolve to liberate Akwa Ibom.
Other supporters of the embattled senator, including Ekpenyong Ekong, Ntoro Bassey and Mfon Ekanem, believe the party is presently receiving baptism of fire that would purify it and bring out the best of it.
They made reference to great leaders, who emerged from prison to lead their people as governors or presidents. Last weekend, thousands of Akwa Ibom indigenes, especially YPP supporters, had thronged Etim Ekpo community, as the party took its ward-to-ward campaign to the area. That was the first time YPP would hold a rally since Akpan, the party’s governorship candidate for the 2023 polls, was incarcerated.
Led by his running mate, Asuquo Amba, a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), the rally was graced by Akpan’s wife, Imabong, other leaders of the party and supporters, who gathered to campaign for him, despite his absence.
Some indigenes at the event told newsmen they would vote for Akpan, even in prison. They said they were not deterred by the court’s verdict that jailed their principal, as they hoped their candidate would come out stronger and lead Akwa Ibom to greater heights.
Also speaking, wife of the governorship candidate said no prison could stop the yearning of the people.
She had said: “Sen. Bassey Akpan (OBA) is still on the ballot.”
Other party stakeholders, who spoke at the rally, believed that Akpan would eventually liberate Akwa Ibom from misrule. Last month, the Federal High Court in Akwa Ibom sentenced Akpan for corruption.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had charge him with six counts bordering on money laundering and receipt of exotic cars worth N204 million from Jide Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.