Apologising to a crowd at the Ikot Ekpene Plaza, Akpabio, who returned from his mother-in-law’s burial inEnugu on Sunday evening, said Emmanuel was the greatest mistake he made and asked to be forgiven.
Akpabio, who represents Akwa Ibom North-West in the Senate, said Emmanuel was a mistake that must be corrected in 2019.
He added that all hands must be on deck for the mistake to be corrected.
“Udom (Emmanuel) is a mistake that must be corrected in 2019. All hands must be on the deck to ensure the mistake is corrected for a people-oriented leadership under the ruling All Progressives Congress at the centre.
“I want to thank you for defying the rain to honour me as your leader and troop out in this multitude even at a very short notice. It goes to show the level of love and confidence you have in me as your leader and I promise to also reward you for your time and energy in this all-important project,” he said.
According to him, Emmanuel’s administration has failed the people, forcing him to take a decisive action to correct the anomaly for posterity to be fair to him.
Akpabio said there was prevalence of hunger and deprivation in Akwa Ibom since the Emmanuel administration assumed power, adding that it was time for a holistic action to liberate the state from the shackles of misgovernance in the last three years.
He said Akwa Ibom should not be allowed to wander as a sheep without a shepherd, claiming that the process informed his quick intervention to put the state back into the central politics where Akwa Ibom, as the major revenue earner, would have a fair share of the ‘national cake’.
Akpabio had in the run-up to the 2015 elections, against all odds, declared Emmanuel, who was the then Secretary to the State Government, as his successor.
Twenty-six PDP aspirants had then jostled for the state’s political top job.
Meanwhile, Emmanuel has dared those speaking ills of him to come out with facts, saying he would not care to spend his personal resources to hire international, national, and local media to chronicle the truth about the affairs of the state.
The governor, who was indirectly referring to Akpabio, who declared him (Emmanuel) as a mistake as his (Akpabio’s choice of successor) on Sunday in Ikot Ekpene, added that it was only via such an avenue that the people would know the truth.
Emmanuel said this at the grand endorsement rally in his honour by the people of Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District at Onna Sports Stadium on Monday.
“I have heard things, and I want to challenge anyone who thinks he has the truth to come out; I will use my personal money to hire CNN and other international media, AIT, Channels, NTA and AKBC. Let’s present facts to Nigerians, let’s see who will tell the truth and who will also tell a lie.
“However, the issue on the ground is Akwa Ibom. It’s about the development of this state; it’s about our children in public schools who are excelling in international competitions, it’s about the price of garri that we have drastically dropped, it’s about the unity of this state which we believe in,” Emmanuel said.
He thanked the people of the senatorial district for the endorsement and assured them that the overwhelming encouragements from all parts of the state had indeed boosted his determination, not just to declare but to do more.
He said he would declare his intention to run for a second term on Friday, August 24, 2018.