One of the governorship aspirants in Akwa Ibom, State James Iniama has expressed optimism that only the best and most popular candidate would climb the hilltop mansion of the State in 2023.
Iniama stated this in an interview recently, following the call by different groups for the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, to name his successor even as some aspirants have started consultations ahead of time.
Some have expressed apprehension that the delay by the governor in announcing his choice candidate could result in imposition of an unpopular candidate who may not be well grounded in the state politics.
But Iniama said the governor would give all the aspirants a level playing ground in the party to test their popularity and worth, saying that only the best will eventually emerge.
Asked about whom the governor would eventually unveil as his anointed, he said, “my dear, we are not in a church where you get an anointing oil and anoint any person of your choice; all these things have a process, the governor understands that we will all compete and exhibit competence. The governor comes from an organized, banking sector background and he understands the process of succession, he will like the process to run its full course.
“I want to assure you that Akwa Ibom will get the best among the best, there is no anointed yet. The Governor cannot have a successor until elections are held. There will be an electoral process that would be published by INEC which will be followed.
The PDP stalwart speaking on his party’s wrangling said, “It is a political process we should expect, we know that the national chairman’s tenure will soon come to an end, and the people obviously will become interested to be the national chairmen, we are like family, this is like a family and it is a normal family wrangling and I make bold to say that there is no party that can stay together without little challenge of this nature once in a while. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the only party of hope for this nation.
On the ‘Maintain Peace Movement’ claimed to be a vehicle that would promote peaceful transition of this government, Iniama said the state has never had it so good in terms of peace, recalling that the political build up of the past regime was marred with fear, violence and hounding of a perceived political opponent.
“I support this movement, in fact I am an apostle of peace. What ever you are doing in life, you have to co-habit peacefully. I have been one of the Nigerians who have suffered grave injustice, I have been hunted and hounded in this state just because I was seeking for governorship and an opponent to a certain candidate, you were in this state and knew how unsafe the state was at that time.
In 2007 many people left this state, many left for Cross River, I returned to the States. The state is now safe, well, I support the movement but what I don’t know if it is the vehicle for the governor’s succession plan but peace is a neccessity.
Iniama, who is a professional surveyor and estate valuer, reacting to the perennial flooding ravaging the state, said the issue can be addressed by orthophoto mapping of the state
“If you look at the state, I want to challenge you when it rains, step out and you will see most places will be flooded we should address that immediate need and engage in the preparation of an orthophoto map which will simply tell us exactly what the layout of the land of the entire state is like,” he said.