It was celebration galore Friday Night at the Akwa Ibom International Airport, as thousands of supporters and party faithful received the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party Mr Udom Emmanuel who was arriving the state from Abuja shortly after being affirmed as the duly nominated candidate of the party.
An Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Hussein Baba Yusuf had vacated an exparte injunction which had sought to restrain the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, from submitting the name the name of Akwa Ibom State gubernatorial candidate, Mr Udom Emmanuel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Minutes after receiving the verdict of an Abuja High Court, spontaneous echoes of jubilation rented the air within the court premises in Abuja, and the cry of victory reverberated across the 31 local government areas of the state, resulting in the unprecedented victory march to the State international airport.
The carnival float which lasted for hours at the airport saw supporters from across the entire state in their thousands, singing and dancing until a plane carrying the ex-Zenith Bank Executive Director touched down on the tarmac of the airport at about 9:40pm.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, Mr Udom Emmanuel said he was bringing a message of hope to his supporters. Accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Elder Sam Ikon, the State Commissioner for Special Duties Barr Emmanuel Enoidem and a front-line stakeholder in the State Sir Emem Akpabio, Udom described the vacated court injunction as a distraction that cannot deter the progress of the party.
He said the future of Akwa Ibom is in the hands of the youths and expressed joy over their warm and assuring gesture to receive and celebrate him.
The former Secretary to the State Government noted that with the foundation laid by Governor Godswill Akpabio through uncommon transformation, the state was set for full industrialization and sustainable development.
He maintained that he was prepared to take the state to the next level come 2015, adding that with his economic policy, the state would not be shaken irrespective of the trend in global market.
Mr Udom Emmanuel hinted that through their support, they have joined him in writing the cheque for the bank of development, Industrialisation and better life for Akwa Ibom People.
He called on the people to continue supporting President Goodluck Jonathan on his agenda of transforming Nigeria for the better and was full of praises for the State Governor Chief Godswill Akpabio for providing a template for effective leadership.
A PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Chief Ime Ekanem had approached an Abuja High Court and obtained an interim injunction restraining the PDP from forwarding the result of the Special State Congress held on December 8, 2014 for the purpose of producing a gubernatorial candidate in Akwa Ibom State.
But in his ruling on Friday which lasted about one hour, Justice Yusuf who discharged the earlier injunction held that the order was granted irregularly as there was no urgency for such order to have been granted.
Among those at the airport to receive the PDP gubernatorial Candidate were the Senatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Bassey Albert, the Coordinator and executive officers of Akwa Ibom Consolidation Alliance, ACA, national and state assemblymen from the State, members of the State executive council as well as local government chairmen.
In their separate comments at the airport, they all maintained that the court verdict is a judicial confirmation of the decision of Akwa Ibom people and invited the aggrieved aspirants to sheathe their sword and join the winning team to deliver more dividends of democracy to the people of the State.