A Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant from Akwa Ibom State, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, will focus on the transformation of rural areas, industrialization and human empowerment, if he wins the 2015 elections.
According to the Director General of the Akwa Ibom Goodluck Movement (AKGM), Dr. Ekere Afia, who led heads of support groups affiliated to the AKGM, to pick up Etteh’s nomination form at the PDP National Headquarters in Abuja, said Etteh has promised to transform the rural areas in the state into developmental engine rooms of economic growth.
“A greater portion of our population in the rural area. Most of them are involved in economic activities like farming, fishing and trading. Some are even involved in small scale mining. When we come on board, we shall focus on the transformation of the areas they have and work in. When that is done, we hope to turn the rural areas to developmental engine for the economy of the state to growth,” Afia said.
The AKGM Director General said Etteh, who is the House Leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly will create an enabling room for industrialization to prosper in the state.
“We also hope to focus on industrialization. Whatever our government should do, we will do to bring industries to our people. This will create jobs, take our people off the streets and create an income base for the economy to grow.”
Ekere also said Etteh plans to focus on capacity building, according to him, the people will be through policies that will improve their income base, create a vibrant middle class and build an entrepreneurial spirit in the people of the state.
“What we have in the state today are two classes of people, the very rich or the very poor. We hope to create a vibrant middle class that will pull a lot of people from the bottom end. We hope to create activities that will take our youth off the street. We’ll reignite the entrepreneurial spirit of our women. Our women are not known to be lazy. Our youths are also hardworking. But if you go to the state now, you will find out that our youths, our women and our men are helplessly roaming the street, for lack of a coordinated economic empowerment programme. We hope to check this.”
He said Etteh is a man of the people, who knows the people and the people know him.“You will be shocked to know that he did not spend a kobo of his money for this form. People donated the money in two days. He even got a donation of N2,000 from a women and a N500,000 from a Pastor. You know that generally Pastors don’t sow into polities just like that. You can see that the people want him.”
Ekere, himself a former deputy leader of the state house of assembly, said Etteh is a great bridge builder who will unify the state because he has firm roots across the whole state.
“The man we are promoting will probably be the first indigenous Governor of the state and you know what that means in terms of development. He has lived virtually all his life with the people, has family relationship across the state and has been in politics in the last 20 years. He has made friends across the divides of the state. It might interest you to note that he is from IbenoExxonMobil’s production base in Eket Secretariat District. His mother is from Ikono. Ikono is acclaimed to be the ancestral home of the Ibibio. His grandmother is from Uyo in Uyo Secretariat District. His wife, Ekaete , is from Etim Ekpo in Ikot Ekpere Secretariat District. Above all this, the name is firmly on ground. Go round the state, ask any person to mention the three top aspirants, not through billboards but through real politics, contacts and goodwill, his name will occur in almost all your respondents.” Said it is the people who are sending him on the.
Afia, who said it is the people who are sending him on the mission, said “Etteh is sent by the people. He’s not sent by any one person. It is a collective decision of the people across the state to have a bridge builder, a calm, confident leader with integrity, a man whose word is always a bond, whom you can rely on, a man who has character, a disciplined, focus and hardworking young men.”