The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is pushing to strengthen its stronghold and retain its grip on power ahead of the forthcoming governorship poll scheduled for Saturday, March 11 after it called a meeting in all the 329 wards of Akwa Ibom State.
Akwa Ibom State has been a stronghold of PDP since the return of democracy in 1999 electing all the governors, senators and members of the House of Representatives as well as chairmen of the 31 council areas.
In the last Presidential and National Assembly election held on February 25, the party suffered a setback as its lost one of the senatorial seats to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom Northwest with the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio as the elected senator.
The party also lost two seats in the House of Representatives in Abak and Ikot Ekpene federal constituencies as well as in the yet-to-be-decided Ini federal constituency in which the election was declared inclusive.
In a statement signed by the party’s publicity secretary, Borono Bassey, as directed by the party’s chairman, Aniekan Akpan all members of the party had been directed to attend a ward meeting of the party without any exception.
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“As part of efforts to invigorate the team spirit among our party members and supporters of the grassroots, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom has directed all ward chairmen to convene general meetings in all the 329 wards of the state,” the party said.
Addressing the party members in one of the wards in Onna Local Government Area, Nathaniel Adiakpan expressed happiness over the large turnout of members while also receiving defectors from other parties, saying that the party would always accommodate all members.
Meanwhile, the Umo Eno governorship campaign council has refuted reports about the storage of BVAs in respect of the coming election.
Campaign spokesman, Chris Abasieyo said in a statement that purported recording on the stockpiling of BVAs was a figment of imagination of those behind the recording.
“We wish to state emphatically that the audio is the work of a con-artist, it is nothing but vile tissues of lies. There are no such BVAS stored anywhere in Uyo or anywhere in the state by our great party. BVAs are the sole instruments of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and no one is authorised to have access to them except INEC,’’ he said.