The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council, Governor Udom Emmanuel says the moribund multi-million naira Aluminum Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON) in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State would be reactivated if the party wins the presidential election next month.
ALSCON, which is located in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom state was privatized during the presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo with Atiku Abubakar, as the vice president who was then in charge of the privatisation programme of the federal government.
Many have criticised Atiku for the privatisation of the smelter company allegedly below the market value, though the plant has since been shut due to many factors including inadequate supply of gas to the plant, alleged insecurity and the tussle over the ownership of the plant following its privatisation.
Speaking in Ikot Abasi during an electioneering campaign, Udom assured that with the emergence of PDP flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar as President in the forthcoming election, ALSCON will be reactivated.
“One of the things I have tabled before Atiku is that APC government has refused to reactivate ALSCON and I asked him if you win today will you stand by me to reactivate ALSCON, he said yes so Ikot Abasi you have every reason to support Atiku Abubakar to victory,” he said.
He also told the party faithful that with an Atiku Abubakar led government at the centre, issues delaying the take-off of the Ammonia and Fertilizer Plant, Federal University of Technology and other projects sited in Ikot Abasi will be addressed.
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The state PDP leader affirmed that the state government has done a lot within its jurisdiction to give a headstart to the project, urging Ikot Abasi and Akwa Ibom people to vote massively for PDP candidates in all elections to secure the chances of restoring the lost glory of Ikot Abasi and activate new ventures for socioeconomic advantage.
“The slight delay in the Ammonia and Fertilizer Plant is not our fault, it is NNPC that has delayed to sign the agreement that will enable gas transmission from Eket to the onshore, but every single money for the Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant in Ikot Abasi is 100% percent ready.
“It is only a federal government that has interest in the people that can reactivate ALSCON. ALSCON is a federal project and I remember when ALSCON was operational, Ikot Abasi had influx of people all over the world, we want to bring back that glory.
Earlier, the State Chairman of PDP, Aniekan Akpan who presented the party flag to the candidates of the party in Ikot Abasi Federal Constituency, commended Ikot Abasi for being the vote basket of PDP in past elections, assuring that there is no need to weaver in the upcoming elections and described PDP as the only organized party in Akwa Ibom.
The state PDP gubernatorial candidate, Umo Eno, thanked Ikot Abasi people for turning up en-masse to receive him and the party.
He spoke of his determination to revamp the tourism industry and develop the rural communities as an integral part of his Arise Agenda and assured Ikot Abasi people on the dividends of democracy.
The Eket Senatorial District Candidate, Ekong Sampson, who spoke on behalf of the aspirants said that PDP holds the key to reinvent Nigeria and salvage her from the economic tailspin the nation has been in over time and assured Ikot Abasi people that the governor and other hopefuls will join force to restore the glory of the ancient city of Ikot Abasi, especially as Governor Udom Emmanuel, has already positioned the state favourably in the incoming PDP government at the centre.
Political leaders in the area Chief Obot Etukafia and Uwem Okoko, assured that even in the days of adversities, the area voted massively for PDP, adding that 2023 will be a smooth sail for the party.