Home Politics Presidential hopeful, Udom Emmanuel pledges special status for Lagos

Presidential hopeful, Udom Emmanuel pledges special status for Lagos

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By Moshood Fayemiwo and Bola Bolawole

Lagos was agog as leaders and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under the auspices Chief Olabode George rolled out the drums to welcome the party’s presidential aspirant and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.

Eyo masquerades, synonymous in splendor with hosting an August visitor to a Durbar in the north of Nigeria, were at hand to add colour to the event. The leading presidential aspirant of the main opposition party in Nigeria danced to the beats to the admiration of everyone.

After introducing the party chieftains in attendance, the host, Chief George went ahead to assure of the commercial value of Lagos as a hospitable centre for all. He intimated the entourage of the economic significance of Lagos as former Nigeria’s capital city and the economic life wire of the nation, stressing the need for the Federal Government to accord the megapolis a special status.

Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Information, Comrade Ini Ememobong introduced the presidential aspirant’s entourage. Chairman of the Presidential Campaign Organisation and former Governor of Benue state, Senator Gabriel Suswam opened the discussion by telling the chief host the mission of the team, which is for to confer with Lagos PDP on his political aspiration.

Emmanuel appreciated the chief host for his nationalistic roles. He explained the complexity of the myriad of problems confronting the country, adding that all of these require a man steeped in the nuances of the economy. He explained the need for professionals like him to go into politics to fix the problems that have pauperized the people.

• Governor Emmanuel, PDP chieftain, Chief Olabode George (standing) and former Governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswan, who is Chairman, Udom Gabriel Presidential Campaign

Emmanuel said he would stimulate the private sector for economic growth. He highlighted the principles of management by establishing Ibom Airline, which has acquired the reputation of the best airline in Nigeria. He mentioned the need to do things right to get desired results, such as attracting foreign direct investment by creating conducive enabling environment. Akwa Ibom is next after Lagos on the list of foreign direct investment attraction in Nigeria, he said and canvassed the need to generate hope for the youths to stem the brain drain syndrome.

He raised the hope that, as a President that possesses capacity and integrity, he would strengthen the Naira through economic revival that would engender national rebirth. He explained that a coastal transportation system for Lagos would further expand the economic prosperity not only of Lagos but of Nigeria as a whole. He disclosed that industrialisation drive for Lagos would jump-start Nigeria’s economy and strengthen the Naira, Nigeria’s currency.

Lagos PDP leaders and members assured the aspirant of their unflinching support at the party’s forthcoming presidential primary.

Emmanuel and his entourage were later treated to a private dinner at George’s residence.

The Governor was accompanied by Suswam, the Chairman of the Campaign Council; the Director General of Campaign, Col. Habibu Abubarkar (rtd.); former PDP National Treasurer,  Alhaji Bala Buhari; former PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan; former PDP National Youth Leader, Hon. Sunday Kelly Udeh-Okoye; Deputy Director General of Campaign, Dr. Moshood Fayemiwo; Obong Paul Ekpo; Campaign Spokesperson, Bola Bolawole; and Ememobong.

Meanwhile, Suswam has said that Nigeria would be a changed country for the good of all the citizens if Emmanuel becomes the President in 2023. He premised his position on the fact that the aspirant has the competence, capacity, and the experience in all sectors of the economy.

Confirming his support for the presidential aspiration Suswam told reporters in Lagos that the precarious situation the country currently finds herself, she needed somebody different, not a politician discussing rotation or mundane issues, as President.

According to Suswam, the Presidency is for someone who has the “competence, the capacity, the capability, the wisdom, and deep knowledge of the economy”, saying that Emmanuel had performed wonderfully well in Akwa Ibom State, even as he cited the Ibom Airline, which he said was really thriving and currently a success story in the African continent.

The former Governor, while positing that the problem facing the country had to do with poverty, which he said bothered on the inability of businesses to borrow money from banks, asserted that Emmanuel “knows how to create money and it’s not about cash. Presidency is for someone who has the capacity, the capability, the competence, and the deep knowledge of the economy. He is not contesting because the Presidency has moved to his constituency. He is a gentleman who has worked in all sectors of the country. He wants Nigeria to run better, he would be able to revive the economy of this country if elected the President of the country,” Suswan stated.

Speaking further, the former Governor said that Emmanuel’s campaign would be about reviving Nigeria’s economy, building infrastructure, including roads, railway, and electricity supply, among others, declaring that the economy could only grow with stable, efficient and sufficient power supply in Nigeria.

Lamenting Nigeria’s poor power supply, Suswam declared that it was only with the availability of power that the economy of the country could grow. On insecurity ravaging the country, Suswam said Emmanuel would make the country free of banditry, kidnapping, among others, recalling that Akwa Ibom State was enmeshed with cultism siege before he took over as Governor, declaring that the state was now enjoying her peace based on his leadership capacity to tackle the menace.

Additional reports by Bola Badmus

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