In a recent chat with some Journalists in his country home of Abak Ishiet in ONNA LGA, Bishop Samuel Akpan bared his mind concerning his ambition and why he was seeking to become the Governor of Akwa Ibom State. Bishop Akpan said his seeking to become governor was not only that he was from Eket Senatorial District but that Eket Senatorial District must produce the next governor as it was the district laying the golden egg for the economic benefit of the state.
He said the core oil communities comprised of Ibeno, Eket, Esit Eket, Onna and probably Mkpat Enin, Eastern Obolo and Mbo about eight oil bearing local governments. For now, the bulk of the core oil communities that are actually producing the oil are in Eket Federal Constituency.
He added that the present governor has set the stage via gargantuan development in infrastructure and that since he knows what the state government is doing he would focus on massive human capital development.
Hear him, “I will be very free-minded to be able to drive human capacity building. The present leadership is now doing infrastructure, the next two or three years left for him would not be enough for him to concentrate on the human development…So, the utility that we think we need to drive all capacity of the state have been put in place. I have a lot of knowledge about many things that are done inside and I shall be able to continue what is being done for the support base of the good governance of Akwa Ibom State”.
He said he would seek the grace of God to unite the state the more by ensuring that the dichotomy between Ibibio, Annang and Oron was not there, stressing that only a strong and united fourth largest ethnic group like Akwa Ibom would defend their governor and be able to get something from the centre for the state.
He maintained that he would create employment as he was worried by the number of unemployed youths donning the streets of Akwa Ibom State.
Reacting to how prepared he was financially, he said that he was not going to sell Akwa Ibom State to become Governor as some people construe because, according to him, “the processes of democracy indicate that even the son of an African generational parentage is now the President of America. Therefore, I am not going to mortgage Akwa Ibom”, adding that he was convinced that he was not alone. “I am convinced that I am not alone; therefore I am prepared”, he said.
Talking with a degree of conviction, he responded to the question of how sure he was he would be the next Governor in these words, “I am very sure because for the past one month, I was in a very strong prayer session and I prayed like that for Godswill Akpabio, that same answer that God answered Godswill Akpabio from Ikot Ekpene senatorial district will answer me. That is why I am sure”.
Asked how he would muscle all other aspirants to emerge he acknowledged that the race would be tough but he would win anybody. “The race is open but I will win anybody. Whatever the fight is, I will beat anybody”, he enthused.
The Bishop of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star said that despite the fifty eight aspirants who sought to be Governor in 2007, Chief Akpabio was the most popular amongst the people and won all others.
Speaking on zoning he said that though people tend to clamor that there was no zoning he was emphatic that there is zoning in PDP and that when the time was nigh that all eyes shall see it.
As to the rumor making the rounds that Governor Akpabio had anointed a successor he said it was not fair and was also too early for anybody to make such a statement, as the governor, even if he would anoint anybody, would have to consult widely.
Asked whether the Governor was aware of his ambition, he said it was early to bring him into the issue though he said the governor was aware as he had asked him about it.
When asked how he would combine the Bishopric assignment and that of governance of Akwa Ibom State, Bishop Akpan retorted why he was not asked then when he was an Apostle how he would combine the expectations of that office with that of campaigning for Chief Akpabio to become the governor of Akwa Ibom State.
“You could have asked that question in 2005 when I was an apostle and campaigned for Godswill Akpabio. You should have asked me why do you want to leave the presbytery and campaign for Akpabio and make him governor.
Today, the campaign that I did to establish good governance in Akwa Ibom State has also fished me out as a Bishop. Therefore, it is a good combination”, Bishop Akpan said.