Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has explained that its insistence on zoning is to reduce political tension and unwarranted expenditure during the 2019 general elections.
It was learnt that the ongoing purchase of nomination forms by members of the party has given credence to the party’s decision in respect of zoning arrangement, as only candidates from areas favoured by the arrangement picked the forms.
The state Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Ini Ememobong, told journalists in Uyo, yesterday, that widespread sensitisation on zoning has readjusted the mindset of politicians in the state, to avoid undue conflicts, a clear departure from what obtains in other political parties currently.
Ememobong said as a party determined to win the support of the people through hard work and convincing proof of competence, the PDP has, instead of threat and intimidation, held stakeholders meetings in the 329 wards across the state and carried out sensitisation in the 10 federal constituencies.
“We’ve been preparing for free, fair, peaceful and credible elections. In the area of touching lives, we are currently running four to five programmes on radio, sensitising and giving out monies for people to start small businesses; we give out as much as N250-500,000.
“It’s difficult for a person who is benefiting from you not to insist you stay. We are interacting with young professionals and market people. We are carrying out door to door campaigns and praying.
The governor, before declaring went to God first; this government has been made a part of the church. We have done the part we needed to do.
That is why the campaign slogan of the governor for 2019 is ‘Only God’.”
“People come into politics without preparing well, and that’s why we keep asking those not favoured by zoning to avoid spending money; some aspirants do not even know how to interact with the electorates.”
While expressing confidence that the PDP has worked harder than any other political party in the state and, therefore, stands a huge chance of sweeping the polls, the party spokesperson reassured those who recently defected from the APC to the party of equal opportunity to thrive.
“When people leave PDP, it is defection; when they return, it is home coming. So, when people come back home, it’s easy to locate their rooms.
“PDP’s secretariat has been a beehive of activities within the past weeks; lots of people have indicated interest and actually purchased the forms.
Our forms are the most reasonable in the political market. For women, it’s just the expression of interest, the nomination form is free, only the incumbent has purchased form for governorship.
“PDP is the only political party in this country to attain the age of 20.
It was created as a platform where everyone, irrespective of religious or any other affiliation, can thrive. In the past 20 years, we have provided the fertile ground for democracy to thrive.
I’m sure that if the type of party we have at the centre, today, had been in existence for the past 20 years, there wouldn’t have been democracy. That’s our greatest achievement,” Ememobong said.