The director of publicity of the G-22, a group of People’s Democratic Party (PDP’) governorship aspirants in the 2015 primaries of the Party, Dr Peter Esuh, has said that there is nothing extra-ordinary about the group’s last weekend meeting in Abuja, which has raised seeming political dusts in Akwa Ibom state.
Peter Esuh who is also a lecturer in the department of Communication Arts, University of Uyo, made the clarification through a telephone interview he granted Radar Newspaper today, saying; “It was our normal meeting. We meet usually. Sometimes we meet in Obong Nsima Ekere’s house in Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo, who is the chairman. Sometimes, we take it to Hon. Ita Udoh’s house in Eket or my house in Uyo; or Effiong Abia’s house in Shelter Afrique or any member’s house.
“But this one, we decided to hold a family retreat in Abuja and two of our leaders (referring to former Governor Victor Attah and former Petroleum Minister, Don Etiebet) came around to give us lessons on leadership towards having a greater Akwa Ibom state.
“So it was a family get-together we had. It has nothing to do with all those insinuations being spread in Akwa Ibom state. We thanked God for finding us favourable to pick one of us to give leadership to the NDDC. We glorified the name of the Lord for it. That is all we went to do.
“It was our normal meeting. We are even a virtual community. We meet on our visual platform, that is, Skype, where we discuss issues bordering on our state. We belong to a state where people thrive on speculations and we have decided to allow them to continue their speculations about G-22 meeting,” Esuh said.
On a statement purportedly issued by a member of the G-22, Barr Asukwo Asukwo Okpo, disassociating himself from the activities of G-22, the group’s spokesman has this to say; “I read Barr Asukwo Okpo’s statement in Ibom Telegraph and what I said is that Barr Okpo has lost the sense of philosophy and the psych of the organisation.
“The organisation has gone beyond a group of aggrieved governorship aspirants to become a group of intellectuals and genuine mind-sets that said God must use us to renew Akwa Ibom and to build Akwa Ibom state of our dream which, we can handover to our next generation. So that is why in G-22, we have people from different political parties and background but, held on the philosophy that we had made to give service to God in Akwa Ibom and make Akwa Ibom a greater state in the whole of this federation for other states to copy and; to teach the new generation a new way to leadership; and make sure that we don’t handover impunity to generations unborn. And so, if any member has lost sense of that philosophy and that psych, he has questions to answer and not the G-22. From what you saw yesterday, it does show you the strength of G-22; the philosophy of G-22 and the psych of G-22.
On why only 14 out of the 22 members attended the weekend meeting, Esuh retorted; “the group is intact. Chief Benjamin Okoko was in the United States and we were on visual communication with him during the meeting; Chief Assam Assam had a matter in Lagos and we had visual communication with him through Skype; Chief (Mrs.) Helen Esuene who could not attend the meeting sent in her apologies. David Okpon who was Helen’s running mate in the 2015 governorship elections under the Labour Party was present at the meeting. The other few who did not attend, had said that were spies to the former Governor Godswill Akpabio. They said that they were the eyes and ears of the former governor in the G-22; that they were planted to spy G-22. We have nothing against them. When they decide that they are no longer spies, eyes and ears of the former governor or to anybody, they can come and join us.
Asked whether the G-22 plans to metamorphose into a political bloc in the forthcoming 2019 general elections in the country, Peter Esuh said; “G-22 goes beyond politics. It is now a philosophy. But we have said, ‘never again massada’. We would not allow anybody to toy with the destiny of Akwa Ibom state. So it transient politics; it transient 2019 general elections; it is a new rebirth for Akwa Ibom people.”
By Franklyn ISONG