Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom State Governor, on Tuesday said he won’t resign as the Chairman of Atiku Abubakar’s Presidential Campaign Council.
According to the governor, he is a loyal party man and won’t cave in to pressure from certain quarters for him to dump the 2023 presidential ambition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flag bearer (Atiku).
Speaking during the flag-off of the governorship campaign in Uyo, the state capital, he described as false, reports that he has turned his back on Atiku and his running mate and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa.
“I remain the chairman of the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign. I am not going anywhere. They’ve seen that we are coasting home to victory, that is why they are bringing that (rumoured resignation),” Emmanuel said.
The Akwa Ibom governor is of the very few PDP governors still standing by Atiku in Southern Nigeria. Now known as the PDP G5, Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Samuel Ortom (Benue), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) have been consistent in their demand that Iyorchia Ayu step down as PDP national chairman as a precondition to campaign for Atiku ahead of the February presidential poll.
Makinde as well as a former governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko; amongst other party chieftains in Wike’s camp had in September rejected their appointments as members of Atiku’s presidential council.
Wike and Emmanuel had contested the presidential ticket with Atiku at the PDP primary in May but the former Vice-President won.
Addressing a large crowd of supporters on Tuesday when he unveiled his anointed successor, Umo Eno; as well as PDP Senate, House of Representatives and House of Assembly candidates in the state, Emmanuel expressed optimism that the team will win and campaign for Atiku.
“Before I go into any protocol, let me address Nigerians first. I woke up this morning to one fake news: they say I have resigned from being the chairman of the presidential campaign council. I am saying it is not true.
“We have won them before and we are going to win them again. We are in under the presidential council to win. So, we have to win. Don’t listen to all those rumours.
“I am here, very loyal party man. Very committed party man. I am here as the chairman of the presidential campaign of Atiku, of PDP. I am going anywhere; we are going to win together,” he said.