The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on National Assembly, (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, on Monday insisted that Godswill Akpabio International Stadium would be used for the inauguration of the All Progressives Congress’ presidential campaign on Friday.
Governor Udom Gabriel Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State had rejected the application for the use of the stadium, citing the Nigeria Premier football league season that would start soon and the closure of the stadium by Julius Berger, a firm handling its maintenance.
But speaking at a media briefing in Uyo, Enang said the party would use diplomacy to ensure that Buhari use the stadium for campaign.
He, however, said that if diplomacy failed it would have no option but to still go ahead to use the stadium.
Enang said, “The Akwa Ibom State Government had stated that it was preserving the field for the football match coming up next year, and that the Godswill Akpabio Stadium will not be used for the campaign.
“We will continue to use diplomacy but if diplomacy fails, we will still use the stadium. It is public facility, a collective heritage of the Akwa Ibom people, Buhari is the President of Nigeria and nobody can restrain him from using any facility anywhere in the country. The President has been fair, kind and generous to Akwa Ibom people.”
Acknowledging that Udom had some measure of immunity, Enang said such immunity should stop where the right of the people started and where the collective sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was involved.
He said the APC would resist every attempt by Udom to blackmail the state.
Enang, who said the APC 2019 presidential campaign would take off on December 28, added that Buhari would present the party’s flag to its governorship candidates in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta, and Rivers states during the event.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and the 2019 presidential candidates of the APC will be in Akwa Ibom State on Friday, December 28, 2018 for the take off of his 2019 presidential campaign.
“The President is coming with the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, national leaders of the party, national officers and all the serving governors under the platform of the party.
“The governorship candidates of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and Delta states will be officially presented with the party’s flag,” Enang said.
He explained that the campaign would kick off in the state because Akwa Ibom people had accepted the President and that the state was ripe for harvest because “the governor has performed below average.”