By Inyali Peter
A gubernatorial aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. John Upan Odey has reaffirmed his preparedness for the party’s primaries as well as the general elections.
Odey said this while addressing a coalition of youth groups from the central senatorial district of the state who visited him in his office in Calabar to declare their support for his aspiration.
The governorship aspirant who retired last year as Group Head, Retail Banking of Union Bank assured his supporters that he has prepared himself, by the grace of God, financially and otherwise for the race.
“I want to thank you for identifying with us. With the number of young people representing different groups here, I am very confident that our victory is sure! Let me reaffirm that we are very prepared for this election,” Upan said.
He disclosed that he was written off as someone who could not afford the form and said his experience in the banking sector prepared him for the elections.
He averred that: “I contested House of Representatives election in 2011. I funded that election from my pocket and by little donations from people who believed in the cause.
“I have gone to places where people tell me that they listed me among people they thought may not be able to afford the expensive governorship nomination form of our great party. But I bought the form without the support of anybody”.
He continued, “I have spent over a decade in the banking sector. I understand the financial implication of contesting governorship elections and have prepared myself for this task long ago.
“I would have contested this election in 2015, in fact the national vice chairman South South of our party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta advised me to but tragedy befell me that I couldn’t come out for the election. But now, I am fully prepared.
“I have told people that in this election, I have not seen a governorship aspirant that has the capacity to raise funds more than me. I have worked in so many banks in Nigeria so I can humbly say that I have the network and the contact to help raise funds even for presidential election.
“I have taken my time to explain this to you so that when you hear rumors flying out there that we don’t have money for the election, tell them that we have God and the daily donations from young people, mothers, fathers, even students across the State; people donate their widow’s mite daily and I am grateful for this gesture.
“Politics should not be about how deep your pocket is. It should be about what you have to offer the people from the heart. By God’s grace, I see myself as the real deal, the German Machine in this election.
“I am not a big fan of money politics but the reality is that you require a lot of money for elections in Nigeria and I have prepared myself stoutly for the challenge. Again, I will not fail to thank groups of people, friends who support my ideology and are giving their support by small donations daily across the state.”
Mr. Odey will face other aspirants on Friday, September 29, 2018 at the guber primaries.
However, the leader of the group, Hope Okoi in his remarks had said that they and many other youths across the state were very confident that he is the right man for the job.
“When we hear people talk about money in this election we begin to wonder whether they are account officers. We know because of your growing popularity and acceptability, some people are not happy hence the rumor everywhere trying to discredit you with lies and false propaganda. Be rest assured that we know them and all their bullets against you will bounce back.
“You have shown capacity by taking the bold step to get the nomination form when so many people thought you couldn’t. You have set up a big campaign office and we are seeing the work you are doing so far. We want to urge you not to be distracted by the lies they will tell against you. Cross River youths are solidly behind you,” Okoi said.
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