Disquiet in Akwa Ibom opposition party
The Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) is battling internal crisis as the leadership of the party are at loggerheads over the expulsion of its 2015 governorship aspirant, Senator John James Akpanudoedeghe and the purported dissolution of the State Executive Committee (SEC).
It was rumoured that the party’s SEC has been disbanded with the setting up of another organ called Forum of State Officers, chapter executives and ward executives to act in place of the disbanded executive.
However, the chairman of the party, Dr. Amadu Attai, dismissed any purported crisis in the party as untrue and unfounded, saying: “The state executive of the party, under my watch is intact.”
He also said there was no organ known as Forum of State Officers, chapter executives and ward executives “the State Executive Council (SEC) of the party had not been dissolved.”
According to him, “The rumour making the rounds about the dissolution of the SEC was being peddled by the expelled members of the party and Akpanudoedeghe. There is no such body known to the constitution of the All Progressives Congress.”
It would be recalled that sometime ago, Attai announced the expulsion of Akpanudoedeghe from the party over alleged anti party activities.In addition, it was gathered that the embattled senator had before his expulsion, rebuffed all reconciliatory moves by the leadership of the party and traditional leaders including peaceful overtures from the national headquarters of the party.
Attai said the party had on January 23, expelled Akpanudoedeghe, which was contained in a letter addressed to the APC national vice chairman/zonal chairman South-South.
“We are also aware that those darting these chain of vicious attacks and cheap blackmail are employed by and doing the bidding of Akpanudoedeghe with the sole purpose of ridiculing and hurting the image of our party in the state.
“We wish to most emphatically reemphasis here that the said Senator Akpanudoedeghe who is sponsoring all the campaign of calumny against our party and some of its leaders was recently expelled from the APC in Akwa Ibom State and he stands excommunicated,” he added.
Explaining reasons Akpanudoedeghe was expelled, the party chairman said all the necessary entreaties were employed to reconcile the Senator with its senior citizens, leaders, stakeholders and members, and traditional leaders, but to no avail.
“It is on record that when notified of the sundry harmful anti-party activities perpetrated by the said Akpanudoedeghe, the APC national leaders and stakeholders initiated various reconciliatory moves. And again, Akpanudoedeghe in his usual way scorned the gestures outright.
However, Akpanudoedeghe, who addressed the media, described his purported expulsion as a ruse and of no effect.He said the state chapter of the party has no power to expel him “it does not have the right to do that, it is only by a party convention that you could expel somebody of my status in the party, so what they claimed to do is of no effect. Those names and signatures are complete fake. My ward chairman’s name is Monday Utuk. My chapter chairman is Emmanuel Andy. Everybody knows that.
“Moreover, the SEC in question does not exist again because our real members have passed a vote of no confidence on them especially by the forum of State Officers, Chapter Executives and Ward executives. We now have a new executive made up of people who share the ideals of the party and who laboured under sweat and blood to fight the PDP,” he said.
He added that the Attai-led executive was being sponsored by some ‘money-bags’ who recently joined the APC from the PDP.He alleged that some cabals in the party wanted him out because they have collected money from some personalities who recently joined the party, adding: “Attai was a pauper when we admitted him but now they have bought two jeeps for him and he is building an upstairs for himself.”
He called on the national headquarters of the APC to be wary of those that were only interested in their personal pockets and do not have the interest of the party members at heart “that is why we passed a vote of no confidence on them. We now have people who love the party and the people who laboured for the growth of the party.”
Asked whether the factional executive have the blessings of the national leadership of the APC, the ex-minister insisted that the problem remained that of the state branch and would be solved by members of the party in the state.