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APC women allege injustice in Akwa Ibom State chapter

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
02 March 2017   |   3:18 am
The South-South zonal woman leader of the ruling All progressive Congress (APC), Mrs. Rachael Akpabio has alleged that genuine supporters of the party have not been fairly treated in the scheme of things.

John Odigie-Oyegun

Claim members sidelined in appointments, party absolves itself
The South-South zonal woman leader of the ruling All progressive Congress (APC), Mrs. Rachael Akpabio has alleged that genuine supporters of the party have not been fairly treated in the scheme of things.

Akpabio who is a founding leader of the party in Akwa Ibom remarked that those who dumped the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the eve of the 2015 polls have not only hijacked the party, but have cornered appointments meant for supporters of the party from the state.

This, she asserted has become a source of discord among supporters of the party cautioning that if the problem lingers, it could impact negatively on the fortunes of the party in the 2019 polls.

Akpabio who fielded questions from journalists in Abuja, made reference to the former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja, Chief John Akpanudoedehe as one of those who laboured and nurtured the APC, but has been sidelined for no just cause.

She recalled that the problem of the party started during the party’s primaries where Senator Akpanudoedehe was denied the governorship ticket and handed to Obong Umana Okon Umana who was just two weeks old in the party as at the time.

She accused the national vice chairman South South, Chief Hilliard Eta of not doing enough to resolve the crisis in the party, and urged the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun leadership of the party to intervene in the interest of the party.

According to her, “The National officers of APC should not take side. We are supposed to be unbiased umpire and should be neutral at all times. When National officers meddle into internal problem and take side, it doesn’t augur well for us. Crisis in the Akwa Ibom state APC has been on since 2015; people are trying to tear the party into pieces. Some people have decided to make it personal issues and others use it to make money. I want to say here that by the act of the Vice Chairman, I believe he has taken side. He used his personal letterhead to place adverts on newspapers that the exco was not dissolved.”

“It has affected us because more issues have come in. Today you will notice the appointment that has been made because there is still that division among us. Umana Okon Umana ran for the governorship, he has been given appointment, his deputy has been given appointment, and his personal assistant has been given appointment as a commissioner in NDDC. Those who nurtured the party and brought it to the level that it was a veritable platform to contest on, what has been given to them? Let’s face this. So politics does not have human face anymore?

“We love more decampees from the PDP coming, people can come into the party but there are people in the party. Let’s face this; the APC people were in opposition from the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Action Congress of Nigeria (ANC) while they were in the then PDP, the ruling party under Jonathan. They came into the party with so much to capture the whole thing and all that but even at that won’t you just feel for those who paid their dues in the APC? Justice is not being served here.

“I am speaking for my people in the state. There are people in the state that lost their brothers, sisters and mothers fighting for the APC who are well qualified but haven’t got anything coming from government.  Politics to me is not a do or die affair. I see it as an intellectual game. When you are able to manuever and win, you empower people around you. Politics is all about the people. That is the essence of democracy.”

“The truth is that the party, national, zonal and state must do the right thing. We must be willing to bring about unity of purpose within the party. They must be able to make sure that injustice is not practiced in the party. They must be able to give rights to the people that feel their rights have been tampered with. Look at my state.

“We have people that are above us that should initiate how to do the right thing. What I am saying now is about my state and it is only justice that would ensure the right thing is done. And the right thing is set up a committee to find out what the problem is within the members; the structures, the factions and all that. And when you set it up, let credible individuals be part of that committee. There won’t be anybody as credible as Kokori yet they added some five names. Kokori that I know would have come out with the problem of the party and recommendation on the way forward.

“There is injustice in not being able to come out and solve the problem and bring peace in Akwa Ibom chapter. Rather people are taking sides. Is that not injustice? What do you call that? Is it not also injustice for you to take people that are just coming into the party after we had funded the party and made it juicy and all these people have been given appointments and nobody has been given appointment from the original people? People are not happy over the injustice. Injustice begets injustice. Justice begets justice.

Accordingly, Akpabio called on Eta to heed the counsel of the deputy national chairman South, Mr. Segun Oni to do the needful to bring a harmonious relationship among supporters of the party in the state.

When contacted, Eta maintained that he had exhibited willingness to resolve the crisis in the state APC adding that was the reason he set up the Frank Kokori-led Committee.

He however said he couldn’t be blamed over the issue relating to the appointment of members of the party in Akwa Ibom state into federal boards or parastatals since it was the prerogative of the presidency to take such decisions.