By Bassey Anthony, Uyo
A group within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom, the Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF) has insisted that Senator Godswill Akpabio is the authentic leader of the chapter.
Stakeholders who attended penultimate Saturday’s meeting organised by Group Capt. Sam Ewang (rtd) endorsed Akpabio leader of the party in the state. But, the State Caretaker Committee led by Dr. Ita Udosen opposed the idea and declared the stakeholder’s meeting ‘illegal’.
In a press statement, the Director-General of ADF Obongemem Ekperikpe Ekpo and Secretary-General Dr. Anthony Usoro, said it is sad that people who attended the meeting and made inputs during the deliberation could turn around to castigate the convener, thereby giving the impression that he (convener) acted arbitrarily.
The statement reads: “This type of ‘tortoise politics’ which relies on wiles and dissembling is the reason our great party, the APC is still in the woods and lacking the ardour it mustered when debuted.”
The ADF regretted that the Udosen-led committee acted at the behest of one of its members who “desperately wants to appropriate the reins of the party for selfish reasons.”
It recalled with nostalgia that Senator Akpabio was named and publicly declared the leader of the party in Akwa Ibom State on August 8, 2018 by a delegation of the APC national leadership led by the then national chairman who was in the state to witness Akpabio’s defection to the APC.
They further explained, “It is trite knowledge that governors are the leaders of their parties in their respective states. But where the party is not in control because it does not have a governor in place, its highest political office holder naturally becomes the leader of the party.
“Hence, in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva is undoubtedly the APC leader, while Rotimi Amaechi is the party leader in Rivers State because they are the highest political office holders in their respective states. But, in Akwa Ibom State, there seems to be an unbridled and inordinate quest to change the standard to satisfy some odious cravings.
“APC does not have a governor in Akwa Ibom State, having shot itself in the foot in the 2019 election through this same putrefying rancour and acrimony. The highest political office holder is the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, who is an influential member of the Federal Executive Council.
“The position of APC leader in the state naturally dovetails to Senator Godswill Akpabio as minister and member of the Federal Executive Council, as well as former performing governor who foisted a distinctive era in our dear state.”
The group added: “The muffled hullabaloo by a few desperate and vested interests that it should not be him is strange to sane ears and a shocking realisation that hate could replace even good and logical reason.
“As a political pressure/support group with undisguised interest in the APC, we are conscious of the fact that unless people subsume their interests and personal ambitions under the party, the hope of the party clinching power in 2023 is farfetched.”
ADF said Senator Akpabio has the competence, capacity and experience to lead the party to victory in the State in 2023 and appealed to APC members to close ranks and extend the requisite support to him.
The group intoned that the stakeholders meeting which attracted topnotch leaders of the party and an array of personalities confer acceptability and a stamp of credibility on the affirmation exercise.
“To return the party footing of political vibrancy, we call on the party leadership in the state to urgently institute a process to reconcile all political actors and stakeholders, and bring them into one-fold with a new vision that would drive the dream of APC and position the party to take over power, come 2023.
ADF also used the opportunity to express gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for his exceptional and elegant performance across different sectors with the utmost desire to reposition the nation for optimal productivity.
In the same vein, they applauded Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu for his political dexterity and tremendous role as the APC National Leader, which has guaranteed the party stability both at the national and different states of the nation.
The group added: “We also commend in a special way, Senator Godswill Akpabio for his giant strides to economically, politically and socially stabilise the entire region of the Niger Delta as the Minister of the Niger Delta affairs. Sequel to these superfluous records of achievements, ADF credits a vote of confidence to the troika.”.
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