The Akwa Ibom State Caretaker Committee Chairman of APC, Dr. Ita Udosen says former Governor of the State, and Minister of Nigeria-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio is not the leader of the party in the state.
He also said that the recalcitrance of APC leaders led to the party’s failure to reach a consensus arrangement.
Udosen said it was very wrong for Akpabio to be used as the indices to measure the legitimacy of APC activities in Akwa Ibom.
Featuring on a live radio programme on Planet FM, Dr. Udosen who was speaking on the outcome of the just concluded state Congress of the party, said Akpabio came into the party and became a Minister through the platform of the APC.
“His Excellency, Godswill Obot Akpabio should not be the yardstick for APC in Akwa Ibom. No body should use the Minister to establish the validity of APC in Akwa Ibom. He became a Minister at the instance of the of the APC. We should not use him as a yardstick”.
Dr. Ita Udosen who listed former Minister of Petroleum, Atuekong Don Etiebet as Chairman of APC Caucus in the State, described the just concluded State congress of party as peaceful.
He however disclosed that the party had almost resorted to the consensus approach, but regretted that some leaders of the party in the state became recalcitrant when he tried to talk to them to see reason for a consensus agreement.
“We didn’t take the consensus approach. Our leaders were very recalcitrant when we tried to talk to them about taking that approach of a consensus”.
The Caretaker Party Chairman dismissed claims that he was doing the biddings of the National Secretary of the Party, Senator John James Udoedehe, saying he has been running affairs of the party without any interference from any quarters.
Defending the National Scribe of the party, Dr. Udosen explained that rather than manipulating the process as he’s being accused, the Senator remained neutral through out ward and State congress exercise, noting; “Senator Udoedehe had the right if he had wanted to sit back at Abuja and write the list, but he remained very neural up to ward and State congress. He never interfered in what the state Chairman is doing”.
On why the National Secretary of the party, Senator Udoedehe could not attend the congress in the state, Udosen said he could not make it, since he had to take care of NationaI issues concerning the party in Abuja.
Global Pilot Newspaper learnt the outcome of the congress in the state clearly shows that the APC headquarters may have ignored Akpabio, Ita Enang’s faction of the party which allegedly held parallel Congress.
The party is insisting that there was no parallel Congress in Akwa Ibom as being reported in some quarters. The party has recognized Austin Ekanem as the duly elected state Chairman of APC in Akwa Ibom.
The party maintains that there was no parallel Congress of the party in Akwa Ibom State in particular and Nigeria generally.
The clarification was made by the National Organising Secretary of the party, Prof Ussiju Medana, while fielding questions on Channels Television early morning show, Politics Today in Abuja.
The party described those claiming that there were parallel congress in the state as rumour mongers raising false alarm with intent of causing confusion in the party, urging members of the public to ignore them.
Also, the National Secretary of the party, Senator John James Udoedehe has dismissed claims of Parallel Congresses across the country vowing that the party will not hesitate to deal with imposters accordingly.
Recall that the recently concluded Congresses of the opposition Party in the state produced 3 factions laying claim to the state exco of the party.
It was learnt that the three factional exco include those loyal to former Governor of the state and Minister of Nigeria-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the one loyal to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang and Udoedehe faction.
Akpabio’s faction has Mr. Stephen Ntukekpo as State Chairman , with Iniobong John as Publicity Secretary, while Ita Enang’s faction produced, Douglas Pepple as State Chairman and Uduakabasi Ikpatt as Publicity Secretary.
The faction believed to be loyal to the National Caretaker Secretary of the party, Senator Udoedehe, has Austin Ekanem as State Chairman, while Solomon Johnny is the Publicity Secretary.
Reacting to the outcome of the congress, the State Caretaker Committee Chairman of the party, Dr. Ita Udosen dismissed parallel congresses held by some elements as “mere naming ceremonies”, and called on security agencies to deal with any party member circulating fake names.
“The party therefore warns, that members who attempt to circulate forged list of party organs and those found impersonating to confuse the public will find it hot in the hands of security agents this time. The party directs all members to accord the newly elected State officers the due respect.”
“I wish to bring to the notice of all APC members and the general public the official results of state congress Elections conducted through open secret balloting on Saturday, October 16, 2021, at Sheergrace Arena, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State as announced by the 7-man State Congress Committee from Abuja who conducted the exercise”.
Dr. Udosen added that “the attendance cuts across all the major shades of opinion in our party and there was no one left in doubt as regard the authenticity of the congress which was very peaceful”.
He further expressed gratitude and commended the conduct of party members during the exercise, urging contestants with complaints to approach the appeal panel that will be delegated by the national secretariat.
“The party is deeply grateful to the 7-man State Congress Committee led by Yusuf Sheriff Banki, the INEC, the Security Agencies, Media, APC stakeholders and the delegates for such huge successes. The party implores any member who has anything against the conduct of the Party Congresses to get ready to present it before the 5-man State Congress Appeal Committee that will be set up very soon”.
However, the Minister, Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, Senator Godswill Akpabio, attended factional congresses of APC in the State, held at different venues, where he preached peace and unity among party members. He had stressed the need for the party to the united in order to wrestle power from the PDP.
Notable APC stalwarts at the congress included Atuekong Don Etiebet, Minister of Nier Delta Affairs, HE Godswill Akpabio, HE Group Captain Sam Ewang, Mr. Umana Okon Umana, Senator Ita Enang, Sir Bassey Dan-Abia, Archbishop Samuel Akpan, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Akpan, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukoette, Otuekong Sunny Jackson Udoh, DIG Udom Ekpoudom, Chief Godwin Afangideh, Chief Engr. Benedict Ukpong, Dr. Bassey Antai, Dr. Edet Atti, Rt. Hon Nse Ntuen, Barr. Ibanga Akpabio, Hon. Engr. Akanimo Edet, Dr. Amadu Attai, Hon. Loveday Ekuyok, Rt. Hon. Bassey Etim, Prof. Etok Ekanem, Prince Mandu Ekpo, Engr Mfon Akpan Eyen, Dr. Ndem Andem, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, Barr. Edet Eyo Bassey, Hon Inibehe Otoho, Prof Ibia Ibia, Justice Andrew Okon, Justice Ekerette Ebieye among other important party dignitaries that participated in the congress.
For there to be a Parallel Congress known to the party,the National Organising Secretary, Professor Ussiju Medaner explained that the Seven-Man Committee sent by the National office of the party to conduct congress in a state must be divided holding congresses at different locations. He said that is the only time one can say there was a parallel Congress in the state which has such scenario. He said that “…if all the seven man committee were in the same venue conducting party congress, any other function outside the venue has nothing to do with APC congress”.
Recall that Alhaji Banki Sheriff was dispatched by the party headquarters in Abuja to conduct State congress in Akwa Ibom State to elect new State officers of the party. He led other members of the seven man Congress Committee received by Caretaker Chairman Dr Ita Udosen and held a pre congress briefing at the party secretariat on Friday detailing how the congress will be conducted assuring stakeholders the exercise will be free and fair. The committee held the Congress at Sheer Grace Event Centre, Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State Capital the following day, Saturday, 16th October 2021.