By Chioma Onuegbu
UYO — A battle of wits has again arisen in the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, (APC) following insinuations of moves to tamper with the statutory delegates list.
Supporters of Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, one of the governorship aspirants have raised the alarm that the names of ward and local government executives as first compiled in 2014 and ratified some few months ago were substituted with new names in some publications made recently in some local newspapers.
It could be recalled that stakeholders of the party had during the reconciliation exercise preceding the recent congresses unanimously agreed to use the old 2014 list in the ward and chapter executives. It was also agreed to maintain the state executive with only the chairman and secretary being substituted.
However, the allegation that names were being substituted has helped to exacerbate the tension in the party that was already swelling on account of the governorship aspirations of Akpanudoedehe and Niger Delta Development Commission managing director, Mr. Nsima Ekere.
Supporters of both camps have repeatedly gone on social media to attack one another.
However, a party source revealed that the idea of using the 2014 structure did not sit well with some prominent members of the party because it was put in place by Senator Akpanudoedehe.
A member of the party who simply identified himself as Mr. Wisdom said, “The issue surrounding the 2014 list is the biggest problem in the party as we speak. Supporters of Senator Akpanudoedehe are alleging that some people changed the authentic 2014 list of names of ward and chapter executives of the party with fresh names.
“Some of Akpanudodehe’s supporters have threatened to dump the APC if the issue was not resolved before the primaries. Right now nobody knows who is responsible for the controversial fake list.
“And you know that whoever controls the structure stands a better chance of picking the party ticket, that is why it is a big issue now. I hope you are also aware that Asuquo Okpo is out of the race and has collapsed his political structure for Akpanudoedehe.
“And we are hearing that Godswill Akpabio is supporting Nsima Ekere, so it is not going to be an easy battle this time around. If Akpabio is behind Ekere, you know what it means. It is going to be quite intriguing.”