By Harris Emmanuel
The internal crisis rocking the Akwa Ibom State chapter of All Progressive Congress ( APC) has deepened as the party faithful allegedly loyal to Senator John Akpan Udoedehe tackled Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio over the leadership ahead of 2023.
The party at a meeting at the weekend dismissed the leadership status accorded Akpabio during one of the stakeholders meeting held last month in the state, convened by a chieftain, Sam Ewang , a former military administrator.
Key officials of the party, including Senator Akpabio, Obong Nsima Ekere, Sam Ewang, among others reportedly shunned the weekend parley where the leadership status was squashed.
Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, in a swift response however stated that he has no plan to foist a gubernatorial candidate on the party as being insinuated in the political circle in the state.
Vanguard observed that many factional members loyal to Senator Udoedehe stayed away from the weekend launch of Akwa Ibom Democratic Forum (ADF), a political pressure group floated by Akpabio.
APC Care Taker Committee Chairman Ita Udosen, a medical doctor had declared the emergence of Akpabio null and void and not binding on the party.
Recall that the party was poised to win the 2019 governorship election but bad blood, infighting, insincerity and disunity put it in disarray and robbed it of victory.
Vanguard gathered that the party would conduct party congresses in the next three months and this is coming many months after the demise of its chairman, Ini Okopido.
” The current party structure in the State is under a Caretaker arrangement with less than three months or so to go. For now, the party at the National level has no BoT nor Caucus. In the same vein, the party at the State is yet to setup its Caucus as well”, the caretaker chairman stated
He added, “The State Executive Committee (SEC) of the party therefore, appeals to all our leaders to sheath their swords on this issue until the Congresses are conducted for a substantive structure of the party to take over.
“The SEC of the party wishes to reaffirm its earlier stand regarding the purported leadership declaration of March 28, 2021 as a nullity and of no effect till such a time the State party Caucus will be constituted, inaugurated and would meet with SEC to decide on the Leadership of the party in the State.
“This will preferably take place after the Congresses and will convey legitimacy on whosoever will emerge.”
In an eight-point communiqué issued and adopted at the end of the stakeholders, meeting added, “That the stakeholders endorse the decision of the State Executive Committee (SEC) to declare as a nullity the unilateral proclamation and announcement of Sen. Godswill Akpabio as the State Party Leader of APC in gross violation of the Party’s Constitution in the unauthorized and illegal Stakeholders meeting of Sunday, March 28, 2021.”