By Chioma Onuegbu
A stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Comrade Athanasius Okon has blamed the different factions in the party on the absence of a leader in the state.
Okon made the assertion yesterday in Uyo while reacting to fresh controversy in the party over a stakeholders meeting convened by Chieftain of the party, group Captain Sam Ewang (retd) on March 28, 2021, which saw the formal endorsement of Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio as leader of the party.
He revealed that the poor outing recorded by APC in the state since 2014 as a result of the lingering battle among the key stakeholders over who leads APC in Akwa Ibom that factionalized the party into more than two groups.
He stressed that it was the need to avert a reoccurrence in 2023 that prompted Sam Ewang to ask Godswill Akpabio to come back to the state and take up the responsibility which statutorily fell on him, as the state governor belongs to opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“It is unfortunate that the party is factionalized into different groups because there is no Leadership. So what we are saying is let’s have a leader, that is the only way that members of this party can come together.
“And Sam Ewang has observed and complained continuously to all the stakeholders, that all of them must come together; that if they don’t come together the APC will not win election in 2023. And apart from that, that if by 2023 the party does not take over government in this state, the party is going to be dead.
” Ewang promised to do anything to ensure that this party positioned itself well ahead of 2023. And I believe that he has something on his mind I cannot confirm it now. We know him. He is determined, not minding the abuses.
“But iIt is unfortunate when nobody thinks outside the box. So by the grace of God we are trying to ensure that these people that are not willing to think outside the box would submit themselves to the one who will think for them.
And this is the reason why Godswill Akpabio has been formally endorsed as the leader”.
Okon recalled that when Sam Ewang after meeting with Akpabio in Abuja, he had also contacted all the key Stakeholders, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, Umana Umana, and Ita Enang informing them about the Stakeholders meeting and endorsement Akpabio as party leader.
He said though the Stakeholders had taken excuses that they would be busy due to official engagement, that they all welcomed the development and wished they had time to attend.
“So on this basis, Sam Ewang now told the state Chairman of APC Dr Ita Udosen in my presence to book for a venue for the meeting and he did and even got a rebate for the venue. And when he now went back, the master now told him that that was not supposed to be so.
,”Now they have gone berserk and talking from both sides of their mouth, it is very very unfortunate. And of course we cannot continue like this. We need a leader in the party, and that that leader is either the governor or whoever is next to the governor. And there was no other person than Godswill Akpabio.
“So Ewang didn’t impose Akpabio on the people, it was an agreed thing. I heard that they wrote a letter to summon him, but during my interaction with him till this moment we speak, he said he has not seen any letter.
He did not violate anything in the Constitution.
“He will be very ready to respond to their letter if it eventually comes. If the letter is stupid as it seems, he will not honour it, but if it is sensible he will be prepared to honour it, but I am not part of it”, Okon said