By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State chapter, Mr. Aniekan Akpan has said that he doesn’t see his presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu going to pick a Muslim as his runningmate as an issue in the 2023 general election.
Akpan who made the assertion weekend in Uyo, while responding to a question on his position on the APC muslim/muslim ticket, noted that the issue in 2023 was the struggle between the APC and the People’s Democratic Party( PDP).
Akpan who was also among the APC contestants for Eket Federal consituency seat, stressed that he knew immediately Bola Tinubu won the party presidential ticket, that the issue of a Muslim/Muslim ticket would arise.
He explained that there was no reason getting worried about the Vice President position because it is the President that call the shots.
His words: “At the moment we have a Muslim and a Christian, in the person of Pesident Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo, what has changed? Nothing has changed. Let me put it this way. Are we now saying that it would have been worse if Osinbajo is a muslim.
“I think it is about who the President is? That is my personal opinion. I was a Chairman of Council. So if you ask me to come and be Vice in any position I won’t accept, because the constitution does not give the Vice powers to operate. So the key issue in 2023 is the struggle between PDP and APC.
” It is not the issue of Vice president because Vice has nothing to offer. I stand to be corrected. You could see the power of who is at the head, in those days VP Osinbajo was acting as President. He was the one calling the shot at that time. So it depends on who the head is, irrespective of religion”.
The former State Chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), while
responding to a question on what is fueling Akwa Ibom APC the crisis ahead of the 2023 polls, blamed his former boss Senator John James Akpanudoedehe for failing to use his position as a National leader to resolve the crisis in the party.
If you ask me, I will leave the greater blame of the crisis in the Akwa Ibom APC on the doorstep of the past National Secretary Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee, my former boss, Senator J. J Akpanudoedeghe.
“I think the problem started right from when we were having membership re-registration exercise, before the ward congresses now started. Senator J.J Akpanudoedehe was the highest party member of the party.
“I don’t see what it would have taken for him to have called everybody Godswill Akpabio, Umana Umana, Chief Etiebet, and others to discuss how to resolve the crisis in the party, but he did not do it.
” He felt because he had an aspiration, he should be able to take the registration officer even in Godswill Akpabio’s unit. I think that was unfair. So that was the genesis of the problem we have at the moment.
“Put yourself in the position of Godswill Akpabio and others that had eventually gone to Court over the ward congress, will you have sat down and somebody will come and appoint a registration officer in your own unit.
The only saddening thing is that he has gone to Kwankwaso (NNPP), he should have waited”, Akpan explained.