By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has described as null and void the purported proclamation of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, as leader of the party, pointing out that by law, the state chairman is the head of the party caucus in the state.
A communique from the state chapter of the party said the decision of the party was taken at its second Stakeholders Meeting at the weekend in Uyo to review the state of affairs of the party in the first quarter of the year and to also report the achievements and challenges facing the party in the State.
The chapter commended the State Caretaker Committee Chairman, Ita Udosen, MD and the entire State Executive Committee (SEC) of the party for repositioning the party in the State through taking concrete administrative decisions and for the successes and achievements it has attained in the past one year, even as they also renewed their confidence on the State party leadership and urged them to keep it up.
It further noted with satisfaction the salient job done by the 7-man Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee in Akwa Ibom State under the leadership of Sen. Abubakar Girei for undertaking a rancour-free, peaceful and successful membership registration exercise in the State.
The communique said stakeholders “endorsed 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 unauthorised and illegal Stakeholders meeting of Sunday, March 28, 2021.
“That the Party hereby reminds every member and the general public that the State Chairman (or Caretaker Chairman as applicable here) is the Chairman of the State Caucus as provided for in Article 12.9 Sub (i) of the party Constitution (October 2014 As Amended) and remains the Party Leader in the State until further notice.
“That the Party should urge every Stakeholder in the State, especially those in appointive positions to continue to support the party for the smooth running of party administration in the State.
“That the Party hereby assures stakeholders, party faithful and the general public that there is no division in APC, Akwa Ibom Chapter and therefore enjoins every Stakeholder and party faithful to operate within the confines of the party Constitution and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the course of their engagements in whatever party or political activity.”
Those who attended the meeting and signed the communique were the National Secretary of the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe; Akwa Ibom APC Caretaker State Chairman, Dr. Ita Udosen; Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Umana Okon Umana; SSA to the President, Sen. Ita Enang; Dr. Amadu Atai; Member, South South APC Reconciliation Committee, Obong Sunny Jackson; Archbishop Samuel Akpan; Chief Godwin Afangideh and Sam Ewang.
Other attendees were: Sir Ibanga Akpabio; Chief Otu Ita Toyo; Rt. Hon. Nse Ntuen; Dora Ebong; Mr. Sonny Ayang; Hon. Uwem Udoma; DIG Ekpoudom (rtd.); Effiong Akwa; Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukoete; Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong; Mr. Austin Ekanem; Barr. Effiong Abia; All members of Akwa Ibom APC State Executive Committee; among many other stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the party commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the successes his administration has recorded so far and for his unrelenting effort at tackling corruption, economic and security challenges in the country, saying ‘The Stakeholders unanimously passed a vote of Confidence on the President and Commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, commending his focused and purposeful leadership.”