Signs of cracks in the Akwa Ibom chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeared yesterday when some stakeholders in the state petitioned the party’s Nationak Chairman, Dr. Ahmadu Mu’azu, alleging that the state governor, Barr. Godswill Akpabio, had hijacked the PDP machineries in the state.
The stakeholders in the petition accused the governor of directing the affairs in Akwa Ibom PDP using his family members and cronies as party officials in order to exclude the founding fathers and a horde of loyal members from the PDP affairs.
Allegations against Akpabio are contained in a petition filed by 60 elders of the party before the National Secretariat of PDP, President Goodluck Jonathan and the Board of Trustees of PDP.
Those who signed the petition include Otuekong Sunny Jackson, party elder and former legislator, Senator Alloysius Etuk, Ambassador Assam Assam (SAN), Engr Chris Ekpenyong, former Deputy Governor, Obong Rita Akpan, former Minister and Barrister Peter Linus Umoh, former Speaker Akwa Ibom state Assembly.
Others are Chief Nelson Effiong, former Speaker, Hon Bernard Udoh former member of the House of Reps, Hon Ekperikpe Ekpo former Reps, Hon Tony Esu former Reps, Hon Uwem Udoma, former Deputy Speaker, Hon Chief Soni Udom former Reps and Hon Barrister Uwem Ekanem, former House Leader, Hon Emmanuel Obot, former Reps and others.
The stakeholders told the PDP national officers that the party runs the risk of experiencing a disastrous outing in the state at the 2015 general elections should the leadership fail to resolve the problem of factionalisation caused by the state governor in the party.
The petition read, “The Governor personalized the party by withdrawing one of his former Commissioners and friend Mr. Paul Ekpo from the state Executive Cabinet and made him the State Party Chairman.
“Similarly, he hand-picked his junior brother Barr. Ibanga Akpabio as the State Party Secretary and also made his Special Assistant on Youth Mobilization Mr. Emmanuel Ekpenyong as the State Youth Leader. The rest of the so-called Party Officers are either his cronies or relatives.
“Expectedly, the State Party Exco does only the Governor’s bidding and acts only at his whims. Since its inception in 2012, the State Executive Committee or Working Committee of the party has not met as required by the party constitution.
“The hand-picked party chairman features merely as figure head while the party is being run by the Governor’s brothers. Crucial party matters are being handled by either Emem Akpabio or Ibanga Akpabio or Nsetip Akpabio or Prince Akpabio and whenever party meetings are desirable, they are held in the private residences of the said brothers of Governor Akpabio.