By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
A socio-political group in Akwa Ibom State code named Akwa Democratic Forum (ADF) has linked the crisis in the state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) to the activities of fifth columnist
ADF in a statement in Uyo on Wednesday, warned of immediate disintegration of the Party if the activities of the fifth columnists remain unchecked.
According to the group, the state chapter of APC is facing real and present danger of disintegration which needed to be ripped in the bud.
It would be recalled that APC interim administration of Dr Ita Udosen had during a stakeholders’ meeting of April 11, 2021 in Uyo declared the March 28, 2021 stakeholders’ meeting organised by Group Capt Sam Enwang Retd. in which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio was reaffirmed the Leader of the Party, null and void.
ADF in the statement signed by its Director General, Messrs Ekperikpe Ekpo and Secretary General, Tony Usoro stated that except conscious efforts are made now to address the problem, APC may never rise from the doldrums.
“ADF wishes to Allege without equivocation that there are a good number of fifth columnist in the APC whose intents are to play the insider role of destroying the party and unless there is a conscious effort to rid the Party of these saboteurs and rein in amenable ones, APC may never rise from this doldrum and prostrate state to win elect in Akwa Ibom State”, it stated.
The group said the genesis of the current drama in APC in the State is a sad reminder of the serial sabotage that pervaded the Party as a norm in 2019 and led to its recording the avoidable loss of elections in the State notwithstanding the advantages it has over the ruling Peoples Democracy Party.
ADF recalled, “The matter that has generated the lingering furore is laughable. Sometime in 2018, Senator Godswill Akpabio who decided to ‘move’ to APC invested his passion and zeal to change the fortunes of the party. He upped the ante for the party from a paltry 5 percent voting strength for APC in 2015 to more than 31 percent in 2019 despite the insider sabotage that was prevalent. But preceding the above was the proclamation by the then National Chairman of APC on behalf of the NWC that Akpabio is the leader of the party in the state. Non of them was disgruntled or controverted the proclamation by the then National Chairman of the Party.
“When Akpabio pulled an uncommon feat by taking stakeholders of the party in the State to the Villa to meet Mr President, they hailed and celebrated him as their leader. What has changed since then?” they asked rhetorically.
ADF said the indiscretion and open hate that has been patently displayed against Senator Akpabio by some stakeholders, leading to a complete loss of focus by the acting State Chairman and members of his Caretaker Committee is sad and regrettable.
“Since its advent on December 11, 2020, the APC caretaker Committee has been mired in crisis of confidence with the Chairman openly taking sides instead of investing efforts in building the party. This kind of attitude constitutes a failure of leadership and it is detrimental in every ramification to the party.
“As allies, we frown at any action that puts our party in peril and urge those steering the affairs of the party to demonstrate personal moral ardour that can overcome inducement”.
The Group maintained that the argument on the legality and competence of Group Captain Sam Enwang to convoke a meeting of stakeholders as a National Caucus member and the declaration of that meeting of March 28tg and its outcome as illegitimate are actions that suggest that the entire party structure has been compromised, induced and turned into an appendage of a particular individual.
“The other Stakeholders’ Meeting of April 11, 2021 had all the trappings of a dubious ploy to take the wind out of the sail of the previous meeting of March 28. And to give devious vent to that intention, they selected people that support only specific fixations to speak, ignoring others including the convener of the previous meeting who was courageous enough to attend the meeting perhaps to be given opportunity to state his case”.
“We wish to restate that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, a former two term governor, a former Senate Minority Leader and the highest political office holder remains the only confirmed and affirmed leader of APC in Akwa Ibom State.
ADF wishes to state that going by convention and standard practice, the position of leader of the party is never conceded to the party chairman. The chairman remains the number One-Party Man in the State but not the party leader which is the nomenclature ascribed to governor in a state where the party has the governor or the highest political office holder where it does not have a Governor”.
The Group assured the party of its support but insist that those manning the affairs party must not subordinate it to the apron string of individuals orsacrifice democratic ethos at the detriment of building enduring democratic structure that would deliver good governance through dependable leadership.