The Akwa Ibom State All Progressives Congress, APC, and an elders group in the party, Ibom Integrity & Servant Leadership Culture Initiative, are at each other’s jugular over ministerial appointment for immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
While the group led by Dr Asuquo Edidem Etim, Executive Vice President, is asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to nominate Akpabio for a ministerial appointment because doing so would hurt his next level agenda, the State Working Committee, SWC of the APC thinks otherwise.
In a statement by Nkereuwem Enyongekere, publicity secretary, the APC described the elders’ group as faceless and has nothing to with the party, which he said has the power of recommending people for appointment.
Urging President Buhari to ignore the elders’ advice, the publicity scribe said: ”We hereby confirm that the self acclaimed leader of the group, Dr Asuquo Edidem Etim is a disclaimer and not APC member and we have no such group in our APC groups’ Registration Register in Akwa Ibom State.
“And the Party condemns in totality, the disparaging campaign against our very endearing son, Sen. Godswill Akpabio as evil fireworks meant to generate bad blood and disaffection in our party in this trying time.”
However, the group, which gave the advice last week, yesterday, restated its position. It cited Akpabio’s alleged impunity while serving as governor, poor performance as Senate minority leader and inability to improve the electoral fortunes of APC in Akwa Ibom after his defection, in the 2019 polls, to justify its stand.
The Akwa Ibom elders, who said they believe in President Buhari’s leadership philosophy that is rooted in integrity, transparency and servant leadership, urged him to avoid the mistake of his first term by not appointing integrity-deficient individuals as ministers. He needs credible hands to drive his next level agenda, they said.
“Mr. President, this second mandate affords you the opportunity to select your ministers in a manner that will ensure that they do not become liabilities to your government or dent your impeccable image. Characters with known corruption allegations or propensity for pettiness, mischief, treachery, profligacy and vendetta, should be avoided,” they said.
Claiming that Akpabio could be toxic to the next level project, they said: “The poor showing of APC in Akwa Ibom state in the last general election was to a large extent as a result of the destabilizing and authoritarian tendencies of Senator Akpabio, who only believes that it’s either his way or nobody’s. Many had thought that his joining APC would bring cool breeze of good fortunes to the party in the state, but rather his high-handed nature and disrespect for internal democracy in the party and the will of the people to chose their leaders, became a raging storm that uprooted the recognized structures of the party right from the grassroots, as he imposed party leaders from the wards and even unit levels. Leaving many party men and women very bruised, trampled and disgruntled.
This sadly affected the chances of our governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere.
“Mr. President, just as we, the masses of Nigeria openly accepted you as our leader by this renewed mandate, the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial zone, where Akpabio won in only two of its 10 local Governments in the just concluded elections, in their wisdom, considering what they know about their son, have instructively, in the last election, openly rejected Akpabio as their representative at the federal level. So, we implore you, our dear leader, to be circumspect in considering him as minister in your government, so as not to appear insensitive to the people and counterproductive security wise, in the state, by allowing him acquire a fresh political power from the back door of ministerial appointment, which we fear he may use with vengeance against us, his people and the state.”
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