*Insists Stakeholders Meeting a nullity
All Progressives Congress, APC, Akwa Ibom State Chapter on Tuesday replied Group Captain Sam Ewang whose stakeholders meeting proclaimed Chief Godswill Akpabio, former governor of the State as Leader of the party on Sunday in a meeting scantily attended by supporters of the former Senate Minority leader in Uyo.
Arising from a State Executive Meeting of the party at the State party office located along Ikot Ekpene road, Uyo the State Capital, State Chairman of the party, Dr Ita Udosen said Group Captain Sam Ewang lacks the powers to convene a stakeholders meeting of the party and as such resolutions reached at the meeting which proclamed Chief Godswill Akpabio as leader of the party were illegal and of no effect on the party whatsoever.
Recall that on Sunday, Group Captain Sam Ewang had held a meeting he said was stakeholders meeting of the APC in Akwa Ibom State. The meeting which was boycotted by party organs across all levels in the state had declared Chief Godswill Akpabio as leader of the party. Ewang said he acted because there was division in the party.
But briefing newsmen in Uyo on Tuesday, Dr Udosen who was flanked by other members of the state working Committee of the party said there is no division in the party as insinuated by Ewang and that only duly constituted party executive at all levels were empowered by the Constitution of the party to organise any party meeting and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
The Chairman was silent over any possible sanctions against Organisers of the meeting. He however told the Press that the party will send invitation to Sam Ewang to apear before the party on the matter. A disciplinary action in APC is a tidious exercise and starts with an invitation by the party at the level the action is to be taken.
Ita Udosen Said: “…Group Captain Sam Ewang does not have the powers to call a stakeholders meeting of APC and where he attempts to do it, whatever resolutions reached at the end of such meeting is void, a nullity. The general public and the party should ignore it and continue to support the party.
“The party is united, I want to let the general public to get that information. It is not true that these two leaders have not been invited to Stakeholders meeting of the party. The truth is that they chose to ignore those invitations and sometimes, they have send apologies for not attending the meetings. If they have sent apologies and their apologies read to other stakeholders at the meeting, how can they now claim exclusion? These leaders were only looking for excuses to plant an illegality on the party. There is no provision in APC Constitution for one to be called a Party Leader. Reports of such appointment by one who has no such powers is a nullity and an affront on the party Constitution which the party will address.
Speaking on the just concluded registration and revalidation exercise of the party, Dr Ita Udosen said he was impressed at the public acceptance shown the ruling broom party by Akwa Ibomites. He said more members of the public have registered in the party making it strong and very close to her goal of taking over power in 2023. He said: “The party is united and getting stronger by the day. Just by way of information, the party has recorded about 706,000 party members so far in Akwa Ibom State. By the time we are done with the sorting of party registration and revalidation which just ended, it is clear we may reach an 800,000 membership strength in Akwa Ibom State. This is enough membership capacity to record victory in 2023 elections in Akwa Ibom State. We thank our brothers and sisters who have confidence in our ability as a party to drive the much needed change process in our state.
“I want to say that every party member must resolve to help the party succeed by shunning agents of disunity who are beginning to show their face in our party affairs. The symbol of our party is broom and signifies unity. We must come together and be united and focused on the goal of winning I’m 2023”, he said.
Who becomes party leader of APC in Akwa Ibom State became an issue in the Press during the week. In August 2018 when Chief Godswill Akpabio defected to the APC, Adams Oshiomohle announced him Leader of the party, a decision the press gathered, was roundly rejected by party stakeholder who converged at Otuekong Don Etiebets residence to review the decision. They said Adam Oshiomohle acted in error and without consultation with them. The meeting resolved to retain Don Etiebet as leader of the party in Akwa Ibom State.
Chief Godswill Akpabio seems not been comfortable with the arrangements. After his appointment as Minister, he had been scheming to take over the “illegal non-existent” office as a measure to controlling critical stakeholders of the party. He has been resisted especially given his refusal to reconcile and work with these critical stakeholders, APC sources told the Press. The source added that “As a Minister, Akpabio has not carried these stakeholders along. He excluded them in all the appointments in boards and the NDDC. He does not pick calls from these elders and this in particular has made matters the way they are for the minister- a former governor and Minister singing a solo tune in his party in his own state.”
We learnt that at some point before the demise of Mr Ini Okopidos as State party Chairman, the Caucus which Etiebet chaired was dissolved and it is yet to be constituted being that it has not been constituted yet at the national level. If the national is yet to inaugurate the BoT and the caucus, the party in Akwa Ibom State yesterday said they cannot go ahead to set such a body as it will be an aberation on the party. However, if such a caucus is to be inaugurated, a peep into the Constitution of APC shows it will be chaired by the State Chairman of the party who is Dr Ita Udosen. APC is currently reviewing her Constitution. With the ongoing debate, this may change or an adjustment made to it.