The All Progressives Congress, Akwa Ibom State chapter, has suspended 17 local government caretaker chairmen of the party and two other members over alleged anti-party activities.
The State Caretaker Chairman of the party, Dr Ita Udosen announced this on Tuesday in a press briefing in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Dr Udosen condemned the actions of the 17 LG Caretaker Chairmen who took part in a press engagement where a vote of no confidence was passed against the State Working Committee on the 31st of July 2021.
Dr. Udosen said, “The State Working Committee deliberated extensively on the case of 17 LG Caretaker Chairmen who were sponsored to embarrass the party with such a false communique and mandated me by article 21 sub 1-6 and 9 as Chairman to announce their indefinite suspension with immediate effect and ask them to hand over the vehicle and other properties of the party in their possession to their deputies.
“The affected Chairmen are Pst. Edidiong Idio (Etim Ekpo), Mr. Ifiok Udoh (Nsit Atai), Bassey Effiong Udo (Uruan), Hon. Ubong Ekpo (Ikot Abasi), Elder Ubong Inyang (Ikono), Hon. Augustus Amos (Esit Eket), Mr. Akaninyene Ukpanah (Ukanafun), Hon. Nkereuwem Edet (Nsit Ibom), Elder Daniel Ekanem (Ikot Ekpene), Elder Anthony Toby (Oruk Anam), Elder Friday Wilson (Ika) and Emmanuel Samuel Akpan (Ibeno). Others are Hon. Samuel Mbosoh (Onna), Effiong Toby (Oron), Hon. Emmanuel Udoh (Mkpat Enin), Akparawa Daniel Umoh (Ibiono Ibom) and Joseph Sam (Ibesikpo Asutan).
“There were equally two lawyers who assisted the 17 LG Caretaker Chairmen to embarrass the party, one Barr. Mfon Udeme from Ibiono Ibom LGA and Barr. Imo Akpan from Ikono LGA. The party has also decided to suspend them forthwith from the APC pending the decision of the disciplinary committee headed by Eket Senatorial District Chairman, Sir Inyang Abia.”
Speaking on the conduct of the ward congresses, Dr. Udosen said the exercise went on peacefully and wondered why some people tried to be mischievous by claiming otherwise. According to him, “Gone are the days one big man will sit in his parlour and write names of Ward Officers. APC has been returned to the grassroots.
“At the stakeholders meeting held on Friday, we had agreed that because of the monthly statewide sanitation which restricted movements, that we ought to obey the laws of Akwa Ibom State and this is what delayed early circulation of materials. So that protest you saw at the party secretariat by a few misguided youths was purely over the delay in releasing materials and that was done immediately after the sanitation.
But instead of going back to their wards, those youths stayed back probably at the instruction of their sponsors to cause drama and paint a picture that there was trouble in Akwa Ibom APC. That is untrue, APC in Akwa Ibom is a united family and I am the only authentic State Caretaker Chairman of this great party”, he added.
However, in a parallel briefing at the NUJ Secretariat, Information drive, APC stakeholders led by Group Capt. Sam Enwang(Rents) declared the suspension of the chapter chairmen null and void saying that the ward congresses didn’t hold.
Enwang who is a national caucus member of the party said the SWC has no powers to suspend the chapter chairmen, noting that the State Caretaker Chairman and his team had earlier been suspended by chapter chairmen of the party in the State.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Godswill Akpabio, Senator Ita Enang, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma and other eminent stakeholders to rescue the party which is on the verge of disintegration in the State, alleging that the National Secretary of the party, Senator John Udoedehe is fuelling acrimony in the party for his selfish interest.
”We call on President Mohammadu Buhari in his capacity as the leader of the party in Nigeria to call to order the Akwa Ibom APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr Ita Udosen who has been operating as though he is a domestic staff of Senator John Udoedehe.
”We unanimously reject in totality the deployment of Senator John Udoedehe’s man, Mallam Shehu Sheriff from Abuja to superintend over the conduct of ward Congresses in Akwa Ibom State,” he said.
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