Ewang: Udoedehe causing disunity, opposition against Akpabio

April 16, 2021
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The National Caretaker Secretary of the All Progressives Congress(APC), Senator John Udoedehe, has been blamed for the leadership crisis in the Akwa Ibom state chapter of the party.

A chieftain of the party and   military administrator of Rivers and Ogun states, Group Captain Sam Ewang (retd), said Udoedehe was using his position to hijack the  party structure  in Akwa Ibom State to oil his 2023 political aspiration.

Ewang  also accused  the  caretaker secretary of  deliberately creating opposition against Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio as the leader of the APC   in the state  in order to hijack the party’s structure.

Ewang, who spoke with The Nation in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital yesterday, had last month convened a stakeholders meeting during which Akpabio was declared leader of the state APC.

But the party, at another  meeting convened by its caretaker chairman in the state, Dr. Ita Udosen, last Sunday rejected Akpabio as its leader and summoned Ewang to appear before it.

However, Ewang argued that since  Akpabio  is   the party’s highest political officer holder in the state, he   should automatically and by convention assume the leadership of the party.

He recalled that in 2018 , the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the immediate past National Chairman, Adams Oshiomole,  had declared Akpabio  the APC  leader in the state.

Ewang urged President Muhammadu Buhari and elders of the party at the centre to step  into leadership  crisis   by categorically coming clear on who the leader of the party in the state is.

His words, ”I took that action because we all agreed that the stakeholders meeting should hold. Before I went to Akpabio, I had exhausted myself struggling to get Udodehe, Umana Umana, Ita Enang and the rest of the elders to come together to form a formidable force to face the PDP(Peoples Democratic Party) and I recognised that that was important.

“’I had done that for six months and even within Uyo senatorial district. I discovered that they were not ready. I also discovered that our people were interested in killing their brothers and ensuring that they stay in appointments or get new appointments and not caring about winning elections.

”I also discovered that they had gone into an arrangement with their master in Rivers State who is interested in becoming the president of Nigeria come 2023 and even when he doesn’t become he will remain in government and also if they don’t win elections here they will be given appointments.

”Udoedehe is the one causing problems in the party. But that is not all. When Akpabio was inducted into the party at Ikot Ekpene stadium His Excellency Asiwaju Tinubu went to the podium and announced Akpabio as the leader of the party in the state.   Oshiomole also went to the podium and announced the same Akpabio as the leader of the party.

”I didn’t make Akpabio leader of the party. His position is statutory. I didn’t make Akpabio minister. Party leadership is not obtainable in the constitution but conventionally.  Buhari is the leader of the party at the national level and state governors are the leaders in the states. In a state where the party does not have a governor, it is an ex-governor or somebody who has the highest appointment at the federal  level  that should be the leader of the party.”

He warned that the APC would be dead in the state if its leaders fail to close ranks and accept  Akpabio as their leader to take over power from the PDP in 2023.

But the   media aide to Udoedehe, Mr. Ata Etuk, denied knowledge of  the involvement of his boss in any leadership crisis in the state chapter of the APC .

Etuk said that the APC  caretaker secretary was too busy with the national assignment of bringing genuine reconciliation among aggrieved members of the party.

He said: ”The APC national caretaker secretary, Senator Udoedehe, is not aware of the crisis in the Akwa Ibom chapter of the party.

”He is on a national assignment for the party and does not have the time to dabble into the affairs of the state chapter of the party.”

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