Fresh Trouble Hits Akpabio
Information reaching Ibom Focus says that Fresh Trouble Hits Akpabio
The APC does not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State.
Ita Enang, a former senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, has said that Godswill Akpabio had informed some chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the party would not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State in the 2023 elections.
The APC does not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Mr Akpabio, an APC chieftain, is a former minister of Niger Delta Affairs. He is also a former governor of Akwa Ibom.
Mr Enang said this in an exclusive interview with PREMIUM TIMES in July, in Uyo.
“The truth is that he (Akpabio) had told people on 26 March at Eagle Square (Abuja) during a convention to elect new leadership of the party that Akwa Ibom will not have a (governorship) candidate in the (2023) election.
“So he had already planned this to create a situation where there will be no other person coming up either as candidate or senator or anything, so that at every time they want to talk about APC in the state, he will be the biggest person, having been a former governor,” Mr Enang, a former senator, said.
The former senator said the Akwa Ibom delegates who attended the March convention could not vote because of the confusion over who was the APC chairman in the state between Stephen Ntukekpo and Austin Ekanem.
Mr Ntukekpo, backed by Mr Akpabio, used forged documents to win a court judgement which ousted Mr Ekanem, who was elected the chairman of the APC in Akwa Ibom.
The police headquarters in Abuja have confirmed that Mr Ntukekpo presented forged documents to the court, and have, therefore, recommended that he should be charged for forgery and impersonation.
Mr Enang mentioned a chieftain of the APC whom he said was present when Mr Akpabio allegedly said the party would not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom.
When contacted the APC chieftain, he said he could not recollect the specific incident Mr Enang was referring to. But he, however, said that he had heard Mr Akpabio say it many times that the APC would rather not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom, than for John Akpanudoedehe, a former interim national secretary of the APC, to get the party ticket.
“It is his (Akpabio) way of doing things,” said the APC chieftain, who did not want his name mentioned in the report because of the controversy around the APC crisis in Akwa Ibom.
“Look at the confusion, the crisis, the shame he has brought to the APC in the state, and yet he is boasting that he will deliver Akwa Ibom for Tinubu (the APC presidential candidate). Deliver which Akwa Ibom? After destroying (the) APC in the state?” he added.
‘Akpabio not in control of my destiny’ asked Mr Akpanudoedehe if what was said about Mr Akpabio was true.
“Akpabio has blackmailed me. He has said all sorts of things behind my back. If you check his antecedents, he brings down people. If he had said that, that is why I left the APC for him,” Mr Akpanudoedehe responded.
“He is not in control of my destiny. The God that used me to make him governor, no matter what he thinks against me, he will not succeed,” he added.
Mr Akpanudoedehe defected from the APC to the New Nigeria Peoples Party in June after a protracted political battle between him and Mr Akpabio over the control of the APC structure in Akwa Ibom, after a faction loyal to Mr Akpabio handed the governorship ticket to Akanimo Udofia, an entrepreneur who joined the APC a few days to the governorship primary.
INEC has refused to recognise Mr Udofia as the APC governorship candidate because the commission did not monitor the primary that produced him as required by the law.
Mr Akpabio too has failed to secure INEC’s recognition as the APC senatorial candidate in Akwa Ibom for the same reason.
Messrs Udofia and Akpabio are in court over their political ambition.
When contacted Jackson Udom, a media aide to Mr Akpabio, he challenged Mr Enang to provide evidence that the former minister made the remarks about the APC not going to have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom.
“We won’t react to issues like that. We don’t react to hearsay,” Mr Udom said.
Asked him if Mr Akpabio was not worried that APC does not have a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom.
“Are you aware that the case is in court?
“INEC has their own position. INEC is also subject to the law court. INEC does not have the final say, it is the court,” he said.