Congress: Majority of A/Ibom stakeholders settled for consensus – APC group

A group of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom, known as Akwa Ibom Progressives Liberation Movement (AIPLM) has commended majority of party stakeholders in the state for adopting consensus arrangement in electing the ward executives in the just concluded nationwide congress of the party.

The APC group led by Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ukoete, in a statement released Sunday in Abuja, also commended officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the security agents for the peaceful exercise.

The statementsaid: “The Akwa Ibom State APC has always had the trappings of a State Chapter not at ease, however the ward Congresses showed otherwise with a great degree of unity by the critical Stakeholders. 

“The Akwa Ibom State APC Ward Congress Committee (WCC) held a well-attended Pre-Congress Stakeholders Meeting in Uyo on Friday,  30th July, 2021 at the Party’s State Secretariat, amongst the attendees were the Caretaker State Working Committee of the Party, led by Dr. Ita Udosen. The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Barr. Bassey Dan-Abia was also in attendance. 

“Our investigations revealed that about 95% of critical Akwa Ibom APC stakeholders including the 2015 Governorship candidate of the party, now Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority (OGFZA), Mr. Umana Umana; the 2019 Governorship candidate and former MD NDDC, Obong Nsima Ekere; Senator Nelson Effiong and the National Secretary of APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe were on the same page and had a consensus arrangement amongst themselves in all the 329 wards of the state. 

“However, only one of the APC Stakeholders did not support the arrangement overwhelming backed by majority of APC leaders in the state.”
While listing other critical stakeholders that were part of the consensus arrangement, the statement added that APC leaders used the unity list to call for direct democratic elections during the congresses. 

“It is instructive that ward congress and delegates nomination forms were adequately supplied and provided to all aspirants for Saturday’s ward congresses, rubbishing fears of hoarding in some quarters. Dateline for the return of completed nomination Forms was even extended to Friday, July 30, 2021 to end by 12 midnight.

“The late commencement of the ward congresses in Akwa Ibom was due to the restrictions of movement (7-10am) occasioned by the monthly sanitation exercise in the state. So logistical arrangements forced the exercise to commence at about 1pm, where materials were distributed to the 329 wards in the State.

“Reports have it that some individuals gathered outside the State Secretariat and protested against the late commencement of the exercise, and made a bonfire outside the State Secretariat, a situation which was immediately brought under control by the security agents. The protesters were advised to go to their wards and desist from gathering at the secretariat where no elections was taking place there.”

Hon. Okoete who is a former member House of Representatives between 2011-2019 also denied the social media reports that the APC Secretariat was burnt.

He added that the “Ward Congresses went on smoothly in the wards visited by reporters and observers. INEC officials who monitored the Congresses described the exercise as credible and transparent. The security agents corroborated this.”