Stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) party in Akwa Ibom State have rejected the Minister of Niger-Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as the leader of the party in the state.
The stakeholders’ meeting, which was a reconciliatory gathering comprising all the factions within the party, kicked against the unilateral decision of the Ewang’s faction of the group to appoint Akpabio as the party’s leader.
One faction of the party led by a former military administrator of Rivers and Ogun states, Group Captain Sam Ewang (retd), had last month endorsed Akpabio as the leader of the party in the state.
But at an enlarged second stakeholders’ meeting attended by the National Caretaker Secretary of the APC, Senator John Akpanuodehe; Managing Director of Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority, Obong Umana Umana; Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang; Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr Efiong Akwa; and Group Captain Sam Ewang (retd) among others, held in Uyo, Akpabio who was absent at the meeting but sent an apology letter, was rejected as leader of the party.
In a communique issued at end of the stakeholders’ meeting, signed by the party Chairman, Dr Ita Udosen, and Secretary, Mr Austin Ekanem, amongst others, the party said the declaration of Akpabio as leader was in violation of APC’s constitution.
“That the stakeholders endorse the decision of the State Executive Committee (SEC) to declare as a nullity the unilateral proclamation and announcement of Sen Godswill Akpabio as the State Party Leader of APC in gross violation of the Party’s Constitution in the unauthorised and illegal Stakeholders meeting of Sunday, March 28, 2021.
“That the Party hereby reminds every member and the general public that the State Chairman (or Caretaker Chairman as applicable here) is the Chairman of the State Caucus as provided for in Article 12.9 Sub (i) of the party Constitution (October 2014 As Amended) and remains the Party Leader in the State until further notice,” it stated.
The communique dismissed insinuations that there were factions in the party and urged all leaders of the party holding appointive positions to work for the interest and unity of the APC.