By Unyime Enebong, Citizenswatch, Nigeria.
New Nigeria Peoples Party, (NNPP) says Chief Godswill Akpabio, former Governor of Akwa Ibom State who funded Stephen Ntokekpo to pursue a matter he lost at Congress in an attempt to impose Mr Akan Udofia, his stooge and surrogate on Uyo Senatorial District in 2023, should be blamed for the no candidate status of the ruling party in Akwa Ibom State.
Publicity Secretary of the party, Solomon Johnny stated this while refuting claims by Hon (Engr) Ita Awak who said Senator John Udoedehe, now governorship candidate of NNPP and Chief Godswill Akpabio were responsible for the ruling APC not fielding governorship candidate for the 2023 general election. Ita Awak who is the immediate past Director of Air Worthiness Standard and former Commissioner for Information, Akwa Ibom State wrote an article to this effect. The piece was well syndicated..
Recall that Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had published list of Presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives, Governorship and House of Assembly candidates yesterday ahead of the 2023 polls. Chief Godswill Akpabio, two term governor and immediate past Minister of Niger Delta Affairs was missing on the list as APC Candidate for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District. Chief Godswill aspired for the Presidential ticket of the APC and sensing defeat, stepped down for Bola Tinubu and sought to run for the Senate instead. He lost the ticket as INEC insisted on the May 27 2022 Senatorial nomination of the party which they monitored. The nomination produced DIG Udom Ekpoudom who equally had rejected offers to withdraw for the former Senate Minority Leader.
Aside from Chief Godswill Akpabio, Mr Akan Udofia who is touted as APC governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State is also missing on the list. INEC had earlier raised questions of procedure and breach of guidelines on the emergence and submission of Mr Udofia as candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom State saying the party did not conduct a governorship nomination as stipulated by the Electoral Act.
The new Electoral Act 2022 expressly gives INEC the powers to reject candidates submitted to the commission by political parties if the party is in breach of the provisions of the Acts regarding the nomination of such candidate. Bar Mike Igini, Resident Electoral Commissioner, Akwa Ibom State in a report signed by senior officers of INEC, stated that APC did not conduct any governorship nomination capable of producing a valid governorship candidate. The report which leaked to the Press, has been upheld by the commission. As INEC publishes list of candidates for political parties, the space is blank for the APC leaving the ruling party with no governorship candidate for the poll.
Engr Ita Awak who had equally served as Publicity Secretary of APC wrote: “This pall that is now over shadowing and putting our Party in a condition of near paralysis is the resultant consequence of the crisis that Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio and Senator J J Akpanudoedeghe and their supporters in ADF and AAC respectively engineered in their selfish effort to be in and exercise absolute control of the soul of the Party.
“As things stand now and with Senator Akpanudoedeghe and his enablers defecting to pursue his ambition in the NNPP, I have a few questions for the remnants of the AAC still in the APC and the hard core operatives of Senator Akpabio’s ADF now strutting around empty and dishonestly mouthing reconciliation and unity:
“What are the immediate and positive political gains that has accrued to you individually and collectively from the bitter divisions you people sowed into the the body and soul of the APC in Akwa Ibom State?
“If you dare to ask me, I will tell you very truthfully that you guys have immeasurably lost much more than the abject infinitesimal you delude yourself to be your gains…Indeed, I cannot help but wonder what the national leadership of the APC is thinking of those whose uncouth megalomaniacal tendencies have left a once promising, vibrant and hopeful APC practically prostrate in A’Ibom State.”
Refuting the claim, Solomon Johnny absolved Akpanudoedehe of any blame in what has become of the broom party. He said Chief Godswill Akpabio who funded Mr Stephen Ntokekpo to pursue a mandate he lost and finally cripple the party should be blamed.
He said: “There is nowhere Senator John Udoedehe can be blamed on what has befallen the APC, Akwa Ibom State Chapter. Two men are solely responsible for APC not fielding governorship candidate ahead of 2023.
“The first is Chief Godswill Akpabio who allegedly deployed much of money to fund Stephen Ntokekpo to pursue a position he was never elected. The second is Senator Abdullahi Adamu, National Chairman who breached Court of Appeal’s order which ordered that status be maintained in the leadership crises. Both men were using their privileged positions as Minister and National Chairman of APC to play God and settle scores with Sen John Udoedehe. They did not remember that they are mere human beings and that God is in control of the affairs of men.
“Get to know the number of times that Senator John Udoedehe sought truce with Chief Godswill Akpabio just so that there could be peace in the APC. Get to know the number of times that Senator John Udoedehe begged Chief Godswill Akpabio asking what he really wanted so that he can be given so that APC can have peace. Akpabio played God and God played him back. Just leave Senator John Udoedehe out of the issue in APC. He can’t be blamed for anything.
“I was shocked to hear that Her Excellency, Mrs Unoma Akpabio went to beg chieftains of APC after John Udoedehe left the party and Akpabio came fighting for a Senatorial ticket. Truth is that had Akpabio considered the interest and pleadings of Akpanudoedehe who worked very hard to get him the ticket of PDP in 2007 against powerful interest and helped him to become governor, he would have won the APC Senatorial ticket without hassle. Most likely, Udom Ekpoudom would have been given something else. But like I said earlier, Chief Akpabio played God and God played him back.
“Let’s learn the lesson that this APC situation offers all. No man can play God and no man is indispensable. John Udoedehe, the bold, courageous and Visionary NNPP governorship candidate is a demonstration of God’s mercy upon the vulnerable. Adamu and Godswill Akpabio made John Udoedehe, immediate past National Secretary of APC vulnerable and God showed up. How else can God demonstrate his control of the affairs of men than this?