18/08/2022

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Akwa Ibom 2023: Ignore Udoedeghe’s endorsement – APC stakeholders tell aspirants

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Some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom State, have urged aspirants vying for various offices in the 2023 elections not to be dismayed by the recent endorsement of the Secretary/Secretary Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) of the party, Senator John James Akpan Udoedehe, as the sole gubernatorial candidate of the party in next year’s polls.

While describing such endorsement as ridiculous and undemocratic, the stakeholders urged all aspirants to come forward to indicate their interests, assuring that a level playing ground would be given to them.

These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of an enlarged stakeholders’ meeting of the party held at Kara Event Centre, Uyo weekend.

The communiqué was endorsed by Dr. Effiong Etuk, former APC Secretary in the state Dr. Chris Akpan, Chief Sunny Ibanga, Hon. Patti Ettete Ineme, Dr. Emayak Ukpong, Hon. Prince Alex Nyong, Hon. Victor Antai, Mrs. Richard King, Hon. Kufre Akpabio, Hon. Akpabio Ukpa, and many others.

The stakeholders noted that the convener of the meeting where Udoedeghe was adopted does not have the locus standi to convene or preside over such meeting as he is neither a former Governor nor the highest political office holder as envisaged by the APC constitution.

“That all aspirants are encouraged to indicate interest to contest all offices in the next general elections as a level playing field is guaranteed,” the communiqué read in part.

The stakeholders described the zoning of the chairmanship position of the party and the governorship slot in the forthcoming election to Uyo Senatorial District by a faction of the party as a mark of desperation, which is alien to the progressive ethos and principle which the APC stands for.

They also called on President Buhari to call Senator Udoedehe to order, to save the party from implosion recalling that his actions now played out in 2019 which made the APC lose the governorship seat that year.

Reacting, the Press Secretary to Udoedehe, Mr. Ata Etuk, said democracy allows individuals or groups to endorse whoever they choose to endorse, adding that it is not wrong to do so.

“Is there anything wrong for people to endorse somebody for an election? It happens everywhere in the world, and if critical stakeholders of the party stand up to say this man has the capacity to lead us, there is nothing wrong with that, it’s allowed in a democracy,” he said.