LEADERSHIP CRISES TEARS AKWA IBOM APC
The All progressives Congress, APC, in Akwa Ibom has been torn apart over leadership and control of the party with reported cases of embezzlement, even as Ita Awak who had paraded himself as publicity secretary, has been shown the exit door.
Many members of the party are throwing accusations at the state chairman, Dr. Amadu Atai, and then state secretary, Mr. Effiong Etok (aka Charles Taylor) of embezzling monies realised from sales of APC empowerment forms and infringing upon the rights and duties of other members of the state exco.
It is gathered that Adamu Atai and Effiong Etok allegedly collected money to sell positions to non-party, and non-elected people including Ita Awak who never had a party membership card.
The list of executives members of the party which was published last week due to the fact that certain members of the executive were shoved out of their offices unconstitutionally.
Some of those in the State Exco who were barred from performing their constitutional duties include: Mr. Samuel Udobong (State Publicity Secretary); Mr Idara Udoh (State Youth Leader); Mr Mitchell George (an ex-officio of the party); etc.
Similarly some local government Chapter Chairmen, 22 of them were reportedly sacked from their offices, due to perceived loyalty to Sen. John AkpanUdoedehe. These chapter chairmen are to have been replaced by unelected members of the party, among the sacked chairmen are notable names like: Hon Emmanuel Andy (Chapter Chairman Uyo LGA); Mr. Uyire (Chapter Chairman Itu LGA); Mr Nkereuwem (Chapter Chairman Etinan); Mr Okon (Ibiono LGA), etc.
It is also reported that many Ward Chairmen were also unconstitutionally removed. It is gathered that according to statutes, the state Chairman of the party has no powers to remove any member of the executive
In a bid to save their faces, the current executive led by Adamu hurriedly placed advertorial on the newspaper stating thus; “there is no other list/list of the state and chapter executive members of the APC in Akwa Ibom State, except the one that can be obtained at the state secretariat of the party recognized by relevant authorities.”
A highly placed source in APC who is currently one of the surviving authentic Exco members hints that “They are using it to make money, For instance to become a Caucus Member, you must pay the sum of two hundred and fifty thousand naira. They are saying that they will generate money. Adamu Atai and Effiong Etok have taken money from so many people including widows, orphans etc. They are mortgaging all the programmes of the Federal Government. They sell form for empowerment, distorting APC policies. They are fraudsters.
“If you go to the website, you will see the authentic full – list of the Ward, Chapter and State Exco members. It is not different from the one you published. They collected money to make people Chapter Chairman; members of the State Exco: etc, because they think that they can do illegal jobs and go scot free. That’s why they failed in the last South – South meeting of the party. They thought that they would be able to change the list: but they failed. They are fraudsters.”
It is also alleged that Chapter and Ward Chairmen across the state were instructed to go and search for men and women capable of becoming Chapter Elders and Ward Elders. The credentials to qualify one to become a party elder is money.
There is also reported scam that the state APC defrauded over two hundred persons in the name of several empowerment programmes.
A source who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “they cajoled me into believing that once you pay the sum of fifty thousand naira, and submit your CV, you get an automatic appointment by President Buhari, I did not have any money, but had to borrow from a friend, who equally paid. But up till now, no appointment. All we hear is Excuses.”
The state chairman and his cabal claimed that the fifty thousand naira fee was a directive from the National Secretariat of the party; but a source from the NEC of the party disavowed the claim; and maintained that: “Some people in the party positions across the country are tarnishing the image of the President, the federal government and the APC, as all federal government programmes intended for states are free.