It is expedient to start this piece with congratulating all leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State for the successful “move of motion” to inaugurate their new party Secretariat. The gathering enjoyed the presence of notable leaders in and from Akwa Ibom State. They include: The APC zonal chairman South South, Ntufam Hilliard Etta, Special Adviser to the President on Financial Crimes, Barrister Obla O Obla (SAN), Distinguished Senator (Dr) John James Akpan Udoedehe, Presidential Adviser on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Distinguished Senator Ita Enang, Managing Director of the NDDC, Dr Nsima Udo Ekere, Distinguished Senator Aloysius Akpan Etok, Akwa Ibom State APC Caucus chairman, Atuekong Don Eiebet, and a host of others.
A former member of the House of Representatives, Hon Bassey Etim, and two others, announced their defection to the APC during this event.
The motion to inaugurate the new secretariat was moved by the highest ranking senator in the gathering, the Most Distinguished Senator (Dr) John James Akpan Udoedehe, (currently on national assignment for the national working committee of the party in Osun State, Nigeria), upon the call on him to so do by the Zonal Chairman of the party in South South, Nigeria, Ntufam Hilliard Etta.
The new APC secretariat in Akwa Ibom State is located at No 149 Ikot Ekpene road, Uyo. Added to this advance of the party in the State was the “unveiling” of 31 Hiace buses for each of the local government area chapters of the party in the State. It is a great advance the party has made ahead of the match to remove the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governor of the State, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, from office.
One thing the event threw up to every discerning member of the APC in Akwa Ibom State, was the direction the national caucus of the party has taken towards determining the best future for the party in the State. This direction was clearly expressed during the event that became “events”. A clear statement was made when the “unveiling and distribution of 31 buses” meant to be accomplished in Uyo was suspended from holding.
It was a great lesson expected to be learnt by those who misappropriated the right timing for such laudable advance and public display of the party’s cohesion. Something was seen to be wrong and out of place. It was interesting to observe how the program published to direct listed events to be accomplished in Uyo, especially the one on the “…unveiling and distribution of 31 (chapter) buses” was abandoned. This allowed for the 31 buses to be unveiled in Ikot Ekpene but they were never “distributed”.
What happened between the lines? There was an opinion article published by PUO Reports a few days ago indicating to the national chairman of the APC, His Excellency Adams Aliyu Oshiomole that it was hasty for him to attempt to distribute party buses to nobody…because he was scheduled, according to the APC national media, to be in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, and the “unveiling and distribution” of these buses was on his itinerary. Thank God he did not waste his time, because Ntufam Hillard Etta was quite suggestive of this during these events.
It was noteworthy for him to know that Akwa Ibom State APC is yet to publish the list of wards and local government area executive committees. To whom would the buses be distributed? A certain trick to impose their doctored executive committee lists for LGA chairmen because they provided the vehicles: a very bad kind of desperation. As long as “APC” is stamped on the body of those buses, they are like NEPA installations: “even if na you spend your own money, na APC get am”.
The entire occasion showed how the Hon Ini Okopido led state working committee is misguided and seemingly out of control of the party in the State. APC is a national party and must not be sectionalized in Akwa Ibom State because of the personal ambitions of a few people pleassseee! There seems to be people who are leaders of the APC in Akwa Ibom State who are operating under a severe spell.
It is to answer these questions and to reveal the truth about the events of the inauguration of the new APC party Secretariat in Uyo and the unveiling of 31 chapter buses in Ikot Ekpene. First it must be asked why the two events, which was to hold simultaneously in Uyo turned out that the unveiling of the party buses was done in Ikot Ekpene after the “endorsement rally” for President Muhammadu Buhari, and a “reception” for the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Nsima Ekere?
It was obvious that the new party office and the unveiling of 31 buses was facilitated by Dr Nsima Ekere, and his handlers attempted to craftily employ the entire national working committee members of the party, to whom invitations were forwarded, to witness the “endorsement” of Dr Nsima Ekere as the chosen candidate, by members of “Ikot Ekpene APC”, for the governorship of Akwa Ibom State.
The occasion was meant to force other aspirants in the State to witness the mandate endorsement of a man whose PDP spirit has not been exorcised, but unfortunately he met a brick in Distinguished Senator Udoedehe who created the big change in their game. The Akwa Ibom people owe this selfless man a debt of gratitude for always standing out to save democracy in the State.
The distinguished senator was not only a very good host to his August guests in July, in Akwa Ibom State, he did not leave them stranded but told them the truth about his participation in the events. There was therefore no dispute about how the outcome should be. Senator Udoedehe punctured the bloated political desperation of Dr Ekere’s handlers and corrected their childish errors.
The first mistake by the handlers of Dr Nsima Ekere was to personalize entire party events. It is commendable that he paid for the new party secretariat, it is commendable that he paid for the renovations and likely furnishing; and it is commendable that he facilitated the supply of the 31 buses. If Dr Nsima Ekere does not do this for the APC in Akwa Ibom State, what would be the justification for him to remain at his post?
Nevertheless, he is not expected to commit any crime to effect this gestures: these are not altogether enough to give him the impetus to attempt to use this kind gestures to attempt an overrun of the APC in Akwa Ibom State by trying to impose himself on the party. No member of a party can buy the party of which he is a member. Then there is no party in the first place.
Politics has its rules and tactics: not the kind that Saraki teaches by his criminal trespass of the premises of the national assembly complex at night when the 7th Assembly, of which he was a member, had wound, and he, a mere senator-elect, did that in connivance with security agents, just because he succeeded in blackmailing Tinubu’s religious faith to rob him of his nomination as Vice President and took advantage of that same faith to become senate president. That is the movie actor of lies and deceits who wants to be President of Nigeria. Why wouldn’t thugs invade the national assembly and take away the senior mace?
He is presently blackmailing Mr President to return him as the next senate president because he won a court case against the federal government. God forbid it! What befell Tinubu as vice presidential hopeful will befall him as our hopeful senate president. Saraki should be allowed by the APC to do his worst. This is God’s time to settle the “Muslim/Muslim ticket” debt of political Nigeria. President Buhari now has his chance to renominate Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as his 2019 running mate. Let the heavens fall.
It was therefore very wrong for the organizers of the occasion in Uyo to have permitted the security aide of the NDDC managing director to flood the new party secretariat with strange looking youths in black attires, looking menacing; most of them wearing bullet proof vests, and said to be agents of a security outfit in Port Harcourt and Calabar: lies! Nobody was deceived.
This was an eye sore – a social siege of a democratic environment. Indeed, Fulani herdsmen are sponsored by certain notorious and strange politicians to stop President Buhari’s second term bid, and they wickedly turn around to accuse him of an Islamization agenda: the most guilty are church leaders who pray for the success of these politicians: the bloodshed worries them the most but they cannot help it because they want Buhari out by all means.
The strange youths in Uyo, who took over the entire premises of the new APC secretariat, on the instruction of their employers, stood by the entrance gate and determined who was allowed into the venue of the event in Uyo. Senator Ita Enang was observed cleaning tears from his eyes from tear gas these youths sprayed on him in the company of Senator Akpan Udoedehe, unfortunately.
It is important to force Dr Nsima Ekere’s view to some very worrisome issues pertaining his approach to his aspiration to govern Akwa Ibom State: he should search out the antecedents and records of his security aide in Akwa Ibom State. In the consensus that threw up the APC state working committee, the state welfare secretary was his nomination, and the seeming control he appears to have over the party because of his closeness to the “money bag” is very disturbing.
Both the NDDC MD’s security aide and the state welfare secretary have caused a lot of unrestrained disaffection in the party in the state and have clearly sectionalized the party along ethnic lines because they fear to lose the unjust privileges they enjoyed during the reign of their kinsmen, Godswill Akpabio, and because Udom Emmanuel needs them no more, they have become to Nsima Ekere what ants are to sugar, and the man, like his former boss, never minds: to him also – “what money cannot do, more money can do”, unfortunately. He needs more political tutoring on the venier expertise of Godswill Akpabio.
Part 2 loads the events that took place in Ikot Ekpene.
Ini Akpan Morgan writes from Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.