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2023 :Akwa Ibom APC boils over governorship slot for new member



 2023 Akwa Ibom APC boils over governorship slot for new member


There is tension in the camp of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State over a plot to allow a newly defected member from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Obong Akanimo Asuquo Udofia, to participate in the party’s governorship primaries.

Some party leaders alleged that APC guidelines prevent a defector from another party from seeking any elective office unless they have been a member of the party for one year.

Some others, however, said a defector has equal rights to vote and be voted for at any level of the primaries.

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There were concerns that APC may run into crisis, including litigations, on its governorship primaries.

The National Working Committee (NWC) has not been able to address the challenge in Akwa Ibom State.

Investigation revealed that Udofia was screened by PDP and issued a Provisional Certificate of Clearance to participate in its governorship primaries in Akwa Ibom.

But Udofia resigned from PDP on May 2nd following pressure from some APC members.

His letter of resignation to the Ward Chairman of Mbiaso 1 of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area reads in part: “I, Obong Akanimo Asuquo Udofia, a member of the above named political party with membership card No. 0589900 registered in Mbiaso 1 ward of Nsit Ibom Local Governtment Area.

“I wish to thank God for His Grace on me during those years as a member of Peoples Democratic Party. I supported the Party as a good party man and I want to thank you for all the support accorded me as a party man.

“After due consultation with my family members, I have decided to resign my membership from the Peoples Democratic Party. I am by this letter making my resignation official.”

A source said: “Udofia was allegedly approached by some APC leaders to join APC because of his huge war chest for the race. No one has the resources to confront PDP.

“These APC leaders have also concluded plans to make him the party’s governorship candidate at the primaries.

“A few others said the offer to Udofia was based on some political indices and calculations.”

It was however learnt that some leaders in APC have raised observations that Udofia is new in the party and he cannot seek elective office until after one year of membership.

They cited Section 3(k) of the APC Guidelines for Nomination of Candidates for 2023 general elections.

The section says: “Aspirant must submit evidence of membership of the party for at least one (1) year.”

Another source said: “Other leaders in the party have kicked against giving the governorship slot to a new member who has not spent up to a year in the party.

“They have been warning APC leadership in the state against dragging the party into a legal crisis over the primaries.”

It was learnt that the challenge in Akwa Ibom chapter of APC has been brought to the attention of the National Working Committee (NWC).

“We are hopeful that the NWC will avoid a repeat of what happened in Zamfara State in 2019.

“We appeal to the National Chairman of APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, to pay attention to the development in Akwa Ibom,” a party official said.

Findings also revealed that some leaders insisted on Udofia because the APC Constitution allows waivers for defectors.

A former NWC member said: “In 2014, some New PDP (nPDP) members joined APC and participated in the primaries at all levels when they had not spent one year in the party.

“If the scenarios are now different, I think NWC should weigh all options because APC may end up not fielding a governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom.”




sun newspaper today

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