Why APC faction opposes appointment of Akpabio as minister

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While President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to submit the names of ministerial nominees to the newly inaugurated senate, a faction of elders in Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has urged the president not to consider the former governor of the state and former senate minority leader, Mr. Godswill Akpabio for a ministerial appointment.

Operating under Ibom Integrity and Servant Leadership Culture Initiative the group said assigning a ministerial portfolio to the former governor would not augur well for the president’s next level agenda and the state working committee of the party.

The executive vice president of the group, Dr. Asuquo Edidem Etim, said in a statement cited Akpabio’s alleged impunity while serving as governor, poor performance as senate minority leader and inability to improve the electoral fortunes of APC in the state in 2019.

Etim said the group believes in Buhari’s leadership philosophy that is rooted in integrity, transparency and servant leadership, and urged him to avoid the mistake of his first term by not appointing integrity-deficient individuals as ministers.

He said the president needs credible hands to drive his next level agenda,

“Mr. President, this second mandate affords you the opportunity to select your ministers in a manner that will ensure that they do not become liabilities to your government or dent your impeccable image. Characters with known corruption allegations or propensity for pettiness, mischief, treachery, profligacy and vendetta, should be avoided

“Our key interest in this regard is to ensure that President Buhari’s second tenure is remarkably better than the previous one, essentially, by the choice of personnel he recruits to assist him to actualize his Next Level programmes, he said.

The group said Akpabio came into the APC with no recognisable political structure.

“The poor showing of APC in Akwa Ibom state in the last general election was to a large extent as a result of the destabilizing and authoritarian tendencies of Senator Akpabio, who only believes that it’s either his way or nobody’s.

“Many had thought that his joining APC would bring cool breeze of good fortunes to the party in the state, but rather his high-handed nature and disrespect for internal democracy in the party and the will of the people to chose their leaders, became a raging storm that uprooted the recognized structures of the party right from the grassroots, as he imposed party leaders from the wards and even unit levels. Leaving many party men and women very bruised, trampled and disgruntled. This sadly affected the chances of our governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere.

“Mr. President, just as we, the masses of Nigeria openly accepted you as our leader by this renewed mandate, the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial zone, where Akpabio won in only two of its 10 local Governments in the just concluded elections, in their wisdom, considering what they know about their son, have instructively, in the last election, openly rejected Akpabio as their representative at the federal level.

“So, we implore you, our dear leader, to be circumspect in considering him as minister in your government, so as not to appear insensitive to the people and counterproductive security wise, in the state, by allowing him acquire a fresh political power from the back door of ministerial appointment, which we fear he may use with vengeance against us, his people and the state.”

Claiming that Akpabio could be toxic to the next level project, they said: “The poor showing of APC in Akwa Ibom state in the last general election was to a large extent as a result of the destabilizing and authoritarian tendencies of Senator Akpabio, who only believes that it’s either his way or nobody’s.

“Many had thought that his joining APC would bring cool breeze of good fortunes to the party in the state, but rather his high-handed nature and disrespect for internal democracy in the party and the will of the people to chose their leaders, became a raging storm that uprooted the recognized structures of the party right from the grassroots, as he imposed party leaders from the wards and even unit levels. Leaving many party men and women very bruised, trampled and disgruntled. This sadly affected the chances of our governorship candidate, Obong Nsima Ekere.

“Mr. President, just as we, the masses of Nigeria openly accepted you as our leader by this renewed mandate, the people of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial zone, where Akpabio won in only two of its 10 local Governments in the just concluded elections, in their wisdom, considering what they know about their son, have instructively, in the last election, openly rejected Akpabio as their representative at the federal level.

“So, we implore you, our dear leader, to be circumspect in considering him as minister in your government, so as not to appear insensitive to the people and counterproductive security wise, in the state, by allowing him acquire a fresh political power from the back door of ministerial appointment, which we fear he may use with vengeance against us, his people and the state.”

But the spokesman for the party in the state, Mr. Nkereuwem Enyongekere, described the elders’ group as faceless.

He urged the president to discountenance the elders’ advice.

“We hereby confirm that the self-acclaimed leader of the group, Dr. Asuquo Edidem Etim is a disclaimer and not APC member and we have no such group in our APC groups’ registration register in Akwa Ibom State.

“And the party condemns in totality, the disparaging campaign against our very endearing son, Senator Godswill Akpabio as evil fireworks meant to generate bad blood and disaffection in our party in this trying time.”

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