Joe Effiong, Uyo
Former gubernatorial candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Akwa Ibom State, Senator John Akpanudoedeghe, has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) national leaders only empowered defected Peoples Democratic Party members with 35 federal appointments.
Against this backdrop, therefore, he expressed optimism that the Ahmed Tinubu-led reconciliation committee would correct the alleged injustice meted out on a section of APC members in the state by the party national leadership.
Udoedehe told Daily Sun yesterday that the APC foundation members in Akwa Ibom had since been relegated to the background and made a laughing stock by the national leaders.
The former minister of State of Federal Capital Territory, who has been leading a faction of the APC in the state since 2014, said the reconciliation committee would only succeed, if it does its assignment with sincerity.
“We expect reconciliation. I am in Akwa Ibom. I don’t know the agenda of Tinubu’s committee. But, I know nobody is bigger than the voice of the president. It is a welcome development because corruption has crept into the party.
“In 2014, I suffered unwarranted attack and undeserved abandonment when the national chairman came to Uyo and declared that those who defected from PDP to APC were the new face of the APC in the state. That was the beginning of the problem of APC in Akwa Ibom.
“When the national chairman could not even protect those who worked for the party from the scratch; who voted him into his position, only for him to take side with the newcomers, that was corruption the president came to fight. They did not even have regards for us who fought for the party. They believed the PDP people because they came with money; and they gave all the 35 federal appointments to those PDP people.
“That has greatly affected the party in the state because that is unheard of; and those people came not to build the party, but to be empowered for their next political campaigns,” Udoedehe said.
He lamented that despite several petitions his faction of the party had written to the APC national chairman about crisis in the party in the state, none has been acknowledged, stressing that the national leadership was not sincere enough to reconcile any faction of the party not only in Akwa Ibom, but nationwide.