A cross section of stakeholder of the Akwa Ibom State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is pushing for the dissolution of state executive council of the party constituted two years ago.
One of the grievances of the stakeholders under the aegis of Concerned Akwa Ibom State PDP Members Forum was that the present state exco of the party with Obong Pual Ekpo as the Chairman was single handed put in place by state Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio.
In a petition sent to the National Chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Adamu Muâ€™azu, members of the forum called for the immediate dissolution of the state exco as it was illegally constituted and foisted on party members by Akpabio.
According to the petitioners, the state and ward congresses held throughout the country on March 12 never took place in Akwa Ibom State, contravened the partyâ€™s constitution.
The petition was signed by executive members of the Forum Obong Mbong Okon Mbong, Chairman Akwa Ibom South senatorial district, Okon Obot, Vice-Chairman Akwa Ibom North-west senatorial district and Mr. Uko Essien, Secretary, Akwa Ibom Northeast senatorial districts.
The faction of the party stalwarts alleged the name of the current state exco of the party was compiled few loyalists of the state governor at a private residence as there was no ward and state congresses held.
â€œSection 15 of the PDP Constitution provides for the establishment and composition of a ward congress made up of all the registered members of the ward, whereas ward delegates to the state partyâ€™s congress will be elected amongst other functions.
â€œWhat transpired was a complete travesty of the constitutional procedure. Akpabio simply appointed local government coordinators to write the names that were submitted to his younger
brother, Mr. Emem Akpabio in whose house the entire list of delegates was compiled. No congress held in any location in Akwa Iibom State as provided for by the constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party.
â€œEven those whose names were compiled by Emem Akpabio were not given the opportunity of attending the state congress but however contrived on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, Governor Akpabio announced the composition of the new state executive committee of the party made up of his Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Paul Ekpo as chairman and his younger brother, Mr. Ibanga Akpabio as secretaryâ€, the forum stressed.
The petitioners said that the governorâ€™s personal appointment of various persons into the state exco of the party without holding the ward and state congress has not only disenfranchised party members andthe leadership of the party in the state but has also created tension in the state.
The petition noted that senior members of the party had been sidelined and disenfranchised thus creating the impression that the party is now Akpabioâ€™s personal property.
They named senior members of the party excluded to include former governor of the state,
Obong Victor Attah, Otuekong Don Etiebet, former minister and member BoT of the PDP, Obong Ufot Ekaete,
former SGF, Senator Effiong Bob, Senator Aloysius Etok, member representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district in the Senate, Obong Chris Ekpenyong, former Deputy Governor, Ambassador Assam Assam, Umana Okon Umana, former SSG among others
â€œWe decided against raising this issue earlier because we did not want to be seen or blackmailed as trying to stifle the partyâ€™s national convention which was to be held to fill certain vacancies and address very vital issues of the party at the centre.
â€œThereafter, of course, was the internal leadership issues which needed to be settled before serious consideration could be given to other sectors of the partyâ€™s structures.â€
The stakeholders appealed to the national leadership of the PDP to set up machinery to conduct transparent ward and state congress in the state in order to restore peace and reduce the tension that could implode the party in the state.
Adding, â€œwe believe that the party does not need to allow this issue to fester into an unmanageable
disharmony amongst the membership of the party in the state thereby giving them the fait accompli to look elsewhere.â€
In his reaction, the Chairman of PDP in the state, Obong Paul Ekpo, said some of the names mentioned in the petitioned were aggrieved members who participated in his emergence as state chairman of the party wondering why they are now complaining.
Ekpo, who said he wouldnâ€™t want to join issues with the petitioners, noted that it is only Governor Akpabio that was competent to address the issues raised by the petitioners.