By our reporter
Supporters of one of the contestants in the last Saturday’s State Congress organized by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Obong Twoweeks Umoh have bemoaned what they described as marginalization of their principal and his supporters in the processes of the congress.
Acting under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Progressives Association, APA, the group in a release dated October 17, 2021, a copy of which was obtained by our paper, noted that as law-abiding faithful of the APC in the state, they were hopeful that justice would be done to correct the injustice meted against Obong Twoweeks Umoh and his supporters.
According to the release which was signed by Coordinator, Hon Stanley Esitikot and Secretary-General, Mr. Ubong Ekanem, APA noted that whereas their principal, Obong Twoweeks Umoh bought the APC State Chairmanship nomination form, filled and submitted same and presented himself for screening in accordance with the party guidelines, his teeming supporters across the state were shut out from participating in the purported state congress.
Parts of the release state thus “We the executives of Akwa Ibom Progressives Association, an All Progressives Congress (APC) support group working for the emergence of our principal, Obong Twoweeks Umoh as the State Chairman of our great party in Akwa Ibom State, are forced to make our position known to our teeming supporters across the state regarding the ill-treament meted against us and our principal.
“We wish to state categorically that our principal, Obong Twoweeks Umoh, who holds the Chieftaincy title of ‘Mkpouto Ukanafun’, is a very committed and financial member of our great party, the APC and is well known across the length and breadth of the state.
“That our principal, a former Chairman, Ukanafun Youth Council between 2001 and 2003, is a great mobilizer and a grassroots politician.
“He has served the APC in many capacities in the state, some of which being, but not limited to Ukanafun Coordinator, 2019 APC Presidential Youth Support Group.
– Member, Documents & Strategy Planning Committee for 2019 APC Governorship CWC
– Member, 2019 Ukanafun LGA Elections Planning Committee. This is a self-sponsored man who believes in unity of the party which is the main reason we all chose to support him”.
Giving details on how Twoweeks Umoh was allegedly marginalised, APA continued “Having seen the need for the APC to be repositioned for strength and electoral victories in the state, come 2023 and beyond, Obong Twoweeks Umoh, upon due consultations with key stakeholders across board, resolved to vie for the State Chairmanship of the party.
“He followed all the processes required of an aspirant for such office. Information at our disposal shows that our Principal was one of the first aspirants to purchase the nomination form for the 2021 State Congress of the party.
“That according to the report of the Akwa Ibom State Congress Committee, our Principal was second on the list of contestants successfully screened to contest in the Congress.
“That we were informed through the first circular at the Party office at about 4 pm on Friday, 15th October, 2021, that the venue would be communicated to us. That was not done until about the middle of the night of Friday that the State Congress slated for Saturday, 16th October, 2021, would hold at the Federal Secretariat Open Field, Abak Road, Uyo. Consequent upon this information, we the teeming supporters of Obong Twoweeks Mfon Umoh all defied the heavy downpour and mobilized ourselves to the venue.
“But to our greatest surprise, while we were still at the venue, where we also met other contestants and their supporters; information filtered in to the effect that a certain faction of the party hijacked the congress officials to an unknown destination.
“It was later that we heard that a certain Austin Ekanem was purportedly elected as the State Chairman of the APC in Akwa Ibom State.
We wish to quickly note that the said Austin Ekanem was still the Secretary of the Akwa Ibom State Caretaker Committee of the party as at the date of the State Congress and was even a member of the team that conducted the Congress in which he was an aspirant. He did not resign.
“It is also totally unthinkable that Akwa Ibom Northeast (Uyo) Senatorial District (where Austin Ekanem comes from) whose turn it is in 2023 to produce the governor of the state, would also think of producing State Chairman of the party. What becomes the fate of the remaining two senatorial districts?
Could this be an indication that leaders of ‘Uyo’ Senatorial District are no longer interested in the governorship seat of the state?
It is upon the aforesaid that we reject in totality the result of the purported State congress. We hereby call for an outright cancellation of same. Meanwhile, our principal, Obong Twoweeks has called on his teeming supporters to remain calm and be law-abiding as he is set to follow the right procedures of complaints”.
It would be recalled that the APC had its congress across the country last Saturday to elect officers to run the affairs of the party at state levels.
In Akwa Ibom state, no fewer than three persons have so far been announced by different factions reportedly as State Chairmen of the party.