*As embattled governorship candidate fails to deliver Polling Unit, Ward

The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) has disowned Senator John James Akpanudoedehe as governorship candidate of the party, and has instead pitched its tent with Obong Bassey Albert of the Young Progressives Party (YPP).

The party made their petition known today in Uyo through its state secretary, Elder Basil Ekpo, who disclosed that the former APC chieftain has refused to recognize the supremacy of the party hence their decision to part ways with him.

According to the state secretary, Udoedehe has refused to align with the structure of the party and has rejected every move to work together with the existing party structure, on the excuse that they lack the requisite capacity to power his governorship ambition.

“Due to these irreconcilable differences Senator Udoedehe is having with the party, not acknowledging the supremacy of NNPP as a party and also considering its structure as weak and incapable to propel him to electoral victory in the up-coming governorship election, we therefore as a party disassociate and reject Senator Udoedehe as our Governorship candidate and pitch our tent and support to the Governorship candidate of YPP, Obong Senator Bassey Albert (OBA).”

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Elder Ekpo noted that after getting the mandate of the party, Udoedehe only resurfaced two months after at a meeting where he said he cannot work with them but his trusted tram from 2009. “We want to inform Akwa Ibom people that after getting mandate from the party, he only re-surfaced after two months or there about in a meeting we had with chapter Chairman and other stakeholders of the party where he bluntly told us that he cannot abandon his support group that had been with him since 2009 and then work with us that he barely know. That he cannot trust us. At that meeting, he told us vividly that we lack the requisite capacity to win elections, and that his election success in 2023 rest solely on the shoulders of his support group.”

They accused Udoedehe of running a parallel EXCO that led to the party working at cross purposes, as well as blackmailing authentic officers of the party. “He ran a parallel Executive with his support group from ward to the state against the structure of the party, and they are constantly in conflict with the party. He blackmail officers of the party and encourage his men to Impersonate NNPP officials on radio, news papers etc, even when these men are card carrying members of the APC and other political parties.”

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He noted that Udoedehe has at various times tried to substitute some party officers perceived not to be in his good books, but the move, he said, was resisted. “In his usual style of politics, our Governorship candidate surreptitiously in connivance with few elements within and outside the party at the National level made several attempt to substitute state, chapter and ward officers of the party perceived as enemies, a situation we blatantly resisted.”

The NNPP scribe said stakeholders of the party made spirited efforts to have Udoedehe work with the party but the former APC man has remained adamant. In his words: “Several petitions and attempts were made by spirited stakeholders both at the State and National level of the party to let him see the need to work with the party that gave him political life-line, but he still remain defiant up to this moment,” he said.

Those present at the meeting were: Mrs Christina Effiong – Welfare Officer; Mr. Cyril Orok – State Treasurer; Mr. Itoro Nkereuwem – State Youth Leader; Theodore Godson – Chapter Chairman, Eastern Obolo LGA; Effiong W. N. Bassey – Chapter Chairman, Urung Uko LGA; Mr. Nse Umoh Chapter Chairman, Etinan LGA; Patrick Eno – Chapter Chairman, Eket LGA; Mr. Ubong Enyongedi – Chapter Chairman – Oruk Anam LGA; Iniubong Udoh N; Idung Effiong, Chapter Secretary, Urue Offong Oruko LGA; Warrie Ntekim – Chapter Secretary, Nsit Atai LGA; Edidiong Udom, Chapter Secretary, Essien Udim LGA, Patrick M. Ukporo – Chapter Secretary, Ikot Abasi LGA; Mr. Unyime Ikpe – Chapter Secretary, Abak LGA and others.

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It would be recalled that the embattled governorship candidate had failed to deliver for his party, his Polling Unit during the February 25 Presidential election.

While the Labour Party polled a total of 125 votes at Sen. Udoedehe’s village – Unit 10, Afaha Offot in Uyo Ward 6, Uyo local government area, the NNPP got 46.

The final result of the Presidential election showed that the NNPP did not win at any polling unit in Akwa Ibom state where the former FCT Minister is aspiring to govern.

©Kenneth Jude/Ime Silas