What does Akwa Ibom APC want in 2023?
By Franklyn Isong
Recent unfolding developments in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Akwa Ibom State Chapter have given political pundits strong reason to assert that the party may have lost focus and has derailed from its primary intention of wrestling powers from the ruling PDP in the State in 2023.
The party has held two parallel stakeholders’ meetings in one month. One on March 28, 2021 and another on April 11, 2021. Both factional meetings centred their agenda on the political leadership of the State party.
While the former convened by Group Captain Sam Ewang (Rtd.) endorsed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godswill Akpabio as the leader of APC, the latter convened by the Caretaker Committee Chairman, Dr. Ita Udosen, declared Ita Udosen as the leader.
Though, I am not a politician. I am not also a member of the APC. And, I am not interested in who is or becomes the leader of APC in Akwa Ibom. But, my view is that the party seems to be chasing shadow instead of substance. As I do not want to think that the interest of the party is to produce its leader in 2023 than the Governor of the State.
In my assessment, the Ita Udosen led APC has not offered a credible alternative voice to the ruling PDP. In my considered view, the State APC needs to be formidable and assertive if Akwa Ibom people must take it serious.
So far, under the Ita Udosen led APC, there are lots of factional leaders. There are lots of disagreements and interests within. If not that I hate to be seen as a Prophet of doom, I would have said that the party is a time bomb waiting to explode in 2023.
According to Ita Udosen, the State Caretaker Committee Chairman was appointed and inaugurated on December 11, 2020 and has a less than three months life-span in office, implying that the Ita Udosen Commitee has spent four months in office already.
Political analysts would have expected the committee to concentrate its resources and energy in offering positive and constructive criticisms to the State government of the PDP than delving into heated leadership struggle that is capable of destroying fragile peace in the party.
Obviously speaking, the party under Ita Udosen is already fragmented into many interests groups and the posturing of the Caretaker Chairman is not helping matters. For instance, in his address presented at the stakeholders meeting at Sheergrace Arena recently, more accolades and praises were poured on one individual stakeholder than the others.
The entire contents of his address was self seeking, divisive and tantamount to inciting hatred amongst stakeholders of his party. This would not have been the case, were it that the chairman is aware of his role as a father of the State party. He should not have betrayed his emotions, anger and bitterness. He needn’t jettisoned his fatherly role to join the protracted fray amongst his party stakeholders if truly he knew his responsibility.
Trust me, when I say that the last may not have been heard of this leadership tussle in the State APC. In all these, it is sad that the party may not again make it in 2023 because of its in fighting.
Talking about party leadership: in my view, a party leader should be one who has the ability to lead the party to success in 2023 general elections and beyond. A party leader should be one holding a higher elective or appointive position.
A party leader should be one who commands a larger chain of followers. A party leader should be one who has the ears of the President in the case of the APC. A party leader is one who has the charisma to attract political benefits, empowerment and development to members of the party.
Naturally speaking, anyone with these pedigree, is a leader and should be accorded the respect as such.
What does Akwa Ibom APC want in 2023, a party leader or the Governor of Akwa Ibom State?
-Franklyn Isong is a public affairs commentator and conscience of the society