Protracted Political Impasse Polarizes APC, PDP In Akwa Ibom, Rivers

Despite backstage efforts to assuage aggrieved power gladiators, deadlock is currently affecting All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.

In Akwa Ibom, PDP had parallel primaries. While the one Governor Udom Emmanuel identified with produced his immediate past Lands and Water Resources Commissioner, Pastor Umo Eno, as its governorship candidate, another primaries endorsed a two-term member of the House of Representatives, Michael Enyong, as the candidate at the event which held at Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo.

Enyong, represents Uyo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He was declared the winner of the parallel primaries, whose venue was different from the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, where Umo Eno was declared the winner.

On the APC flank, opposing factions in Akwa Ibom equally held parallel primaries just as aggrieved aspirants and party chieftains boycotted the shadow elections in Rivers. The APC faction loyal to Senator Magnus Abe shunned the primary, saying the exercise was skewed, biased, and vowed to challenge the result.

Abe is locked in a protracted factional politics with his hitherto political associate, Chibuike Amaechi, the immediate past Transportation Minister. Abe, an Ogoni, is opposed to the dictatorial politics of Amaechi, an Ikwerre.

While the Ogoni politician withdrew from the governorship exercise in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital on Thursday, his ally and former Chief of Staff, Tony Okocha, in a statement, described the process as skewed and biased.

“I have been receiving a myriad of calls from our colleagues concerning the National Assembly and governorship primaries of our darling party, the APC. Please kindly take this as an official statement that we are not participating in an already skewed, biased, and prejudiced process in Rivers”, Okocha said in the statement.

Abe has vowed to challenge the outcome of the indirect primaries that produced a Lagos-based businessman and an ally of Amaechi, Tonye Cole, as APC governorship candidate in Rivers.

According to him, “everybody knows that in a delegate election if you’re not included in how the delegates are chosen; if the process of choosing the delegates is not inclusive; if it is not transparent and not fair, the outcome of what the delegates will do is not expected to be any different from the process that produced them.

“Like I said at the beginning of this whole thing when I declared, I said I will not just accept the outcome of any process that is not just, fair, equitable and inclusive. The indirect primaries conducted on Thursday by former Transportation Minister and his cronies in Rivers APC, does not meet that standard.

“ And for that reason, while I have decided not to withdraw out of respect for the party, I want to say clearly that I will not accept the outcome nor will I be bound by it’’, says Abe.

But, APC State Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, a pro-Amaechi player in a swift reaction says Abe’s political sojourn is ending soon.

According to him, Cole polled a total of 986 votes to defeat Ojukaye Flag Amachree, Seconte Davies, Ibinabo West, and Benrard Mikko, who scored 190, 47, 43 and two to come a distant second, third and fourth respectively.

Chairman of Rivers State APC Governorship Primaries Election, Larry Odey, who announced the result said a total of 1308 delegates were accredited while 1295 voted; 1285 votes were valid while 12 votes were voided.

In the meantime, Cole is persuading Abe to sheath his swords, claiming that the Thursday primaries that produced him, was the most transparent he has ever witnessed in the state.

The disputed APC governorship candidate has also promised to industrialise the state if he eventually succeed Governor Nyesom Wike in next year’s election

In Akwa Ibom, the rivalry between John Akpan-Udoegehe, former APC National Secretary, and immediate past Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, played out again.

Akpan-Udoegehe has been battling to wrestle power from Akpabio since the build-up to the 2011 polls. At the time, Akpabio was seeking re-election as the governor of Akwa Ibom.

To fight the former governor, Akpan-Udoegehe defected from PDP to Action Congress of Nigeria, one of the coalition parties that floated APC. Though he did not succeed, he rekindled the fight again in 2015 against Akpabio’s anointed successor, Udom Emmanuel.

Now, Akpan-Udoegehe and Akpabio factions held opposing primaries. The Akpabio group held theirs at the party Secretariat along Ekpo Obot Street, Uyo, while Akpan-Udoegehe’s held at Sheer Grace, also in Uyo

This article was originally published on Nigeria News

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