* As Real APC Movement and other factions draw swords
* Battle for supremacy, relevance and authority tears the party into fragments
The battle for the soul of the All Progressive Congress, APC, staged by two opposing factions in Akwa Ibom State has continued to deepen by the day as both factions have failed to reach a compromise regarding who controls the leadership structure of the party in the state.
The APC which is spilt into two factions in the state has been embroiled in a leadership struggle, name-calling and dirty fight ever since power changed hands at the centre. While the founding father of the APC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe fronts the faction he describes as the “Real APC”, the other faction comprising of Obong Umana Okon Umana, Obong Nsima Ekekere and the likes of Sunny Ibanga, Sunny Jackson, Don’t Etiebet, among others who decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the APC less than two years ago or so, are branded adventurers by the real APC.
Piqued by what it described as the marauding hijacking of the party from those that labored amidst persecution by the same people that did everything possible to crush opposition party in the state, stakeholders of the real APC has been relentless in its fight to wrestle the party structure from the present crop of people presently holding sway in the party. The leader of the real APC, Sen. Akpanudoedehe has remained uncompromised in his fight to end the reign of those he described as adventurers whom he said were reaping from where they did not sow. In the last couple of weeks, the social media has been awash with reports and counter reports by supporters loyal to the two factions.
The fight centers on the skewed appointments awarded to members of the APC in the state. While the reals APC members have continued questioning the choice of bequeathing a large chunk of the appointment to those that defected to the party barely two years ago claiming that they did not merit it, supporters of the beneficiaries of the appointment have also differed that those tagged PDP defectors merited the appointment, claiming that their contributions to the party in the period that they have been members was enough to earn them the appointment.
Meanwhile, aside the appointment imbroglio, the major issue under contention at the moment is the upcoming 2019 Governorship election. In the build up to that election, some inner circle members of the Real APC have already warned that repeating the same fraud that took place in 2015 Governorship would not be accepted. They threatened that any attempt to field either Obong Nsima Ekere, Umana Umana or any other candidate that has just defected to the party simply because of the APC being at the central government would force the APC to collapse totally in the state.
The real APC stakeholders who said they were out to reclaim the party also warned the present NDDC boss, Obong Nsima Ekere to forget nursing the idea of obtaining the 2019 Governorship ticket. They also claimed that, they were aware of Obong Umana Umana plans to recontest the 2019 election and urged him and other decampees who defected to the party with the hope of using the platform to coast into victory, saying that the real owners of the APC were now poised on reclaiming their party. Meanwhile, in view of the conflicting interest of both Obong Umana Umana and Obong Nsima Ekere, pundits predict disintegration faced by the APC to intensify the more even as the leader of the party, Sen John James Akpan Udoedehe is also interested in joining the governorship race.