A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, Chief Edet Isong, has expressed dismay over what he termed as “the party’s retrogression wrought by leaders and federal government appointees who are not bothered about how the party and its faithful are faring.”
In a statement, Isong, a former Caretaker Chairman of Urue Offong Oruko Local Government Area, noted that “though it is painful to admit, the reality is that Akwa Ibom APC is being rendered unattractive by those entrusted with the responsibility of propagating the Next Level agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”
According to him, “despite having over 30 federal government appointees from the state, most APC faithful in the state are shielded from benefiting from the dividends of the APC-led federal government at the centre.”
He added: “If we do not entrench initiatives and procedures in the party, make the party more inclusive, establish a foolproof reward system and propagate internal democracy, we will face a herculean task convincing Akwa Ibom populace to pitch their political tent in APC in 2023. And that would spell doom for our beloved party”, Isong, a veteran national daily publisher, warned.
On the ongoing lockdown ordered by the government to checkmate the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Chief Isong wondered why federal government appointees from Akwa Ibom State have failed to, on personal capacities, offer palliatives to the party faithful.
“The disbursement of federal government palliatives for Akwa Ibom is to be handled by the state government, but why have the federal government appointees refused to further forge synergy with the party faithful by reaching out to them at this trying moment? It is public knowledge that state government officials across the federation and federal government appointees in other states have offered succour to the populace”, he lamented.
Isong frowned at “a situation where all tinge of dividends accrued to the state chapter of the party are hijacked without recourse to consultation among leaders and members who sacrificed their resources to nurture the party for years.”
“Clandestine scheming, nepotism, blackmail and other antics should be de-emphasised and abandoned in favour of an emphasis on dedication, competence and character, otherwise APC will remain a perpetual opposition party in Akwa Ibom – an impotent opposition party at that”, he again warned.
He reiterated his loyalty to the APC saying the 2019 governorship candidate of the APC in Akwa Ibom, Obong Nsima Ekere, had set a workable template for the party: “Obong Nsima Ekere represented an APC that was all-inclusive. All elements and interests were accommodated. But for electoral thievery and eleventh-hour sabotage and betrayal, APC was coasting to victory in the state.”
Edet Isong, however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leadership of the APC to reinvigorate the party for the best interest of the party faithful and the generality of Akwa Ibom people.
“I strongly believe that the APC remains the best political platform for the distribution of democratic dividends to Akwa Ibom people, given the lofty policies and programmes at the national level.
“I urge Mr President and the national leadership of our great party to reinvigorate and recalibrate the APC mechanism in Akwa Ibom State. A breath of fresh air is much needed. The federal government appointees who have been on hiatus at a time like this should wake up. Their attitude is akin to sleep-riding a bicycle”, Chief Isong concluded.
Chief Edet Isong, a prominent grassroots mobilizer in the Oro Nation axis of Akwa Ibom State, founded the sociopolitical group, Good Governance Group International, which he used to mobilize support and votes for President Muhammadu Buhari, Obong Nsima Ekere and all candidates of the APC ahead of the 2019 elections.