AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE APC CARETAKER COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, HON. DR. ITA UDOSEN AT THE SECOND APC STAKEHOLDERS MEETING HELD ON SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2021 AT SHEERGRACE ARENA, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE

AN ADDRESS PRESENTED BY THE APC CARETAKER COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, HON. DR. ITA UDOSEN AT THE SECOND APC STAKEHOLDERS MEETING HELD ON SUNDAY, APRIL 11, 2021 AT SHEERGRACE ARENA, UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE.

Protocol

AKWA IBOM APC: STATE OF THE PARTY

Fellow Akwa Ibom APC Stakeholders and members, please do permit me, to on behalf of the entire State Executive Committee (SEC) of our great party, specially thank and welcome you all to this second Stakeholders Meeting, coming after the first meeting that was held on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Looking around, you would unanimously agree with me that, the audience in the Hall today is undisputedly a true reflection of what constitutes APC Stakeholders. This shows that our party, APC is one big, strong and indivisible family. The State of our Party is strong.

The State Chapter of our party sincerely thanks His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for the successes recorded so far and for his unrelenting effort at tackling corruption, economic and security challenges in the country.

The Chapter cannot thank enough the APC National Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee led by His Excellency, the Governor of Yobe State, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni for his effective and purposeful party administration. Our dear son and National Secretary of the Party, Pst. Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe (Ph.D) deserves our commendation for holding forth and strongly to the affairs of the Party nationally.

Being the second meeting of this nature, one expects nothing but a report card of achievements and challenges since the last meeting of September, 2020.

Achievements:

i) Successful Burial of our Late State Chairman, Hon. Ini Titus Okpoido, his elder brother and the mother. The State Executive Committee (SEC) of our party owes all of you a debt of gratitude for your generous contributions both in cash and kind that ensured the successful execution of those funeral ceremonies. May God Almighty reward you bountifully.

ii) The party organs at all levels were successfully returned as Caretaker Committees after their earlier dissolution on December 8, 2020. The State Caretaker Committee Chairman was appointed and inaugurated on December 11, 2020, followed by the State party structure which was subsequently inaugurated on December 17, 2020. The party in the State is thankful to the then National Executive Committee (NEC) for the opportunity given us to continue in office.

iii) Continued assistance to the young family of our late Chairman is heart-warming and reassuring. As at today the family continues to receive assistance from our leaders, Corporate organization and from the APC State Caretaker Committee Chairmen’s Forum. The party urges all our Stakeholders to continue to extend that hand of followship to the young family of our late Chairman whom he left behind in an untimely manner.

iv) The party successfully defended and won a lawsuit for N5b claim brought against it sometime in 2020 by a onetime co-tenant of the building hosting the party Secretariat at 149 Ikot Ekpene Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom.

v) In early February, 2021, the party assisted the Landlord to institute and prosecute the recalcitrant co-tenant at the rent court, where he was forcefully evicted in the first week of March, 2021, thus allowing the party to take full possession of the entire three floors of the building paid for since 2018.

vi) In spite of serious challenges, the party was able to attract through some of our leaders, few Federal Government social investment and empowerment programs to our members. More needs to be done in this direction. The programs should no longer be allowed to pass through the PDP-led government in Akwa Ibom State.

vii) The just extended APC Membership Registration, Revalidation and Update exercise has been very successful. It was rancour-free, peaceful and very encouraging, contrary to reports from other States of the Federation. We have to, at this point pause to commend and thank Sen. Abubakar Girei-led 7-man State Registration, Revalidation and Update Committee for carrying out a very successful exercise. Our party Stakeholders in the State also deserve special commendation for that show of oneness and for allowing peace to reign throughout the period of the exercise. At the last count, the party had successfully registered over 700,000 members during the exercise.

viii) The party is very grateful to the APC National Caretaker Committee Chairman, HE Mai Mala Buni, the National Secretary, Pstr. Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe, (Ph.D) and the entire membership of the APC National Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary Convention Planning Committee for proactively proposing and getting President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR to approve the constitution and inauguration of the Tripartite Consultative Committee. This has resulted to the appointment of committed party members into various Federal Boards and Parastatals, which hitherto was not well coordinated, resulting to unfair and inappropriate appointments of none party faithful. Now, it seems obvious that Federal Board appointments are coming closer home with the recent appointment of committed party men and women including the widow of our late State Chairman, Mrs. Idara Ini Okopido. More fresh appointments should be expected to be announced from the State soon.

ix) The party participated and presented amendment proposals at the Constitution Review Town Hall meeting in Asaba, Delta State last month.

x) Recently the party started the registration of every political Support Group working under the ambit of APC in the State. More of such groups are hereby advised to register with the party.

Challenges:

i) Unilateral creation of 39 additional electoral wards in the State by Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC) — As at today, APC recognizes 329 electoral wards as demarcated by INEC. Two lawsuits were instituted by the Party challenging the unilateral action by AKISIEC and one is still pending at the Supreme Court. Upon the final determination of the matter, the party intends to consider the re-constitution and inauguration of the party structures in the 39 newly created electoral wards depending on the outcome of the matter at the Supreme Court.

ii) The party boycotted the 2020 Local Government elections in the State which was a direct consequence of the issue discussed in item (i) above.

iii) Party Secretariat vandalization by hoodlums embedded amongst the #EndSARS protesters — The party is very appreciative of the Hon. Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON, the National Secretary, Pstr. Sen. John James Akpanudoedehe (PhD), the SSA to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Ita Solomon Enang, MD/CEO OGFZA, Mr. Umana Okon Umana and the Interim Sole Administrator of NDDC, Pstr. Effiong Akwa for their respective visits to the secretariat to carry out an on- the-spot assessment of the damages and for their assistance to the party for the replacement of some of the items carted away by hoodlums. The party is now appealing for funds for the re-modelling of the property, especially from the Interventionist organization which one of our sons is lucky to head.

iv) State Party Leadership Issue — The current party structure in the State is under a Caretaker arrangement with less than three months or so to go. For now, the party at the National level has no BoT nor Caucus. In the same vein, the party at the State is yet to setup its Caucus as well. The SEC of the party therefore, appeals to all our leaders to sheath their swords on this issue until the Congresses are conducted for a substantive structure of the party to take over. The SEC of the party wishes to reaffirm its earlier stand regarding the purported leadership declaration of March 28, 2021 as a nullity and of no effect till such a time the State party Caucus will be constituted, inaugurated and would meet with SEC to decide on the Leadership of the party in the State. This will preferably take place after the Congresses and will convey legitimacy on whosoever will emerge.

v) Other party challenges include but not limited to lack of sustainable means of party funding, lack of reasonable assistance for the extended membership Registration, Revalidation and Update exercise and lack of official means of transportation for the party and its officials.

The “Sorry” state of Akwa Ibom State:

It is quite regrettable to inform us nay the entire Akwa Ibom people that our beloved State has nose-dived since the onset of Governor Udom-led PDP administration. The Governor has been making false promises and excuses. Six years on the saddle of this administration, Governor Udom is yet to commission worthwhile infrastructures nor boast of substantial human capital development. The assertion that ‘mbiam’ cast on the coconut plantation wouldn’t let the trees thrive are face saving and lame excuses. Such other cooked up excuses as Covid-19 Pandemic hindering major construction works, the false alarm on Exxon-Mobil force majeure declared last December being impediments to prompt payment of workers’ salaries, pensions and gratuities are mere gimmicks to sway the anger of aggrieved public servants and a disenchanted populace.

Late last year, Akwa Ibom State was in the news severally for wrong reasons — a State with the second highest unemployment rate according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), a State with second highest indebtedness in Nigeria according to Debt Management Office (DMO) and one of the 12 States excluded from the World Bank assisted grants to States in Nigeria for failing the peer review assessment test.

Notwithstanding that Akwa Ibom State is one of the highest recipients of monthly allocation from Federation account in addition to other sources of revenue at her disposal, no funds are appropriated for scholarships for students, bursaries of N5,000 only previously paid to students of tertiary institutions, grants paid to Law and Medical students in addition to gift of lap-tops have since become a thing of the past under Udom’s administration. Meanwhile, fees in public primary and secondary schools are surreptitiously being reintroduced. All these are pointers to the failure of government making a discerning mind to query if indeed Akwa Ibom does not deserve the best than what is being offered by the failed PDP government in the state.

Where is our money, Governor Udom Emmanuel?

Less than two years to the end of this lacklustre PDP administration, uncompleted projects dot the States landscape. Gov. Udom’s PDP government is hereby called to question and advised not to tear down Ibom Plaza as speculated in the guise of remodeling same as he will not be able to complete the planned project before the end of his tenure. He should rather concentrate on his completion agenda and those projects abandoned in in Uyo, Eket and Oron townships.

Absolute need for Change in Akwa Ibom State:

Yes! we can in 2023. PDP has been here since 1999. Akwa Ibom people have never witnessed this level of misrule since the creation of the State. Governor Udom’s PDP administration has failed Akwa Ibom people woefully. APC needs to come together, build a united and formidable party strong enough and ready to take over the realms of governance in 2023. Our party promises Akwa Ibom people a focus and purposeful governance in the State if voted into power in 2023. Unemployment will be tackled through industrialization, scholarships and students’ bursaries and grants shall be reinstituted and significantly reviewed upward and paid as at when due. The APC government shall domesticate President Muhammadu Buhari’s social investment and human empowerment programs in the State. It will also vigorously pursue both the infrastructural and human capital development projects in the State.

We call on all our party members to remain resolute in our resolve to take over Akwa Ibom State come 2023. This we affirm!

Long Live All Progressives Congress

Long Live Akwa Ibom State

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State