A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, of Akwa Ibom State and Coordinator, Movement for Better Nigeria, MBN, Dr Paul Dowells, has described any attempt by the ruling party, APC, to zone its presidential ticket to the North as dead on arrival.
There has been strong speculation that the leadership of the APC is considering a Northern presidential candidate as the Peoples Democratic Party, to give the party an edge in winning the 2023 presidential election.
It was further speculated that among the reasons the APC shifted its primaries to June 6, 2022, was to know where the candidate of the PDP would emerge from to replicate the same.
But, the group, in a press conference organized by its coordinator, Paul Dowells, at his office in Uyo on Tuesday, said giving a ticket to a northerner is not the yardstick for winning elections but rather the pedigree and charisma of the person that would fly the party’s flag.
“Zoning the presidential ticket to the North because PDP has a Northerner as a presidential candidate does not make sense."
Speaking on the crisis that erupted before the just concluded Governorship/ Assemblies primary elections of the APC in Akwa Ibom, Dowells said it was disheartening that a party which wants to wrestle power from the ruling PDP could not unite and work towards achieving that purpose.
He said it was high time that APC in the state put its house together by compelling those bent on causing mayhem and disunity to shelve their differences or risk expulsion.
Part of the press statement read, “We, as a group that advocates for good governance, say, “Enough is enough!” We will no longer fold our arms and watch these people take us back to the dark days. It is said that when two elephants fight, the grass suffers. In this case, the APC in Akwa Ibom suffers from the fight between the two people in the party, which has led to the polarisation of the party.
“What we have been suffering in this state since 2011 is the ownership and entitlement mentality of a member who feels that without him there is no APC in Akwa Ibom. That is why we have remained down politically in the state."
In 2015, that same person came again claiming to be the owner of APC when the likes of Comrade David Ekanem, Late Idongesit Udoekpo, Late Steve Ibanga, and others who went to his house and lobbied him to leave PDP and join APC did not claim ownership. That same fight began, and APC lost the election.
”In 2019, we brought Akpabio to the party, and he came again with a lot of trouble. The duo were championing their selfish interests embellished with sabotage, which made APC lose again." Though Akpabio was compensated with the office of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, taking the glory from other people who worked tirelessly for the party, Udoedehe became the National Secretary.
“Now again! In 2022, that same person and his likes are here. We say never again! The APC has gone a long way and should allow internal democracy to thrive and not allow one person who sees the party as his birthright to have his way. We expect the party to sit down and strategize on how to win the state and not to allow internal fighting.
The Coordinator, however, called on the national leadership of the APC to intervene so that sanity would be restored in the state chapter of the party, adding that without it, the party would not make any headway in the 2023 elections in Akwa Ibom.