By Lawrence Olaoye
Former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah, yesterday alleged that the state governor, Barrister Godswill Akpabio, has taken all the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) membership registers to the Government House in Uyo in order to manipulate them.
Attah, who spoke to journalists yesterday after presenting his petition to the National Integration Committee (South-south) of the party chaired by Professor E. Abubakar, said the governor has perfected plans to impose a governorship candidate on the party in the state.
He however warned that there would be dire consequences for the PDP at the 2015 polls should its leadership fail to call the governor to order.
According to him, “They know that we had a terrible disaster in 2011 and we don’t want that to happen in 2015. Why do some people collect the registers from where they belong and take them to the Government House? Why should they be the one to privately and individually form the list of delegates to go for congresses?
“Why should they make it impossible for those who genuinely left the party to come back and bring the register for them to be registered? So if we don’t do this, I fear for what will happen in the election,” he said.
But reacting, Akpabio debunked the allegations insisting that those registers are at the party secretariats at the wards and local government levels.
He said “That is falsehood; nothing like that. All the wards and chapters have their registration register and of course the state party chairman also has custody of the ones we should have custody of. Such allegation is baseless and it is false and you have to understand that this is political time and people are doing their best to blackmail one another, bring about falsehood in an attempt to win elections, primaries or gain political power.
“I focus on good governance in my state and the PDP is out to ensure electoral independence. I have a lot of respect for elder and the founding fathers of the party and the President finds it expedient to make me a member of the party`s inner caucus.
“I am a strong party man and I identify with working committee in my state and the people and all the funding and founding fathers. The problem in my state is that we have one or two party founding fathers that lost primaries in 2011 and from that period, they lost interest in the PDP.
In 2011, they attended ACN rallies and stood on the podium to raise the hands of the opposition up and if those people had won, the PDP would have been extinct in Akwa Ibom, but by the grace of God, we defeated them,” he said.
He expressed gratitude to the PDP leadership for constituting the committee, which he said would ensure true reconciliation among the party members in the state.
Akpabio also debunked the speculation that he had perfected plans to impose Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Udom, on the party as his successor insisting that the party flag bearer would emerge at a transparent primary.