The City of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state is set to buzz on Friday as the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to move in to receive a leading governorship aspirants, Umana O Umana into the fold of the party.
It was learnt that the National Chairman of APC, Chief Johan Odigie Oyegun, is to lead the top echelon of the party including leading Presidential aspirants of APC, the governors on the platform of the party, Senators, House of Representatives members of the party into Uyo. As scheduled the APC leaders who were in Osogbo, Osun State Capital for the swearing-in of the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola would arrive Uyo this evening in preparation for the formal declaration of Umana for the APC on Friday.
The jamboree planned by APC in Akwa Ibom state to welcome Umana and other 5000 decampees from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will kick off at 10.000 AM and will linger till 3.00 pm, according to the programme schedule.
Umana and many of the aggrieved members of PDP resolved to dump the party on account of the manipulation of electoral processes in the PDP in which case the party resolved to favour a candidate anointed by the state governor.
Akpabio, before now, had taunted many members of PDP in Akwa Ibom state with his desire to install his former Secretary to the Government of the State, Emmanuel Udom against the popular will on the basis of zoning the slot to Eket Senatorial district.
Elders of PDP in Akwa Ibom had advised Akpabio to liberalize the process of electing his successor, even though he would stick to his interest on Udom as his successor.
The PDP stakeholders in Akwa Ibom led by the former governor of the State, Obong Victor Attah had in addition to writing several petitions to the PDP National Headquarters for intervention on the development back home, made a physical protest to the National Secretariat of the party, decrying the bid by Akpabio to impose a candidate.
Not too long ago, Akpabio secured the backing of the National Secretariat of PDP in Abuja to approve his zoning arrangement, as the party through a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh advised members of PDP in Akwa Ibom to accept the arrangement zoning of the governorship slot in the state to the Eket Senatorial District.
Although other governorship aspirants who paid well over N11 million mandatory levy for the purchase of the PDP governorship nomination form remained non-committal to the clamour by their supporters to resist Akpabio’s option, it has only been Umana who has so far blazed the trail in confronting the PDP on its biased and unfair leadership selection process.
Since his planned decampment into APC, Umana’s support base in Akwa Ibom has continued to swell, particularly among the Ibibio ethnic group in the state who held a view that Akpabio had betrayed the initial agreement he had with them on handing over power to Ibibio after his two-tenure of office in Akwa Ibom.
Umana is also said to be commanding appreciable support from the Eket Senatorial district where the governor’s anointed candidate hails from on the basis that there are Ibibio too in Eket who never approved of the manner Akpabio has been bidding to split the state on the basis of ethnicity.