A chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Effiong Abia has taken the party to the cleaners over the alleged lopsided method adopted by the party’s hierarchy in dishing out political appointments to politicians from the state.
This is coming on the heels of the recent attacks of the presidency by the State Chapter of the party, which accused President Muhammadu Buhari of employing ”unfamiliar method” in appointing people from the state into his administration.
Abia, a former Commissioner for Rural Development said it was high time the party re-jigged its reward system otherwise loyal members would be discouraged from putting in their very best in the build up to 2023.
According to him, members who sacrificed their resources to strengthen the party have been sidelined in political patronage, a development he stressed would not augur well for the growth of the party as aggrieved members would be noncommittal in the affairs of the party.
Specifically, Abia, who was the Party Collation Agent for Mbo local government area and also Chairman Eket Senatorial District Campaign Council during the elections, underlined that he worked conscientiously and assiduously to deliver Mbo local government area for the party, which saw the President winning the area by 5299 votes as against 4750 for the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) even as APC equally coasted home to victory in the House of Assembly polls in the area.
He, however bemoaned that such efforts have not been acknowledged and rewarded by the party , maintaining that the President won only in Mbo and one other local government are in Akwa Ibom, but wondered why those who worked for the victory of the party were left in the cold.
He adduced lack of cohesion by APC as the reason why PDP swept the polls in the state, disclosing that some dignitaries were clearly working against the fortune of the party at the polls, advising that there was need for surgical operations so as to breathe new life into the party.
His words, ” We didn’t put our house in order. We were coasting to victory until we encountered some hiccups. Some dignitaries were counterproductive to our victory, and this explains why the President won in only two local government areas, Mbo and one other council in the 31 local government areas. Mbo gave him 5299 votes as 4750 for PDP. The APC also won the State House of Assembly seat, an indication that Mbo is APC stronghold.
”So, i therefore propose that the party should re-jig its rewarding system and those who put in efforts should be rewarded. Merit should be reward to serve as a morale booster. I was a gubernatorial aspirant in PDP and I came into APC with a large following. Therefore, I am still the champion of the botched gubernatorial polls in 2015. So, the party should not wished merit away.
”Some people who did not even visit their units are the ones being rewarded , while those who put in everything are left in the cold. What is sauce for goose is sauce for the gander. What I am seeking for is not personal interest but the organic interest of the party in the state because the party needs to have a united front.
”Those who left PDP because of principles and ideology will not think of going back because President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the party and we need to key into the high vision of the President. When somebody who doesnt have followers is given appointment he or she takes it as personal favour but somebody who has followership would hold such appointment in trust for the people.
”Therefore political patronage should not be given purely on academic qualification but on the fact that you have followers. When you give a position to such a person, it means that you are favouring the followers. But if that is not the case, when elections come the party would still lose . It happened in 2015.”