What transpired at the residence of the former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong
Victor Atta that witnessed huge crowd , October 22, 2009 was a serious protest
by aggrieved larger majority of Akwa Ibom PDP members who felt insulted after
reading media account of what transpired with the Ike Nwachukwu-led Elders Committee
members that came into Akwa Ibom for the reconciliation of disputing groups of the
State PDP. It was later discovered that the news item was given out from the Uyo
Government House Press and tilted to give the impression as it were that all is now
well, whereas it is not yet so.
They protesting crowd numbering over one thousand came to the former governor
Attah’s residence to demand explanation from him why the situation was allowed that
such erroneous information was given to the public. They threatened him that if he
does not correct that, they might be forced to have a mass movement from PDP to any
other party waiting to receive majority of Akwa Ibom as it were.
The huge crowd complained of lack of internal democracy in the State PDP and
wondered why AKPF and ADV members who are in minority should be allowed to shut out
the majority from the party. They insisted that a man, Eta Etuk who they do not
recognize as the State Chairman of the Party was allowed to move a vote of thanks at
the Ibom Hall at the meeting of the visiting PDP Elders Committee as if he remained
the chairman of the State PDP. There was a protest against this at the venue.
Attah, while receiving the crowd of party faithful, calmed them and explained to
them that all they read were not the facts and thereby persuaded them not to go into
such mass movement as indicated by them. He informed them that internal democracy
would return to the State PDP. He, at the juncture, explained to them that there
was a meeting at Chief James Ibori’s house in Abuja on the night of October 5, 2009
where it was discussed and agreed that the present Akwa Ibom State Party executives,
the Chairman in particular, should be asked to resign and a new consensus person
appointed pending the mid-term Convention scheduled for March 2010 where every
interest would be catered for. He informed them that democracy and politics is
always a process. On arrival of the PDP Elder Committee members in Akwa Ibom State,
Attah made it clear that room should be created to allow every member have a sense
of belonging and that everything agreed at the meeting of
5th October 2009 should be followed to letter.
Attah informed the protesting members that the apologies rendered by Governor
Akpabio and the present State executives led by its Chairman Mr. Eta Etuk was for
the insults so far given him (Attah) and for the purported suspension. He accepted
the apologies in the spirit of unity but that does not in any way mean that the
present State PDP executives should stay put as public were wrongly made to believe.
All these, Attah told them, were definite agreement reached at the meeting of
October 5, 2009 in Abuja. Among those present at the Abuja meeting were said to
include Governor Akpabio, former governor Attah, and select members of the Elders
Reconciliation Committee including its Chairman Gen Ike Nwachukwu.
Attah further revealed to the crowd that when the Elders Committee members came he
made it clear to them that what was agreed at the Abuja meeting must be followed and
whether the members did exactly that is doubtful.
Nevertheless, Attah has made it clear that the situation on ground has nothing to do
with his personal relationship with either Governor Akpabio or Mr. Etuk but purely
for the sake of party democratic principles, with the aim that PDP retains the State
peacefully come 2011.