Martin Inyang of the Accord Party asserts his rightful position as the party’s chairman in Akwa Ibom State, countering claims of his removal by Imaobong Udeng, the party’s State Secretary, and Emem Kofie, the gubernatorial candidate for the 2023 elections, among others.
Inyang’s response came during a recent press conference in Uyo where Udeng expressed a vote of no confidence in him. Udeng accused Inyang of engaging in actions against the party’s interests, failing to secure election victories within his own unit, aligning the party with the PDP, and mishandling N3.1 million allocated for campaign expenses by the gubernatorial candidate.
However, Inyang, in an interview on Tuesday, challenged the authority of those orchestrating his removal, asserting that they lack the power to remove an elected chairman. He questioned the legitimacy of the gathering at the gubernatorial candidate’s campaign office, stating that it was not recognized by the state or national party bodies.
Inyang emphasized, “I remain the elected chairman of the Accord Party in Akwa Ibom State. The assembly at Kofie’s campaign office was illegal and not recognized by the party at any level. How can an elected officer be removed from a party? Engr. Kofie should refer to the party’s constitution for details of members’ activities. Is he a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC)? Is he a member of the State Executive Council? Is he the National Chairman?”
Furthermore, Inyang refuted the allegations of engaging in anti-party activities, pointing out that the party’s National body had directed them to support Bola Tinubu for president and Senator Godswill Akpabio for Senate president. He saw following this directive as loyalty rather than anti-party conduct and labeled the accusations as an attempt at blackmail.
Inyang added, “This is a clear case of blackmail. The party’s constitution doesn’t grant me unilateral authority; otherwise, we would have had disagreements. They also claimed I switched to the PDP, which is false. Engr. Kofie joined the party from Abuja, and we granted him a waiver. We provided him with support, knowing the party’s alliance with Tinubu and Akpabio. Yet, he tried to unilaterally remove me and appoint his campaign DG as interim Chairman. Is that acceptable?”
Inyang contested Kofie’s assertion that he failed to win his ward and unit during the presidential election, asserting that he secured votes for President Tinubu and Senator Godswill Akpabio. He challenged Kofie and others to disclose their election results in their respective units, claiming they lacked sufficient support to win.
Regarding the alleged N3.1 million, Inyang questioned whether such an amount could secure Kofie’s gubernatorial victory in a state with 4,354 units. He calculated that the sum, when divided, amounted to only N7 per unit, which he deemed inadequate for electoral success. Inyang advised Kofie to seek guidance from experienced politicians on winning elections.
He concluded, “Kofie should consult with other governors and President Tinubu on winning elections. I supported him against Umo Eno, and now he’s turning against me. Has Kofie ever contested and won elections? Even the suspended Party Secretary, who participated in the vote of no confidence, how can a suspended secretary suddenly remove his chairman?”
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