Some chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party in Akwa Ibom state have expressed reservation over the recently constituted Reconciliation Committee, alleging not accommodating the interest of the aggrieved members by having their representatives on the committee.
They made this disclosure in Uyo yesterday while speaking with journalists.
According to them, the committee headed by Senator Effiong Bob was composed of only members of Maintain Peace Movement, (MPM), a group in the party, expressing fears that the committee would not be impartial and capable of addressing the complaints of the disenchanted members.
One of the chieftains and a former chairman of the House of Assembly Service Commission, Apostle Andrew Unwanta, expressed disappointment over the membership composition of the committee saying it was meant to fail on arrival.
“The committee to me is tilted towards MPM and I don’t think they really want to reconcile aggrieved members of the party because if they are sincere they could have also brought in people outside MPM.
“It could have been broad-based to accommodate people outside MPM, so for me, the committee is merely an extension of the MPM structure. I have strong doubts if they really want genuine reconciliation because from what I am seeing in the membership of the committee the PDP leadership in Akwa Ibom do not actually want genuine reconciliation.
“This is important because they ought to have made the membership to include representation from aggrieved members who were disenfranchised especially during the ward congresses”, he said.
Another chieftain and a governorship aspirant of the party Chief Owodiong Idemeko expressed doubts over the sincerity in setting up the committee but said he would still give them the benefit of the doubt until they complete their task.
On complaints about the committee not being broad-based Idemeko was quick to point out that the current leadership of the party in the state has never accommodated the interest of other people other than those of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s favoured aspirant, Mr Umoh Eno.
“It has been like this right from the beginning. The right thing could have been to include representation from the aggrieved members. In my mind it is a winner takes all approach they have adopted but I don’t want to second guess, when the committee invites me I will say my mind.
“But before then we will wait and see what they will offer in terms of sincerity in addressing complaints of aggrieved members, especially stakeholders who felt slighted with the way the party carried out the process of electing its gubernatorial flagbearer”, he said.
It would be recalled that the PDP had a fortnight ago inaugurated an 11-man reconciliation committee to help the party address differences that may have arisen during the process of the just concluded party nominations.
The state chairman of the party, Mr Aniekan Akpan, had during the inauguration of the committee, acknowledged the existence of divergent concerns and grievances among members of the party and expressed the commitment of the party to addressing disagreements, adding that the umbrella of the party was big enough to cover everyone.
“After the primaries, our party candidates emerged while others did not win the party’s tickets. This may have caused them and their supporters to feel bad and perhaps discouraged.
“We value our members and we love to continue as one big family always this is why we thought it necessary to set up this Committee and we are sure that the committee will achieve the goals and objectives which the Party is out to achieve.
“As a party, we have a responsibility to reach out to everyone who holds a differing opinion from the outcome of the event, encourage them and help them restore their bearings as respected party men and women in the big umbrella family.
“We also need to reinvigorate their faith, hope, and confidence in the PDP as the only party that holds a better future for them and the sustainable peace, development, and prosperity of Akwa Ibom State”, he said.