Godswill Akpabio at the defection ceremony to APC at Ikot Ekpene Township Stadium

The former Senate Minority Leader and former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Godwill Akpabio, has been rejected by a group and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in the state as their leader.

The group spoke at a press conference while the chieftains spoke at different occasions.

Akpabio, who formally dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for the APC on Wednesday, was pronounced by the National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, as the leader in the state.

But on Thursday, the group and the party chieftains – Emmanuel Sam and Obong Mike Edem – distanced themselves from the leadership of Akpabio.

The group, Akwa Ibom Progressives Watch, said the APC would be more disunited under Akpabio if he was made leader of the party in the state.

The group at a press conference by its Chairman, Innocent Sylvanus, warned that many people who left the PDP for the APC because of Akpabio’s impunity would be unwilling to work with him.

He said: “It will be a disaster to allow Akpabio lead the party.

“We want the national leader and chairman of the party to know this.”

Sam also said on Thursday that he would not accept Akpabio as his leader.

He said: “We cannot be led by a man who was brutal to us.

“We have not forgotten that his brutality made some members of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria to move into what is called the APC today.

“He can never lead us.

“We will resist it.”

Edem said no right-thinking person in the party will accept Akpabio as leader.

He said: “He cannot be our leader.

“He will be contradicting himself because he cannot reject a skewed reward system which favours newcomers in his former party, yet wants to be rewarded in the APC through similar skewed arrangement.”

Edem added that they wouldn’t work with Akpabio because he persecuted them before they left the PDP.

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