Martin Inyang of the Accord Party maintains that he is the legitimate chairman of the party in Akwa Ibom State.
Inyang made this statement in response to his alleged removal by the party’s State Secretary, Imaobong Udeng, as well as Emem Kofie, the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2023 elections, and a few others.
During a recent press conference in Uyo, Udeng passed a vote of no confidence, accusing Inyang of engaging in anti-party activities, failing to secure election victories for their candidate in his own unit, aligning the party with the PDP, and misappropriating N3.1 million provided by the gubernatorial candidate for campaign expenses.
However, Inyang, who is facing these allegations, asserted in an interview on Tuesday that those plotting his removal lack the authority to oust an elected chairman. He described their actions as ultra vires and challenged the legitimacy of the gathering at the campaign office of the gubernatorial candidate, arguing that it was not recognized by both the state and national bodies of the party.
Inyang stated, “I remain the elected chairman of the Accord Party in Akwa Ibom State. The supposed assembly gathering at Kofie’s campaign office was illegal and not recognized by the party at the state or national level. There is a trending story that I have been removed from office and a vote of no confidence passed against me. How can an elected officer be removed from a party? Engr. Kofie should refer to the party’s constitution because it provides details of every party member’s activities. Is Engr. Kofie a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC)? Is he a member of the State Executive Council? Is he the National Chairman?”
In addition, Inyang denied engaging in anti-party activities, as alleged, and emphasized that the party’s National body had directed them to support Bola Tinubu for president and Senator Godswill Akpabio for Senate president. He questioned how following the National body’s directive could be construed as anti-party activity, labeling the accusations as blackmail.
He continued, “This is a clear case of blackmail. The party’s constitution does not grant me the privilege to act unilaterally; otherwise, we would have had disagreements. They also claimed I switched to the PDP and was feigning in the party. I must express my disappointment. Engr. Kofie joined the party from Abuja, and we granted him a waiver. We provided him with all the support he needed. He never believed that Tinubu and Akpabio could win elections. He knew that the party formed an alliance with Tinubu and Akpabio, yet he attempted to unilaterally remove me and appoint his campaign DG as interim Chairman. Where does that happen?”
Inyang countered Kofie’s claim that he didn’t win his ward and unit during the presidential election, stating that he secured votes for President Tinubu and Senator Godswill Akpabio, but violence in his unit hampered his success during the governorship election. He challenged Kofie and others to reveal their own election results in their units, asserting that none of them had enough support to win.
Regarding the N3.1 million allegedly given to him, Inyang questioned whether such a sum could secure Kofie’s gubernatorial victory in a state with 4,354 units. He calculated that when divided, it amounted to only N7 per unit, an insufficient amount to secure electoral success. Inyang suggested that Kofie should seek advice from experienced politicians on winning elections.
He concluded, “Kofie should consult other governors and President Tinubu on how to win 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?”