There seems to be no end in sight to the crisis bedevilling the Rivers State chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) as its state leader and 2011 gubernatorial candidate, Dr Abiye Sekibo resigned from the party.
Sekibo, a former minister of transport and Secretary to the Rivers State Government, made this known in a letter to the national headquarters of the party and addressed at the national chairman, stating that his resignation was based on personal grounds.
“This is to inform you that I have, by this letter, resigned my membership of the Action Congress of Nigeria, with effect from today, June 5, 2013. My resignation is for personal reasons. I wish all my dear friends and colleagues who are still in the party well,” the letter said.
Sekibo’s resignation from the party worsens the fragmentation that had started occurring within the party, especially with suspension and counter-suspension memos being issued from one section of the party to another, the latest being the alleged suspension of the party’s state chairman, Esuku M. Esuku for alleged financial impropriety.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Tuesday and signed by the state secretary of ACN, Amonibia Akoko, and the chairman of ACN chiarman’s Forum in the state, Hope Onyeche, the party had accused their chairman of financial impropriety as well as connivance with the state government.
“Our attention has been drawn to series of activities and actions of Mr Esuku M. Esuku, Acting State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Rivers State, the latest of which was his acceptance to work with the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for the purpose of registering members for the APC and to collect the attractive N1 billion monthly.
“The Party particularly feels disappointed and condemns in strong terms the report to work with the Rivers State Government on the agreement that he (Esuku) should register members for the governor for the proposed Rivers State APC registration.
“The party therefore, in its Emergency Meeting today in Port Harcourt, Rivers State considered it expedient and resolved to suspend Mr Esuku M. Esuku from the party in accordance with the rules and regulation, and relevant statutory provisions of the Party’s Constitution,” they said.
But responding to the allegations against him and his suspension, Esuku said the allegations are “cheap blackmail”, adding that if he had indeed laid his hands on anything close to N1 billion as alleged, he would not be the way he is currently.
He said further that he remained the state chairman of the ACN and that the five persons earlier suspended remained suspended, he added that the party in the state is not divided into factions, saying “there is only one ACN in Riverss state and I am the chairman.
“All those allegations about collecting money from Rivers governor or working for him to start APC in the state is all cheap blackmail. How I wish there was N1 billion as they claimed, I would have given you too from it. It is all blackmail and our reaction will soon be on the air,” Esuku said.