The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State has denied claims that the newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Etekamba Umoren, is one of its members.
Umoren, an ally of Senate President Godswill Akpabio, was among the ten Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) RECs appointed by President Bola Tinubu and confirmed by the Senate.
However, some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have rejected Umoren’s appointment, saying that he is a member of the APC following a photograph that surfaced online where he was seen wearing the party’s regalia.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, an APC chieftain in Akwa Ibom state, Eseme Eyiboh, said Umoren is not a card-carrying member of the party and not in financial standing with the APC.
The APC chieftain stated that wearing the party’s campaign regalia is not enough to say Umoren is a member of the party, adding that he is a career civil servant.
Eyiboh stated that it is possible that the photograph in circulation was photoshopped or generated by Artificial Intelligence.
He said: “Etekamba Umoren is a bureaucrat. He served in Akwa Ibom state as a Permanent Secretary. He is a career civil servant. He was chief of staff and then SSG – not to serve a political party but a government.
“I have also seen that he wore the uniform of APC. The law is very strict, and there are a plethora of Supreme Court cases on who is a member of a political party.
“The member of a political party must be not just a card-carrying member, he must be in financial standing with that political party. He must be among the registered members, and prescription has nothing to do with uniform or mode of dressing.
“For you to take the ordinary mode of dressing – the member of an organisation is not determined by their clothing but by the membership of that organisation. Every organisation has its criteria for its membership.
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“It is not true, it is speculating that Etekamba Umoren is a member of the APC. That is not correct.”
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