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|Oba Deserted, As Rancour Tears Ypp Apart by vickydaniels(m): 9:45pm On Feb 02, 2023
By Hope Otoyo, Uyo
Finally, the gripping effect of the hole up of Senator Bassey Albert - a consequent of his bail on health grounds that won't let him freely interact with his base and physically campaign -
is fast telling on his governorship bid, as hundreds of his supporters ebb out gradually for shelter where they find better hope.
A visit by this reporter to campaign headquarters of the embattled senator and candidate of YPP in Akwa Ibom State, presented an exhibition of the shadows of its past glories, as the place was completely deserted and abandoned by party faithful and supporters of OBA. And this has been a regular feature of the OBA campaign office for weeks.
Driving into the sprawling arena along Edet Akpan avenue, Uyo, met me with an awe, as not even the gatemen were around to attend to me.
I spent about a quarter of an hour within the premises just to ensure my hunch was wrong but to my surprise, no one was available, as I drove off.
The deserted OBA campaign premises is just one of the tell-tale signs that hundreds of the embattled senator's supporters have moved over to other parties or were frozen chilled by the sad tale of the senator's conviction and the likelihood that, as the election day looms larger, things may continue to fall apart and debilitating.
Also observed was the scarcity of OBA wife's presence during the ward tours of YPP which are coordinated by party officials mainly for those candidates standing for national and state assemblies elections.
A party official, who would not be named, said most of the staff and officials of the party whose offices are located in the four storey building of OBA campaign building were on the field. He however averred that the chances of their principal at the polls were depleted heavily by the legal landmines laid by EFCC.
To make it worse for the YPP candidate, there is a battery of internal wranglings in the party administration.
Party officials are at danger's drawn edge with the chairman of the party, Apostle Nnyenime Andy.
Their grouse, according to one of the senior party officials who pleaded anonymity, was about Apostle Nnyenime Andy's high-handedness, greed and lack of leadership quality of a party man. He said Apostle Andy's obsession with "eat it all alone" attitude has polarized party officials, making the party ill prepared for the elections.
A source hinted how many of the EXCO members of the leaf-clutching party have had to go without allowances for months, just because the party chairman has pocketted monies released by OBA for operations of the party.
It was also revealed that Andy runs the operations of the party from his pocket, leaving out sensitive party officials in the administration of funds and resources of the organization.
The source volunteered: "Apostle Nnyenime Andy is too money conscious; running the party as if it is his personal business. There's no internal cohesion among party EXCO."
He added that the apostle, who has received over three vehicles and two houses from OBA so far, has boasted that he singlehandedly brought OBA to the party and that he was going to deal with any party official who complains against him. He was reported to once barked at the EXCO members during meeting and stormed out, threatening to deal with anyone trying to question how he runs the party.
Although such posturing never went well with party officials, everyone was said to keep sealed lips and jeopardize their hope that the gubernatorial candidate of the party, OBA, would fulfill his pledge of donating cars and logistics supports to the party officials penultimate elections weeks.
"But sadly the turnout of events today is dimming the light of that pledge by the day, " the frustrated party official lamented.
On the expectation that the convicted senator will complete the appeal against his conviction before elections, feelers have it that OBA himself is so afraid and would not intensify efforts towards appealing the conviction.
Fears are rife that the appellate court might uphold the judgment of the federal high court, Uyo, which convicted him for money laundry, a crime against the state, and that such could drive a death nail on his political career.
Party source expatiated that the senator prefers to quietly exploit his extensive network in the national assembly and the federal capital territory (FCT) to lobby against the EFCC stance.
It is yet to know if EFCC will press further on the case.
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