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July 24, 2024

Awka Ibom: Blind Association seeks Gov Eno’s intervention in looming crisis


The National Board of the Nigeria Association of the Blind (NAB), has urged Akwa Ibom State governor, Pastor Umo Eno, to wade into a looming crisis rocking the organisation in the state which centers on breach of their constitution.

The National President of NAB, Stanley Oyebuchi, stressed that if the issue in the Akwa Ibom chapter is not resolved, the union would cause its affiliate organisations and international partners to suspend all inclusion projects and activities in the state.

In an open letter addressed to Governor Umo Eno on Thursday in Uyo and signed by the South-South Zonal Coordinator, Nkemakonam Ofili, on behalf of the National President, Oyebuchi frowned on the decision of the State Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare, and Special Assistant to the Governor on PWDs, Mrs Nene Bassey, to assist the outgone state chairman, Ubong Akpan, to hold an election against the constitution of the union.

The chairman said though Akpan’s tenure as the state chairman of NAB expired since August 2023, he extended his tenure for eight more months, forcing the national board of NAB to dissolve the Ubong Akpan led executive as prescribed in the constitution.

He stated that a five man committee was set up to pilot the affairs of the union for three months during which an election would be conducted, and the South-South Zonal Coordinator, Nkemakonam Ofili, was mandated to visit the state and implement the decision of the board.

He explained that Akpan who refused to conduct the elections during his tenure on the premise that the Ministry did not release funds for the election, hurriedly set up an electoral committee in an executive meeting held in the conference hall of the Ministry, in disregard and abuse of NAB constitution.

The chairman regretted that the SA to the Governor on Persons With Disabilities, Nene Bassey, was said to have verbally abused, attacked and threatened former national officers from the state and the national president, and appealed on the governor to intervene in the looming crisis.

“We consider the action of Nene Basey, Dr Ini Adiakpan and the immediate past state chairman as illegal and fragrant abuse of NAB’s constitution.

“Should the purported and illegal election hold on Friday, we will not only suspend the chapter from NAB national, but also write to all our affiliate organisations as well as our international partners to suspend all inclusion projects, activities and programmes in the state because of government unnecessary interference in disability organisation management.

“Whereas we acknowledge all your fantastic inclusive works in Akwa Ibom state in the past 11 months, and we seriously commend your friendly disposition to disability issues and people with disabilities in the state, we sincerely appeal to you to wade into this looming crisis.

“We consider the action of Nene Basey, Dr Ini Adiakpan and the immediate past state chairman as illegal and fragrant abuse of NAB’s constitution.

“Should the purported and illegal election hold on Friday, we will not only suspend the chapter from NAB national, but also write to all our affiliate organisations as well as our international partners to suspend all inclusion projects, activities and programmes in the state because of government unnecessary interference in disability organisation management.

“Whereas we acknowledge all your fantastic inclusive works in Akwa Ibom state in the past 11 months, and we seriously commend your friendly disposition to disability issues and people with disabilities in the state, we sincerely appeal to you to wade into this looming crisis.

“Thank you so much for the education intervention trust fund for people with disabilities in the state, including people who are blind or partially sighted,” parts of the letter read.

The warning letter issued by Nene Basey, SA to the Governor on Persons With Disabilities, to some past national officers of the NAB, reads, “It has come to my notice that Mr Ubong Daniel Udo, Nsikak and Co are constantly calling their members from other States to come over to Akwa Ibom State to dissolve excos, set up committees for congress/election without a recourse to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare.

“I told the NAB national president to desist from such activities because all the elections will be conducted when he called me. I have spoken with the North East Commissioner for Disability and she is totally comprehend.

“In my capacity, I am warning the above named members of NAB AKS Chapter to abolish all forms of illegal activities they’ve plotted. Not after all the Government of Akwa Ibom State has been doing for NAB, no cluster of disabilities in this State enjoys such gestures. You will NOT be able to contend with the Government! Beware!!”





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