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AKISAN USA splits as Houston Chapter withdraws

AKISAN USA splits as Houston Chapter withdraws

The Houston Chapter of Akwa Ibom State Association (AKISAN) has announced its withdrawal from AKISAN, USA, an internationally recognized organization for Akwa Ibom Indigenes in the Untied States.

In a statement obtained by our correspondent, the association through its President, Prince Aniedi Akpan, noted its displeasure at the “level of insurgency by a group of radicals supported by AKISAN USA that lead to humiliations, insults, and embarrassments of AKISAN Houston Chapter”.

According to Akpan, “The former National President, Ms. Margaret Itauma, failed to protect the integrity of Houston as the host chapter before and during the election due to excessive pressure from the insurgents.” 

Akpan also stated several events which led to the chapter’s withdrawal from the general body. He said, “On or about August 12, 2020, a group of radical insurgents led by the AKISAN “Legal Counsel”, Ms. Lilia Essien, who was supposed to be a neutral adviser to the Organization, took over AKISAN in a coup fashion, while the viable and existing Administration was preparing for a smooth handing over. 

“The thugs, in support of their action, alleged the removal of the duly elected administration without affording due process to the Cabinet.

“In preparation for the national election, Attorney Gogo U.K. Owor, was appointed by the National Secretariat as the Returning Officer.”

He said, “Out of fear of honesty and fairness in the election process, some of the National Council members, under the control of this insurgency, gave in to the demands of Mr. Itoro A. Ikwot’s campaign to replace Attorney Gogo Owor as the Returning Officer.”

The President of the Houston Chapter further noted that “They further demanded that Dallas and Houston Chapters’ delegates be reduced from four to one each, alleging that both Chapters did not fully disseminate the membership list, that only Atlanta Chapter complied. 

“They did not produce any evidence to support the contention that Atlanta did comply, despite some Chapters’ (including Dallas and Houston) objections that they did not receive any submission from Atlanta. The insurgent’s demands were met with the help of the unconstitutional, unwarranted gross disenfranchisement of Dallas and Houston, two of the largest Chapters of AKISAN USA.”

Akpan noted that “It is worth noting that, to meet the demands of the insurgency, the former Returning Officer, Attorney Gogo Owor, was wrongfully replaced by a new Returning Officer, Dr. Peter Umoh. He gave a detailed and unsupported analysis with unconstitutional conclusions on why Houston and Dallas should each be stripped of her four delegates and the Convention voted in agreement by majority of the members present. 

“From all records and the Returning Officer’s analysis, there were no reports/evidence from other Chapters present to show that they did receive a membership list from Atlanta. If this was not a directed attack on Houston and Dallas Chapters to assist in installing their candidate, why were other chapters not stripped of their delegates? To crown it all, our former National President, Madam Margaret Itauma, caved into the radicals’ demands and failed to use the power of her office to institute a free and fair election.

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The President also stated that “AKISAN Houston Chapter stands to respect every member’s affiliation with any private or sacred organizations including membership in National Association of Seadogs a.k.a Pyrates Confraternity. However, we completely and totally disavow and condemn the infiltration of their influence or interference of any of such groups in AKISAN USA. The former National BOT Chairman, Mr. Edem Andy, unequivocally and publicly declared his membership and that of other AKISAN members with branches across the United States in the same Confraternity. 

“For this reason, AKISAN Houston Chapter condemns and wishes to disassociate herself from the private association with the National Association of Seadog (Pyrates Confraternity). AKISAN Houston Chapter is taking this stance to maintain the family friendly status of AKISAN USA with the freedom and ease to engage our young children in its events without fear of subtle recruitment or subliminal messaging or advertising.”

According to Akpan, AKISAN, USA has deviated from its primary non-profit purpose to a politically oriented body in such a manner that members now fight against each other over leadership positions which are now being contested on the basis of greed. 

Speaking further, the president stated that the Chapter “will not continue to endure insults and humiliation from AKISAN USA (National), that it has never gained anything from the AKISAN USA (National), despite the enormous sacrifices and contributions it has made to the National and that the Chapter remains self-reliant, strong and will continue to thrive as an organization if they disassociate from AKISAN USA (National) and have decided to withdraw herself so as to focus on her people and other projects to better the lives of its members.”

Akpan said the withdrawal is until further notice. 

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