The Akwa Ibom State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has refuted allegations that the newly appointed Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Etekamba Umoren, is a member of the party. Umoren, who is an ally of Senate President Godswill Akpabio, was recently appointed as one of the ten Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) RECs by President Bola Tinubu and confirmed by the Senate.
These allegations emerged after a photograph circulated online, showing Umoren wearing the APC’s regalia. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) raised concerns about his appointment, suggesting that he is a member of the APC.
Addressing the matter at a press conference in Abuja, an APC chieftain in Akwa Ibom State, Eseme Eyiboh, stated that Umoren is not a card-carrying member of the APC and is not in financial standing with the party. Eyiboh argued that merely wearing the party’s campaign regalia does not confirm Umoren’s membership status and that he is, in fact, a career civil servant.
Eyiboh further suggested that the photograph in circulation might have been manipulated, potentially through photo editing or Artificial Intelligence. He emphasized that the criteria for membership in a political party involve more than clothing and attire, including financial standing and official registration.
In response to the allegations, Eyiboh stated, “It is not true, it is speculating that Etekamba Umoren is a member of the APC. That is not correct.”