by crossriverwatch admin
An eighteen member delegation of executive members of the ruling People Democratic Party PDP, led by the chairman of the party in the state, Ntufam John Okon, last week went on a consultation meeting, with members of the national assembly caucus, which a federal lawmaker from the state has described as “more of a rag-day kind of thing”.
Crossriverwatch gathered that the delegation met with federal lawmakers from the state in Abuja and discussed a wide range of issues bothering on finances and the state of the party in the absence of the governor who is the leader of the party in the state.
A review of the party caucuses was said to be top on the agenda but the state chairman was said to have been unprepared giving the governor’s absence as his excuse for not having a proposal for the review.
The chairman was also said to have emphasized the need for funding from members of the party as required by the party constitution and observed that members have not paid their obligations for upward of five years though some members of the state caucus in the national assembly have not spent up to five years.
Our source who was part of the delegation said the Chairman also informed the federal lawmakers that his administration has put offices and other administrative structures on ground in the eighteen local governments and this is gulping a lot of money and has made it imperative for members of the caucus to redeem their obligations to the party.
The crisis presently ongoing in Boki and Calabar South chapters were also deliberated on. Our source said.
We were also reliably informed that the federal lawmakers later announced a welfare package of N2.5m to the delegation.
One federal lawmaker from the state said, “These visits are just fund raisers. Some rag-day kind of thing if you know what I mean; after we collectively discussed and announced a gift of N2.5m for them, they still went visiting aspirants and prospective aspirants and individual members expecting to be given more money. When they come they don’t come with any real issues. They are just coming to collect money, that’s all”.
Another federal lawmaker who also confided in crossriverwatch said, “I think it is a smart move by the chairman to show that he is in charge in the absence of the governor and the federal lawmakers from the state are a critical section of the party in the state. He does not want the team spirit to dissipate. The governor is not around and he has to show leadership and that is what he has done.
“But you can also not separate all these so called courtesy visits from fund raising. They are also coming in the hope that when they are going back, someone will give them money. After this one, the LG chairmen and caucus will tell you they are coming on courtesy visit. After that, even Ward chairmen will tell you they are coming on courtesy visit, all because they expect to collect money.
“Throughout last year, there was no contract for anyone in the state, first quarter of this year is almost ending and there is no contract. Governor is not around and there is no money. So these courtesy visits now are just smart ways by people to collect money from those of us they see as getting free money”.
A member of the delegation who spoke to crossriverwatch on condition of anonymity said, “Yes, we had to recover our expenses. We paid transport by air and slept in hotels. So after that, we still had to see our own members privately and there is nothing wrong with that. If they also gave us additional money, I don’t also think there is anything wrong with that too”
Crossriverwatch reliably gathered that some of the federal legislators that the delegation members visited gave them paltry sums which they shared as little as N3, 000 each.
A federal lawmaker representing Cross River South reportedly gave his constituents his own gratification in foreign currency.
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