Crisis Between Cross River Deputy Speaker, Council Chairman Deepens

In Breaking News, Politics, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Hon. Itaya Nyong, Cross River Deputy Speaker (left), Hon. Denis Ntiri, Executive Chairman, Akamkpa LGA (standing), PDP state chairman, Ntufam John Okon (right) at the youth empowerment scheme organized by the council chairman
Hon. Itaya Nyong, Cross River Deputy Speaker (left), Hon. Denis Ntiri, Executive Chairman, Akamkpa LGA (standing), PDP state chairman, Ntufam John Okon (right) at the youth empowerment scheme organized by the council chairman

The long silence over power tussle between the Chairman of Akamkpa Local government Area, Hon. Denis Nkiri and the Deputy Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Itaya Asuquo-Nyong was blown open recently in Akamkpa local government hall venue of the empowerment program organized by the chairman where the legislator was in attendance.

CrossRiverWatch gathered that the deputy speaker and the chairman have been having a running battle over who controls the local government in the build up to the Peoples Democratic Party’s local government primaries in the area.

The chairman who is alleged to be loyal to the state chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ntufam John Okon is also thought to be working against the interest of the deputy speaker who our findings reveal was pushing for his 4th term re-election bid.

Both the PDP chairman and the council chairman are said to be against this development due to the rotation agreement in the council which is why they are pushing for a candidate from Awi ward where the deputy speaker comes from.

Akamkpa Local Government Area has ten wards which include Uyanga, Ikpi, Awi, Mbarakom, Ojuk South, Ojuk North, Oban, Eku and Iko.

Both the chairman of the council and the chairman of the State PDP are from Oban while the deputy speaker comes from Awi ward.

The Deputy Speaker and the member of House of Representatives representing Akamkpa/Biase federal constituency Hon. Daniel Asuquo (Dansuki) allegedly belong to the same camp while PDP state chairman, Ntufam John Okon and the chairman of the council, Denis Nkiri are in the opposing camp.

The rivalry climaxed in July when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC visited the local government over a petition that was believed to be authored by the deputy speaker.

The anti graft agency according to an insider could not trace any financial misappropriation to the chairman; a development the source said did not go down well with the deputy speaker.

However, the occasion of the empowerment scheme organized by the Akamkpa chairman for the youths of the minerals producing wards recently further exposed the cracks between the two camps.

While the deputy speaker was in attendance without invitation, the chairman of the council did not hesitate to tell those in attendance that the attendance of the supposed leader of the local government was not needed as he was not recognized while observing the protocol but the PDP chairman was duly recognized.

As if that was not enough, the deputy speaker who was almost forgotten on the seat spoke last without recognizing either the chairman of the party or the council chairman.

Commenting on the matter, a close source to the chairman of Akamkpa local government who preferred anonymity said: “How can the chairman recognize him when he was the author of the petition that brought the EFCC to Akamkpa, but thank God they gave the chairman a clean bill as nothing was found against him.

“All this is politics, he wants to re- contest and become the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly; we will see how that will happen now as the incoming chairman of the council is from his ward”.

Efforts to get a reaction from the Deputy Speaker were unsuccessful as several calls to his mobile phone were not answered.

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