by crossriverwatch admin
The rescheduled congress of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Cross River State yesterday ended in a fiasco as thugs allegedly armed with machetes invaded the Vanecian Mall, venue of the election along the Murtala Mohammed way in Calabar, to snatch ballot boxes and smashed same to make sure the election did not hold.
The party had earlier rescheduled the congress from April to yesterday because of irregularities that trailed the previous congress.
But yesterday’s Congress was also marred by poor organization and porous security coupled with desperation of some of the contestants who wanted to use undemocratic methods to win the Chairmanship position.
Our reporter who was at the election venue reports that voting by delegates from Obudu, Obanliku and Bekwarra Local Government Areas had commenced before the process was violently disrupted by miscreants allegedly mobilized by one of the chairmanship contestants, Hilliard Etta.
These miscreants taking advantage of the poor security arrangement broke into the hall where delegates were voting and snatched ballot boxes and smashed them on the ground.
It was apparent that one of the candidates for the chairmanship, Ramsey Titu Ndep was poised to win the election before his opponent allegedly mobilized the miscreants to disrupt the process.
When CrossRiverWatch tried to reach Mr. Hilliard Etta, his telephone number was switched off while the Interim Chairman of the Party’s Management Committee in the State, Hon. Alex Irek, who is also the Minority Leader of the State House of Assembly simply replied in an sms saying he cannot speak but will call back later and as at the time of filing this report, he had not returned the call.
The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Mike Igini who also was at the venue of the congress told CrossRiverWatch that: “I passed through the venue to actually see what was going on there. When I got there, they had not started but people were just shouting at themselves on top of their voices, I sat for about five to ten minutes and left.
“But I was later informed by my staff who were there that the event ended in a fiasco. I will however wait for a formal report of the congress to be sent to us before I can make any informed comment.”
Some members of the Party have vowed to petition the National Secretariat of the Party to invoke disciplinary measures against Hilliard Etta for using thuggery to disrupt the congress.
CrossRiverWatch gathered that an emergency meeting is presently ongoing in the Party Secretariat in Calabar.
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