by crossriverwatch admin
Amidst controversy over the inconclusive Cross River State congress of the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, some members and stakeholders of the party who held an emergency meeting on Friday morning after the botched congress on the preceeding Thursday, have picked a chairman for the party in Cross River state. He is former state chairman of the All Nigeria Peoples Party [ANPP] Mr. Martins Bisong.
Hon. Alex Irek, the Minority leader and only APC member in the state House of Assembly who has been interim chairman of the party was allegedly sacked by the meeting, together with Secretary, Hon.Victor Okon; Treasurer, Mike Agbe; Publicity Secretary Ekpenyong Ayi and Organising Secretary, Goddy Taks.
According to a source at the meeting, the decision to remove the affected officials was reached by majority of those who attended the meeting which held at the party secretariat in Calabar. 27 persons were said to be at the meeting.
Mr. Bisong, told Daily Trust shortly after the meeting that majority of members of the committee arrived at the decision in order to save the party from collapsing.
He disclosed that the ousted chairman had failed in his responsibility of putting in place a level playing field for the smooth conduct of party congresses and was running the party as a personal enterprise.
Former chairman of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, Mr. Hilliard Eta and another key official, Dr. Ntete Duke also said as loyal party men, they abide by the decision of the majority, adding that the botched congress was
fraught with high level fraud capable of killing the party.
Bisong accused the Irek-led Executive Committee of dictating to the State Congress Committee, a situation he said had pitched most party members against both the ousted chairman and the congress committee.
“What happened yesterday was avoidable. The disruption of the state congress was an instant and spontaneous reaction against discrepancies. It cannot be termed a violent reaction. It was just a reaction by some persons who felt that their rights were being infringed on,” he said.
But in a reaction, a chieftain of the party in the state, Chief Obono Obla has dismissed the development describing it as a joke.
“The first thing is their claim that they removed the chairman and other interim members of exco; how can you on the 9th of May, 2014 remove a chairman after his tenure had expired and congress to elect a new one was held on the 8th of May, 2014?
“Secondly, you cannot convene an illegal meeting that did not follow laid down procedures and purport to have taken any decision that is binding on the party. Who called the meeting? Who and who were there? Our constitution says, it is the secretary that has the power to convene a meeting.
“A group of aggrieved people cannot call themselves together and purport to have sacked a chairman that was elected and duly sworn in by Chief Tom Ikimi. The Chairman’s tenure had expired, congress has been held accordingly and according to the Chairman of the Congress Committee, delegates from about sixteen states had already casted their votes before the process was disrupted by thugs and sixteen forms a quorum.
“We are only waiting for the congress committee to announce the winner of the election so that we will know who the chairman of the party in the state is, and until then Alex Irek remains the interim chairman of the party.” He said.
Efforts to reach the Chairman of the Congress Committee were still not possible as at the time of filing this report.
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