Is It Well With The Umbrella? BY SAM ARIKPO

In Breaking News, Columnists, Opinion, Politics

by crossriverwatch admin


Recently, the mass media was awash with a report quoting the Cross River State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Ntufam John Okon as saying that people are printing PDP cards to claim they are party members and that one Mr. Goddy Jedy Agba is not a member of the party.

This statement, from such a high ranking officer of the party has grave implications. Indeed coming from the state chairman of the party, that statement portends that the policy of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is that people are easily being barred from the party. Secondly, it can be adduced that the hierarchy is aware of the printing of fake party cards and distribution of same.

This by any standard is a very serious and unfortunate development as a political party is after all an association which is open to all interested people. Moreover, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has over the years prided itself as being a big umbrella that is able to accommodate all.

So what is the State Chairman saying? That Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has foreclosed new membership? That those who are interested in the party many years before Ntufam joined the Party are deregistered? Or are we being informed that there is a crack within the party which causes the alienation of certain persons from the party?

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Chairman’s statements are unguarded and are definitely sending wrong signals. For how can a Party Chairman allege that people, indeed some of his members are printing party cards of his party without ascertaining the veracity of such a claim.

If the Chairman knows the person or persons printing fake party cards, we demand that he hands over such persons for prosecution according to the law of the land instead of using the pages of newspapers.

We,as stakeholders and I for one, as one of the people who were in the team that followed the “three wise men” to bring the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) flag to Cross River State at inception, cannot stand by and witness the utter demeaning of our party without saying a thing. This house and or umbrella we built with our sweat cannot be pulled down so recklessly.

For us, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) means a lot. I need not emphasis that this is one party that has provided quality leadership in Cross River State at all levels and even at the national level since 1999.

It bears repetition to say that men and women of all callings, beliefs and background have found succor and expressed themselves within the framework of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ideals. This is certainly not the time to start alienating genuine persons, especially those who show interest in helping the party to advance further.

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has always prided itself in its adherence to democratic ideals by the provision of level playing grounds for people to express themselves. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has always believed in the ballot as a true expression of the people’s will.

This situation has not changed and the current executive of the party in the state cannot change it.
We demand that the State Chairman should shed more light on his assertion and do more to convince us on the sincerity of his statements.

It is on record that Ntufam John Okon’s led party’s Exco, half way through its tenure has recorded the highest number of suspensions and already there are ominous signs of balkanization of the party in the state.

We cannot afford this recklessness as we prepare for 2015 general elections. One will ask, is the family still a family, down the Local Government Areas and down the line?

A word is enough for the wise.

Chief Sam Arikpo is a journalist and he wrote in from Calabar
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch

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