By Sylvia Etta
There are indications that the forthcoming PDP Ad-hoc Ward Congresses in Cross River State are threatening to mar the fortunes of the party in the state.
While spirited efforts are being made by the PDP in Cross River State to skew the Ward Congresses taking place on Saturday, November 1, 2014 in favor of the interest of the party hierarchy in the state, opposing forces within the party in the state are warning of an impending political crisis in the state should the party try to manipulate the process.
A PDP chieftain in the State who was obviously pained by the turn of events in the party in the state, told CrossRiverWatch in Calabar today that: “These people don’t know what they are playing with. Don’t forget that, unlike the caucuses that we did not care about, almost all the local government excos that will be elected by the congresses on Saturday are automatic delegates to the November 29 governorship primaries.
“The party sent the State Secretary to Abuja to go and collect delegate nomination forms and started hoodwinking people again that it is the state secretariat alone that can issue the forms to anyone who is vying for a position at the Ward Congresses on Saturday. But as I talk to you, with only a few hours to the 12midnight today deadline for submission of the forms, they are not available to anybody unless to those that the State party leadership pleases.
“The game plan is to ensure only their stooges get the forms and get elected at the Saturday Ward Congresses to guarantee victory for their candidate in the primaries. But several other politicians have also gone to the national office of the party to get the delegate nomination forms and have equally distributed same to as many people who are interested vying for positions at the congresses because there is nothing in our books that says it is only the state secretariat that can issue the forms.
When reminded that the party in a statement by its National Organizing Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha, said: “All completed forms should be submitted to the State Headquarters of the party, latest by midnight, Thursday, October 30, 2014. The State party offices are required to publish a list of such completed forms at the ward secretariats of the party by Friday, October 31, 2014”, and the possibility that the party at the state may not accept completed forms that they did not issue, the source also reminded CrossRiverWatch that: “ Part of the letter you just quoted also reads that – all interested aspirants for the 3 Ad-hoc Delegates who have completed and submitted their Nomination Forms should not under any circumstance be excluded from participation in the Ward Congresses taking place on Saturday, November 1, 2014.
“So why won’t they collect completed forms that they did not issue? If they refuse the forms then they have clearly declared war on us and there will be a huge political crises in the state. The governor should know that he is leaving office and many people fidgeting around him now do not mean him well and will dump him soonest. He should allow the will of the people to prevail by providing the enabling environment for a free and fair primaries.”
CrossRiverWatch gathered that delegates vying for positions have started returning their forms to the party secretariat to meet the 12midnight deadline, but it was not immediately clear whether any form has been rejected by the state secretariat.
Our reporters will also monitor the situation to see if the list of completed forms will be published tomorrow as contained in the directive from the party at the national level.
Efforts to speak with the PDP State Publicity Secretary on the development were not fruitful as at press time.
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