By Archibong Jeremiah
A crowd of youths under the auspices of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Youth Movement for Jonathan, Cross River State chapter today 12th November, 2014 took to the streets of Calabar and barricaded the state PDP secretariat calling for the immediate sack of the state PDP chairman, Ntufam John Okon and his exco for not leaving up to expectations.
Addressing members of the group as they converged at the party secretariat, the state Coordinator, Mr. Effiom Godwin said, “Our aim is that they should please and please keep our delegate list, they should not change or alter any name, the leadership of the party at the national should ensure that the state party exco do not interfere with the delegate list”.
Speaking to CrossRiverWatch, Mr. Solomon Edem Essien a member of the group expressed worry that the list of the delegates as drawn from the result of the election has been tampered with since for over a week after the election the result has not been made public.
He said, “I am so bitter that the results of the delegate election conducted since 1st of this month has not been released, we need our result, we urge the national party exco to make known the result of the election, they should not doctor it, if they temper with it I will take the party to court personally and claim one million naira damage. I am surprised that for about a week our party office has been sealed up, I stand here on behalf of this group to pass a vote of no confidence in the John Okon led administration”.
Another speaker at the protest, Hon. Bassey Otodor commended President Goodluck Jonathan and the national leadership of the party for a successful congress. In his words: “I congratulate the President of our great country and the national leadership of the PDP for a peaceful, free and fair delegate election, I contested and won but today I am told it is a slot business which is why someone else who I don’t know replaced me, here is a copy of the real delegate election result of my ward, ward nine (showing it to those present) with my name scoring 81, this abnormalities if not addressed will attract doom for our great party”.
While also addressing members of the protest group in front of the state party secretariat, Ambassador Awatt Caleb threatened that, “Our delegate list should remain, we are supporters of President Goodluck Jonathan and we are saying that Jonathan must return 2015, the locking of the party secretariat is a set back to us and is unacceptable, this shows that the leadership is not credible, and by that we call for the dissolution of the Cross River State exco, we hear also that some people have gone to Abuja to engineer the changing of the delegate list, we warn that our list should remain the way it is, we have our copies, if it is changed it will cause a lot of problem in the state”.
Responding to the group, the party authority in the state, through it administrative secretary, Barrister Peter Bebia said “Our state officers are outside the state attending to issues of importance in Abuja. Cross River State is not a volatile state but a state that knows and demonstrates peace even in difficult times. I assure you that the party leadership under Senator Liyel Imoke and Ntufam John Okon is reliable and dependable, whatever conflict of interest we may have had in the ward congresses, the leadership is dialoguing and all interest is taken into consideration, every interest has a role to play in the politics of Cross River State”.
He assured that there was no problem with the delegates list, adding that “In a short moment from now you shall hear from the state, I thank you all and want you to conduct yourself peacefully, go home and wait for the state to speak to you”, he said.
He also said “The party office in Cross River State is not sealed, not locked, if you have any official business to do in the office you shall have access. The principal officers of the state PDP are in Abuja for the declaration of the President, any moment they will be here to carryout activities. If there is any information from any quarters that the party office has been sealed is not correct, as the administrative secretary of the party, we are looking the office until the principal officers return, the delegates election was conducted peacefully and successfully you listened to it on the radio and television, the results have been submitted, when the result is brought to the state we shall hear it”.
The protesters were seen carrying placards bearing inscriptions such as: “Imoke don’t tamper with delegate list, don’t be a dictator Imoke, vote of no confidence on PDP Cross River State, change the state exco of PDP, Imoke stop parading unpopular candidate, Imoke don’t destroy PDP, We support Adamu Muazu the game changer, Imoke stop intimidating us, don’t change delegate list etcetera”.
follow us on twitter @crossriverwatch
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.