By Sylvia Etta
The crisis rocking the Cross River State chapter of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP took a shoddier turn yesterday with the sealing of the state secretariat of the party along the Murtala Mohammed Highway in Calabar by stern looking armed security operatives from the Quick Intervention Squad, QIS.
The sealing of the secretariat, CrossRiverWatch gathered was to forestall an impending breakdown of law and order following disagreements that have put on hold the local government congresses meant to elect national delegates that would vote during the presidential primaries of the party.
The Ntufam John Okon led state executives rejected the list of delegates forwarded to the state from the national office of the party as delegates that were elected at the Saturday, November 1 local government congress. The national delegates were supposed to be elected from among the delegates who emerged from the last Saturday’s rancorous congresses.
CrossRiverWatch gathered that the state Party officials did not want the congresses which were scheduled for yesterday, Saturday to hold owing to the fact that they are miffed by the list from Abuja because it is filled with names that are allegedly loyal to the Jedy Agba/Ndoma Egba divide of the party.
Solicitations and appeals by the state party executives and the State Governor, Senator Imoke to have the national office cancel the congresses in the state and conduct fresh ones have been futile and it was clear which side was still going to win the national delegates congresses.
Our correspondent reports that prior to the sealing of the office by security agents yesterday morning, there was exchange of words and heated disagreement between Jedy Agba supporters and state party officials on Saturday morning over the list of delegates to vote at the congresses.
When it became clear that there was an impending breakdown of law and order, a combined team of soldiers, police and naval officials from the QIS was drafted in to seal up the PDP secretariat forcing both state party executive officials and visiting national officials to hurriedly evacuate and relocate to Transcorp Hotel to continue proceeding.
It was not immediately clear who ordered the intervention of the security of operatives.
The State party Chairman, Ntufam John Okon while speaking to CrossRiverWatch this afternoon said he was in a meeting in Abuja where party officials are trying to sort issues out.
He told CrossRiverWatch that, having found out that their names are missing from the list of delegates that was sent from Abuja, some members of the party went to court to obtain an injunction to stop the congresses that were scheduled for yesterday pending the determination of the issues they raised.
John Okon, cautioned the Press not to make the sealing of the state secretariat of the party look as though there was a war in Cross River PDP adding that “every election heightens security everywhere in the world. And when that happens, you take additional measures to protect vital places.”
He said he does not know when the congresses will now hold as that is now dependent on what the Court will say.
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