By Archibong Jeremiah
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in Cross River State has said that the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba (PDP Cross River Central), is currently dancing like a masquarade and the party is watching to see where the dance will end.
There has been speculations about the defection of the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN, which were further fuelled by the recent courtesy call on the President Elect by a delegation of politicians from the state led by the Senate Leader.
But the State PDP Chairman, Ntufam John Okon during a press briefing with journalists at the party secretariat in Calabar yesterday maintains that the Senate Leader remains a member of the PDP adding that the party was watching his steps.
“Senate leader is a member of PDP but he’s dancing, it’s like a masquerade dancing, what we are doing is observing his dance steps. When a masquerade starts dancing, you know all you do is observe the way it is dancing to know which direction he’s going. But for now his steps tells everybody he is a member of the PDP, he is the Senate Leader, but we know that in the arena he is dancing ekoso and all that kind of dance, we are still happy to watch him dance and when he is through dancing, we will now see the exit. Is it a preparatory or prelude I cannot say that, I only know that he is dancing and we will still watch him dance”.
The Senate Leader according to him is a leader in Cross River State, “he has the right to visit or pay courtesy call to whoever he wishes, and he went with a group of leaders in Cross River State that I respect. It is not true that the Senate Leader has not been involved in the politics of the state, my colleagues are here when we were doing the local government inauguration when we came on board, Senate Leader went with us to all local governments in the central; there was none he missed; he was with us. When we asked caucuses to zone election for council chairmen and so on, he was completely involved, in fact the current Ikom chairman of council is his own product. It was through his influence and persistence that the young man became the council chairman, the party chapter chairman of Ikom is his own nominee”.
Going further, he said: “When we were zoning governorship to the north, Victor Ndoma-Egba was actively involved, I think the point has to be made clear, that the point of departure was when he lost the nomination to represent the central senatorial district for a fourth term. That is just the truth of the matter. He had never had a problem with the party or its leaders and so on. It is the same Donald Duke that removed the Senator from Boki (Matthew Mbu) who was running for the first time, the second time you know the people who left the party because Imoke ensured he won his nomination, the third time a former governor of Bayelsa State, Edoh Obi and a former Director in the Fire Service, Patrick Iwara, had to leave the party in the same situation and at this point in time, if the Senate Leader could not get nomination, it is not my fault or that of anybody but because of the desire of the party, I don’t think anybody can now impute impunity.
“When everybody was trying to work on the machinery of the party the Senate Leader and other senators were busy with Jonathan asking for automatic tickets, have you forgotten? The time they would have used to work on the party machinery in the state in the local government, in the ward, they were busy arm twisting President Jonathan to give them automatic ticket and they spent most of their time there. Should I tell you what happened during the primaries, how somebody came here with fraudulent papers to give us that caused the primaries to be cancelled, I don’t know who were behind it”.
Continuing, the party chairman said, “So I’m thinking that to me he is a friend and brother. The other aspect at that time was that the Senate Leader was saying Imoke wants to take his position or have you forgotten? Instead of seeing how he can win election, he was busy attacking Imoke, causing unnecessary antagonism between themselves which was not suppose to be so, I have to be very plain. We have never wronged our Senate Leader, we respect him, but the issues about primaries are primaries and thank God primaries are over, we did election and Senate
Leader to my own understanding did not give us any support. As a leader of the party he was supposed to stand by us, was he in any of our campaigns, did you see him campaigning for John Owan Eno, or any of our candidates, power cannot remain in one persons’ hand, power is transient not permanent”.
The chairman said, at a point the party leadership in the state concluded that the Senate Leader was not working in the interest of the state and stopped inviting him to what he called strategic planning meetings.
“If somebody who is outside there trying to plug you to fall down and fail election, will you call him to your meeting? So at that point in time when you know you are not giving us any support there’s no way we can call you to our strategic meeting. Because election is like a war I will not leak my secret to you so that you will not shoot me down”.
Concluding, John Okon said the door was still open for reconciliation though according to him, the party has not wronged Ndoma Egba in any way, “Can you imagine the kind of thing a Senator will say that if he comes to any meeting of PDP he will not know the faces of the PDP people. I’m the Chairman of the party, I’ve been a friend of Victor since in the University of Lagos, so if Victor comes today and see me seating down he will not recognize me? Or he will not recognize John Owan Eno, what about Imoke, what about Prof. Ayade who was a Senator like him? Who will he not recognize? Is it Evara Esu he will not recognize, is it Chris Agibe, is it Jarigbe, is it Rose Oko, is it Gershom Bassey that they were working in the party together, who will he not recognize? We can reconcile but we have not wronged him, we did everything to show respect to him, it’s God that gives power”.
The Senate Leader said he will not dignify the party chairman with a response.
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