By Our Correspondent
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has suspended the former governor of Cross River State, Dr. Clement Ebri over allege anti-party activities attributed to the elder statesman.
Chief Ebri who has just been admitted along with former Senate Leader, Senator Ndoma Egba, SAN into the Board of Trustees of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC is having a running battle with party faithfuls in his Mkpani/Agoi Ward, in Yakurr LGA in what many say is a battle between Ebri and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani over who controls the politics of the party in the Central Senatorial District.
In a letter dated March 21st, 2016 and signed by 17 out of the 20 executive members, including the Chairman, Monday Emma Oboma and Secretary, Joel Ekpo Agbor of Mkpani/Agoi Council Ward of Yakurr local government area, addressed to the Chapter and State executive of the party in Cross River, the Monday Emma Oboma leadership said that an investigative panel set up by the Mkpani/Agoi ward of the party has indicted the former governor of anti party activities.
The letter which was made available to CrossRiverWatch reads in part, “We write to you as required by Article 21 Section B, subsection vi (b) as the local adjudicatory body of first instance over complaints or allegations from the Ward level.
“A report of anti party activities was forwarded to the Ward and a 7 man panel was constituted to investigate and report to the Ward Executive within 7 days of receipt. The Committee’s report officially indicted Chief Clement David Ebri of anti-party activities before and during the Yakurr II State Constituency re-run election of 12th March, 2016.
“However, in line with the provisions of APC Constitution, Article 21 (D) sub-section (i), the Executive of Mkpani /Agoi Council Ward therefore impose the suspension of H.E. Chief Clement David Ebri from his council ward (Mkpani/Agoi) in line with article 21 (D) sub-section (f) of the APC Constitution as amended in 2014.
In another letter obtained by CrossRiverWatch, which was signed by 22 members of the Yakurr Chapter of the party including the Chairman, Abam Eteng and Secretrary, Omini Usani, the Chapter excos say the Ward executives acted in line with the provisions of the constitution of the party.
The letter was copied to the State Chairman, National Chairman, Secretary, Deputy National Chairman, National Vice Chairman, South South among others for notification and prompt action.
Part of the letter reads, “The Yakurr Chapter Executive ratify the above anti party report against H.E. Chief Clement D. Ebri by Mkapni/Agoi Council Ward, hence the Ward Executive of Mkpani/Agoi council acted in line with the provisions of the APC Constitution as amended in October, 2014.”
When CrossRiveWatch contacted the former governor, he simply told our Correspondent that the leadership of the party at higher levels was more appropriately positioned to respond to the development and not himself since he is a party to the allegations.
But the Vice Chairman of the party in Cross River Central Senatorial District and former member of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Hon. Cletus Obun told CrossRiverWatch that the purported suspension of Chief Clement Ebri could only stand in the imagination of those who claimed to have suspended him and not in the scheme of things in the party and declared that the action was a nullity.
Obun said after the death of Atang Iye Atang, the former Chapter Chairman of the party, the APC is yet to reconstitute the chapter excos. He added that anyone parading himself as the Chairman of the party in the Yakurr Chapter was an impostor and should be disregarded.
“Those people are jokers. Article 21 (b) of the party Constitution has no provision for Ward excos to discipline a member of the Board of Trustees of the party and Chief Ebri is not only a former governor of our state, he is a member of the BoT of our party. As I speak with you, the party does not have any exco in the Yakurr Chapter after the death of the former Chairman, Atang Iye Atang. Anyone purporting or parading himself as Chairman of the party in Yakurr Chapter is an imposter and should be disregarded.
“Those talking about the suspension of the elder statesman and a former governor of the state in the status of Clement Ebri do not have the support of the party nor the constitution. They are agents of some people who are afraid of the expansion of the party. There are some people in the party who feel threatened by the growth and expansion of the party. They are content with being party Chairman of Secretary and don’t care whether the party wins elections in the state or not. So party office has become more important than winning election. They feel that when the party grows, their influence will reduce. There are the ones sponsoring the noise you are hearing.
“If a former governor of Lagos state and national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu can lead a delegation of 6 sitting and former governors to go and beg Osoba, a former governor too when Chief Ebri was governor, when Amaechi was PA to former deputy governor, to return to the party, we should not be seen to be disparaging our own elder statesmen.” Obun said.
CrossRiverWatch also gathered that the suspension of Chief Ebri by the Ward excos does not enjoy the support of the National Vice Chairman, South South of the party, Prince Hilliard Etta who is also from Cross Rive State.
Our Correspondent could not immediately get Etta on the phone to comment on the development but a close aide of the National Vice Chairman said that the ward excos over reached their duties in their attempt to suspend the former governor.
“I think that some people are being over zealous and are allowing themselves to be used. The (National) Vice Chairman has not asked me to speak to the press about the issue but I can assure you that the action does not enjoy his support and the public should disregard whatever is happening and has been said and be rest assured that the party will sort out the lingering crises.” The aide who pleaded anonymity said.
The tussle between Chief Ebri and Pastor Usani Usani over who controls the politics of the Central Senatorial district in the APC climaxed during the recent Yakurr II State Assembly re-run election when the former governor allegedly supported the Labor Party candidate instead of the candidate of his Party, the All Progressives Congress, APC.
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