By Our Correspondent
The nucleus of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Cross River State may soon explode as protests have continued to trail the various Ward and Local government congresses in the State held last week and how the congress for the state level scheduled for today Tuesday 10th May would produce an acceptable candidate for the party.
Across the 18 local government and 196 wards of Cross River State, from Akpabuyo through Calabar South to Odukpani local government up to Etung and Bekwara local government areas, the stories are the same as reports from almost all the local government suggest, “Imposition” of persons into the various positions.
In Akpabuyo, our highly credible source who preferred not to be mentioned said the party caucus met and agreed on harmonized list for the eighteen chapter positions with a resolution signed but “to our greatest surprise, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Emmanuel Offoing Bassey went behind others and changed the harmonized list, by simply dropping the governor’s name that he was acting on His Excellency’s directive.” he said.
Speaking on the situation in Calabar South, a fourth term serving National Assembly member and former Chairman of Calabar South local Government, Honorable Essien Ekpeyong Ayi decried the situation of the party in the state, saying, “I predict doom and very serious dark days coming into the party if the proper things are not done.”
He continued, “I don’t know what State Congress they want to hold if they cannot conduct the Ward and Local Government Congresses properly. I can see what may likely happen, you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you what may likely happen during the State Congress to elect the Chairman that there is going to be problem and that problem may lead to the disintegration of PDP because there are problems everywhere because of imposition, quote me.” He said.
Ayi who is a foundation member of the PDP at both National and state level said it is rather regrettable that it seems “we” have not learnt lessons from how we lost power at the national level to become an opposition party.
His words, “for Calabar South local government, there was no Congress, we agreed that there should be consensus by those who constitute the caucus by affirmation. That was never done, instead they sat in one room and wrote result and if they don’t like your face, they will say you should go to hell.”
“My Advice is that people should do the right thing in line with the party’s constitution. Already the party is polarised into different factions. And we should learn from the mistakes of the past, why PDP did not win the last election was because there were a lot of imposition. Unpopular people were imposed because they have relations or know the people in the party’s hierarchy in the National office.
“If the proper things are not done and the popular people allowed to contest elections then PDP is bound to fail, I’m afraid, it’s going to be a disaster even at the national level. Already some faction want to do their national convention in Abuja, some in Port Harcourt while some are warming up to do theirs in in the South West already the party is factionalized.
“Except the proper things are done, today we have 15 governor I can bet you if the party doesn’t retrace it’s steps by imposing unpopular candidate, bet me by 2019 the party will have less than 7 governors in Nigeria.
“Many other party stakeholders in the state are being relegated in the scheme of things at the Wards and Chapters congresses. In Odukpani Local Government, the former Deputy Governor, Mr. Efiok Cobham and a former Chairman of the party, Ekpo Okon, were deliberately side lined from the scheme without knowing who will become their party Chairman in the LGA.”
The stories are the same in other Chapter Congresses across the state where “serving Senators in both the South and Central were called to nominate only Chapter Youth Leader or Women Leader because the governor had allegedly taken “irreversible” nominations for other positions.” Another source said.
Cross River State is still one of the fifteen states controlled by the PDP with many of the party top shots decamping to the All Progressives Congress, APC due to what many of them described as unacceptable acts of impunity by the party leadership in the State.
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