By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Cross River State APC Chairmanship candidate in the February 24 state Congress, Dr. Mathew Achigbe has described Hon. Etim John, the winner of the election as a product of illegality who should not be recognized as the Chairman of the party.
Achigbe while addressing newsmen in Calabar on Sunday said that the Congress that produced Etim was heavily compromised and against the APC constitution as well as the electoral act therefore should be declared null and void.
He disclosed that Etim and many others who participated in the Congress were currently serving suspension which made them unqualified to participate in any party activity.
The APC Chieftain who expressed doubt over the validity of Etim’s membership of the party noted that over 980 delegates who were supposed to participate in the Congress as required by APC constitution were disenfranchised which nullifies the whole process.
He said that “The Congress that produced Hon. Godwin Etim John defied Article 25(IV) of the APC constitution which states that at least 14 days notice be given to each level of the party of its intention to hold Congress. No notice was given in the instant case.
“The notice of the Congress was short of the proscription of section 85(1) of the Electoral Act (2010 as amended) which stipulates that at least 21 days notice be given to INEC of the party’s intention to hold its Congress.
“In this case no notice was given as the information about the Congress was just three days notice. There was no INEC representation at all so the Congress cannot stand”.
Responding to a question on why he participated in the Congress knowing that it was illegal, he said that “It was deliberate. I decided to participate so I can have the grounds to protest this illegality. If I’ve not participated I wouldn’t have had the legal grounds to protest like this and I tell you, I’ll pursue this matter to a logical conclusion.
“I’m protesting that the result should be declared null and void. Etim John should not be declared winner because the Congress was not valid”.
He added that “Change in Cross River State is imminent. We need to put our house in order to bring the change we desire because the State Governor is completely ineffective and an aberration to what we desire”.
Corroborating his position, a former member of the House of Representative, Chief Earnest Irek who was Achigbe’s agent in the election said that from what has happened, the party will further be more divided than ever.
Irek said that “What they have done is a way of further dividing the party. Election is just by the corner but some people are more interested in dividing the party.
“From the vote, you know the party is more divided. It’s as clear as daylight”.
The APC stalwart said that the party in Cross River no longer has confidence in the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun describing him as a weak leader.
“You’re all aware that we have a weak National Chairman. In Cross River, we have lost confidence in him because he has refused to do the right thing. From what we have heard, next week we may have a new national chairman which is what we need because as we speak, we may not have ten states out of 24 because of the impunity going on in APC in all the chapters”, he said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Coalition of APC Support Groups in the state, Comrade Iso Bassey Edim accused the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs of working with the state Governor, Ben Ayade to destroy APC ahead of 2019.
Edim said that “We’re not happy with what happened on Saturday because we can’t support the legalization of illegality. The minister, Usani Usani is the head of the perpetrators of illegality in the state. The constitution is clear on how to conduct party Congress. There was no INEC representation whatsoever.
“We are made to understand that there’s a sinister plan for those who think they can mortgage APC in the state. Segun Oni announced Congress without due process. APC constitution is clear on how to lift suspension. APC National Organizing Secretary and Oni have compromised. They’re working with Usani who is working to destroy APC for Ayade.
“Why did they rush into organizing a fire brigade Congress when there’s Congress coming up next month?
“We’re calling on Tinubu to come to our rescue because vultures are out to destroy APC. While we want to takeover the state from PDP some people are working to destroy APC so that Ayade can continue for 8 years and then handover to them”.
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