By Andy-Mba Ukweni
There was mild drama today in Calabar, the Cross River State capital as two men laying claim to the Chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress APC, in the State attended a Town Hall Meeting organized by INEC for stakeholders sensitization for the Obudu 1 State Constituency bye-election slated for 11th of August 2018.
The controversy over who is the INEC recognized Chairman of APC in the state was raised by Mr. Godwin Akpama, a former Chairman of the Cross River Chapter of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) and a member of the APC, when he was recognized for a comment by the Resident Electoral Commissioner REC, Dr. Frankland Briyai.
In his words, “There are two APC Chairmen here, both of them on red cap. I want to say that they are in Court and the Court processes were served to INEC that the faction of the man on red cap on the right hand side (Mr. John Etim) should not be recognized pending the determination of the matter in court. I don’t know where this recognition is coming from.
“The man on the left hand side (Mr. Matthew Achigbe) has been taken to Court by the man on the right hand side including the leadership of the National Party, as at this morning, the matter was in Court and the National Party sent a representative.
“Mr. Chairman Sir, if we have to be sincere, it takes the National Chairman of APC … to do a letter to you assuring that they are coming to conduct proper primaries. If INEC decides to do election in any of the factions, we will still end up in court … We cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand.” He warned.
Responding the REC, Dr. Frankland Briyai said, “INEC as an institution and Cross River State as a branch of INEC, we deal with evidence.
The APC informed us formally through our national headquarters that they are going to have Ward, Local Government and State congresses and we monitored and all my Electoral Officers here submitted their reports and myself as I traveled to Abuja on Wednesday submitted the complete result of the list of delegates from the Ward, Chapter and State. And on that lists recognized by INEC right now it is Etim John that your Party submitted to us.
“What we recognize now is Etim John. If your party has a different view about that, your national headquarters should simply contact my Honorable Chairman in writing telling him that what you just explain is currently on ground with so so reasons (and) I should not recognize him as State Chairman of APC and that will be effected, without that, Cross River State INEC recognizes Etim John as Chairman.” He maintained.
Concluding, Briyai warned that the, “Time table for Obudu 1 State Constituency is already out, we will not wait for any party with intra party problems.”
Listen to audio below on CrossRiverWatch TV.
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