By Margaret John and Efa Sunday
In a bid to position the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River state to achieve maximum success ahead of the 2019 general elections, the state chairman, Dr. Mathew Achigbe has inaugurated a six man committee to reconcile all aggrieved groups and members.
Prince Bassey Otu, a former senator, heads the committee, a statement signed by the party’s state publicity secretary, Mr. Bassey Ita and issued Tuesday in Calabar said.
A former secretary to the Cross River State government, Chief Johnson Ebokpo is to serve as secretary while the chief of staff to former Governor Liyel Imoke, Dr. Alex Egbonna; Dr. Mrs Grace Edu, Dr. David Okon and Group Captain E.E. Ikona (rtd) are members.
Mr. Archigbe, in his inauguration remarks, charged members of the committee to foster lasting peace while suggesting ways of strengthening all the party faithfuls towards realizing the common goal of winning in the coming polls.
In his acceptance speech, Prince Otu thanked the party leadership for their efforts in trying to forestall trouble among the party faithful even as he hoped that the committee will succeed in its task.
Appointment letters were issued to the committee members who have two weeks to submit a report to the state executive.
The party has been rocked with a leadership crisis that began with the appointment of former chairman, Mr. Usani Usani as Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Conflicting interests delayed the party from replacing Mr. Usani until his deputy, Mr. John Ochalla replaced him in acting capacity.
But, this was short lived as they were cries of marginalisation and the then Deputy National Chairman (South) of the party, Mr. Segun Oni announced a date in February 2018 for congress which a faction claimed was wrong.
However, Mr. Etim John emerged winner of that congress whose outcome was challenged in court.
The troubles will take a different dimension when the party’s state congress allegedly supervised by the secretary of the congress committee held later in the year, produced Mr. Etim John again while a parallel congress held a week later and supervised by the chairman of the committee, produced Mr. Achigbe.
Mr. Etim was sworn in by the former National Chairman, John Oyegun.
Both factions continued operating till the National Working Committee led by Comrade Adams Oshiomole sacked the State Working Committee and ordered a fresh congress which produced Mr. Achigbe.
However, some aggrieved members went to court to seek redress while others called for the recognition of Mr. Etim as the real chairman of the party.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.