By Patrick Obia
The Director General of Usani Usani Campaign Organization, Ekpenyong Cabham has expressed disappointment over breach of protocols by the APC National Vice Chairman of South-South and State Acting Chairman of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) Hilliard Eta, John Ochala respectively during President Mohammadu Buhari’s campaign rally in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Mr. Ekpenyong made this known while granting interviews to journalist in Calabar on what transpired.
He said, “The visit of the President was a welcome development considering the fact that the president came to showcase the achievement of his administration and also let us know what he has in stock for the people of the state, who did not give him meaningful support in 2015, yet he has been magnanimous to the people in terms of political appointments in his government, and projects scattered all over the states. He has done so much for us, his visit availed him the opportunity to meet the people one on one, And to also know that there is a paradigm shift in favor of his candidature. Cross River people have come to terms now that he is a friend and father of the State.”
Reacting to the snub by Ntufam Hilliard Eta to recognize the Minister for Niger Delta as part of the protocol, the Usani campaign DG accused the organizers of ignorance and foolishness on their part.
“I have absolute reservation on the people that organized the rally in which a few misguided persons decided to embarrass the President and the person of the Minister of Niger Delta by not recognizing his presence at the rally organized by his own party in the presence of the President. They decided to exhibit the highest level of ignorance and foolishness irreconcilable with their age and the office some of them occupy.
“The action of John Ochala and Hilliard Eta was only a manifestation of a crafty council constituted by certain person to rubbish the person of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs. They didn’t take cognizance of the fact that this personality carries an unusual grace, and has worked closely with the President, hence the President did not come to Cross River State to gather an impression about the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs whose capacity and unblemished credentials he personally attested to at the Palace of the Obong of Calabar. So their action completely portrayed them as uncivilized and unreceptive to people of good character.
“Pastor Usani is a very peaceful, law-abiding, sharp, witty and highly optimistic person.This is why at all times and in all moments, he remains unruffled, focused and extremely committed to the project. Before the INEC publication, we believed that the Etim John primary list is the legitimate and official list that INEC would publish. Our belief was founded on the Court’s verdict, a judgment, not just an order. So when INEC did otherwise, we were concerned because we believe that democracy flourishes in the capacity of the relevant institutions to do the right thing.” He said.
He expressed optimism that his principal will emerge as the party’s governorship flag bearer in the state when the court deliver it judgment but however said that the position is contentious.
“We are justifiably affirmative that INEC will reverse itself. Predicating their action on the directive from the party national chairman is to put the man above the law and this contradicts the age- long principle of the rule of law that everybody is equal before the law. I am not a lawyer, but it does not require rocket science legalism to know that once a court gives a judgment and the judgment beneficiary obtains an enrolled order, the system must affect the dictates of the judgment pending a possible upturning by an appellate court.
“As we speak now, the only legal pronouncement standing on four legs is that Etim John’s primary list is the one INEC should accept to all exclusions. Ordinarily you would not say there is contention, if INEC had done the needful. But as it stands now you are right to allude that the position is still contentious. But I can assure you that the matter will be resolved in favor of Pastor Usani and others on the Etim John’s list. You know there is no time bar in a matter like this. Whenever INEC decides to behave lawfully and legitimately, the substitution will be effected, no matter how long it takes. Remember the classical case of Rotimi Amaechi Vs PDP and others. But for my principal, we thank God, the matter is pre- electoral and we shall pursue it to its finest legal and moral logic.” He concluded.
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