By Patrick Obia
The Director General of Usani Usani Campaign Organization, Ekpenyong Cobham, has describe the rumors that Governor Ben Ayade is sponsoring the factional governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Cross River State, Pastor Usani Usani to cause chaos and blackmail in APC in the State, calling it “arrant nonsense” and “impossible”.
The campaign DG refuted the rumors in Calabar when quizzed by CrossRiverWatch, on Thursday in Calabar.
“Well there are certain blackmail that is completely baseless and I find that very stupid. I will ask you, for sixteen years, Usani was out of power, the only person who stood tall in this State clean, never hognose with PDP, he fought the system successfully brought down Liyel’s government. He did not accept nor take bribe and it is also very unfortunate that most of these people who are accusing Usani of working for Ayade are people with history of collecting bribes from past administrations of PDP. Now I will ask you a question, what is Ayade capable of offering a sitting Minister of Niger Delta? What is that he wishes God has not given to him? What I have just said is the answer he gave me on my first encounter when I met him one-on-one, I put that question across to him and his reply makes sense.
“If you know Usani very well; Usani is not that materialistic person, Usani is very down to earth, Usani doesn’t need to accumulate wealth and Usani is ideological million miles apart from Ayade. Naturally by his character, by his upbringing by his parsonage, he cannot but you don’t expect him as a sitting Minister of Niger Delta to be antagonistic towards the sitting Governor of the State because it is Cross Riverians who will suffer, the two need to work together for the benefit of Cross River; that does not mean in any way that they agree politically or on the issue of policy and values. So, the people who are accusing him are the people I know as we speak today, most of them are working for Atiku, I don’t want to mention names. You know the antecedents and if you don’t have the clip of what the President said concerning Usani when he came to Calabar at the Palace of Obong of Calabar, I will advise you to get it, it is quite aped and it speaks volume about the man call Usani Usani”. He said.
On the recent judgment that was passed Ekpenyong said:
“I don’t like using the word judgment, judgment presupposes the case has come to an end. The appeal case is ongoing but today the application that was brought by Owan Enoh and Victor Ndoma-Egba group for a stay of execution against the judgment of the Federal High Court was thrown out. So that is exactly what happened today. Yesterday, we were the only one in Court that status quo should be maintained; principles and status quo as when the parties came to Court of Appeal which, buttress the fact that the judgment of the Federal High Court is valid and functional and that means that Pastor Usani Uguru Usani is legitimately and legally the candidate of the All Progressive Congress and all the candidates that emerged from Ntufan John Edim led exco.” He emphasized.
Responding on talks in circulation that, even if Pastor Usani gets the ticket, he is not legible for the election with the reason that he has not resigned from his appointment. He noted that, “Considering the fact that there has being issues, they knew they were not standing on the right side of the law and they were depending on the wings of the National Chairman which at this point has been exhausted and it is no more sustainable. They’re trying to hang on to a stroll because they have seen themselves sinking, am not a lawyer but I understand that this doesn’t need a rocket science. The candidate should resign of his appointment 30 days to the elections; has Usani being a candidate of the APC; he has being in contention and has being a subject of litigation and the litigation is a continuous process? They still have an opportunity to go the Supreme Court if need be; we have not finished breakfast, we are talking about dinner, it is a defeatist logic. For us it doesn’t make sense, if I were them, I would have held that as my trump card if there is anything there to be held. That they are bringing it right here, it means they have lost the battle, that’s the truth. It is arrant nonsense, it doesn’t make any meaning”.
He therefore call on Usani’s supporters to keep on doing so adding that Owan Enoh and Ekpo Okon do not have the capacity to offer the needed change.