By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Ahead of the March 28 Local Government polls in Cross River State, there is disquiet among stakeholders of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over the selection of candidates.
A group, Movement for Restoration of Cross River PDP and some members of the National Assembly have raised alarm over “affirmation” as mode for the selection of candidates for both the Chairmanship and Councillorship slots by the ruling party.
Vanguard Newspaper learnt that the current crisis rocking the party due to the selective method of affirmation adopted has not gone down well with major stakeholders who have kicked against the process which they described as undemocratic.
It’s an attempt to make C/River APC State.
Co-ordinator of the group, Comrade Raymond Takom pooh-poohed the method, adding that that the State party leadership is in a state of comatose.
His words: “The leadership of the party (PDP) in the State is in a state of comatose as their functions to conduct and screen candidates have been usurped by the powers that be and their new team in Government.
“The party is not allowed to sell forms to aspirants into Chairmanship and Councillorship elections so as to enable the party generate revenue as well as restore party discipline.
“Also the Governor has promised to pay for all the candidates to be selected by him. No primaries for candidates thereby killing internal democracy the party is noted for.
“The founding members of PDP are being treated like slaves and we state that if the Governor does not allow internal democracy to thrive in the party we shall have no other option than to rationalise the party.
“We, therefore, call on National Secretariat of the party to look into our complaints and ensure that proper processes are followed with regard to election of candidates for the pending LG elections,” Takom said.
On their part, some NASS members who pleaded anonymity told Vanguard Newspaper that they were in trouble as we speak.
“The party in the State is in deep mess. There is a lot going on. The party is dying. PDP will soon be totally factionalised. We cannot even have candidates because there were no primaries. The issue of Zamfara will repeat itself in Cross River State if the right thing is not done.
“We may not have PDP Chairmanship and Councillorship candidates because the Governor took a unilateral decision to write the names alone and went to submit to Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission without primaries; and we are supposed to go through the processes of the Electoral Act.
“When the matter comes up in Court, APC that will naturally come second will take over and that is a calculated attempt by Ayade to move to APC. It is a well-crafted plan, better still, if his candidates stay in APC and win, he will move over to APC with them,” he said.
Those protesting are not PDP members – PDP Chairman
When contacted, the PDP Chairman in Cross River, Ntufam Edim Inok, said the people protesting are not card – carrying members of the party, adding that affirmation was constitutional.
He further stated that “affirmation” as a process of selection was constitutional and those protesting outside were engaging in anti-party activities and would be punished appropriately.
His words: “Nobody should be forced to conduct primaries, anybody who is aggrieved should come to the party in the State to complain and make their grievances known to the party.
“People who are complaining are engaging in anti-party activities. Most of them are not members of PDP, they will be disciplined accordingly. The party has the right to use affirmation because it is enshrined in our constitution.”