By Archibong Jeremiah
The factional crisis rocking the Cross River State charter of APC may have come to an end.
The State Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade facilitated the sheathing of swords by the warlords fighting for control of the party in an integration dinner held Sunday at Dorschester hall, Spar Mall, Calabar.
The Governor whose sole aim at the meeting of the Titans was to reconcile feuding members to build a stronger and new APC in Cross River State.
The event had several APC bigwigs from the State in attendance including the party’s candidate in the 2019 gubernatorial election, Sen. Owan Enoh, former Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, former Senate PDP Majority Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma Egba, APC State Chapter Chairman Dr. Mathew Tawo Mbu.
Others are former Cross River Senators, Sen. Florence Ita Giwa and Prince Bassey Otu, member representing Abi/Yakurr in the House of Representatives Hon. Alex Egbona, immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu, Chief Ekpo Okon, Deputy Governor of the State, Prof. Ivara Esu, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Eteng Jonah William among others who recently decamped.
According to the Governor, “the only way the APC in Cross River State can prosper is if we put the past behind us and create a new focus, a new opportunity that will guarantee everyone of us to sit on the same table.
“Let’s therefore, put an end to the factions in APC. I want to see Senator John Owan Eno, I want to see Pastor Usani cooperate, I want to see Alex Egbona, I want to many more people embrace one another. I want to see Ita Giwa, I want to see Sen. Bassey Otu, I want to see Sen. Ndoma Egba and Dr. Matthew Mbu embrace themselves. Let us put an end to the fracas.”
He emphasized that the PDP is dead and buried in Cross River, “anyone who is not here is nowhere.”
Several APC Chieftains at the integration dinner hailed the Governor’s movement to the ruling party, describing it as strategic, timely and in the interest of the State.
Dr. Matthew Mbu, “this is a great victory for all of us and it’s only the beginning. What I see that lies ahead of us is far greater than what we are seeing here, now. We are sure that our leader and Governor will take Cross River State to a different level.”
On his part, Sen. Ndoma-Egba lauded the Governor’s decision to leave PDP.
His words, “Your Excellency, welcome to a political party. You just left somebody’s personal estate to a political party. As a State, we are too weak and too vulnerable to be in opposition,” he said.
While congratulating Ayade on his defection, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani urged him, as a leader of the party in the State and South-South not to be hasty in taking decisions concerning the party.
In his remark, Sen. John Owan Eno appealed for the closing of ranks in the party, saying “whatever differences that had existed in the Cross River APC are over.”
He assured the Governor that his name shall become a memento for positive reasons.
See pictures by Egbelo Edward Ntebri, Media assistant to Gov. Ben Ayade below.
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