By Ike Uchechukwu, Vanguard News Nigeria
Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River, Barrister Efiok Cobham has asserted that the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State inherited a bad omen, describing the ruling party as a strange entity that bought a wrong player in the person of Sen. Ben Ayade, Governor of the State.
Cobham made the assertion Tuesday at that Party’s Annex at Mary Slessor road, while inaugurating a seven-man re-validation committee to fill some vacant positions at the local government and ward levels of the party since the defection of the Governor created a lot of lacuna in the party hierarchy.
The PDP Caretaker Committee Chairman who performed the inauguration at the secretariat in Calabar said that the committee would be responsible for enhancing the reorganization of the party in its preparation for the State congresses and 2023 general elections.
Cobham who is the immediate past Deputy Governor of Cross River State disclosed that in some local governments and wards, there have been lacuna created following the movement of some key officers, who joined the Governor in defecting to APC.
He said after due consultation with the National, there was the need for them to ensure that those vacant positions were filled.
His words: “In line with our mandate as a Caretaker Committee, we have to ensure that all organs of our party are working preparatory to the State congress where the State Working Committee (SWC) would emerge so we handover also.
“These are men and women with tested capacities in public and political life. It is a sensitive responsibility we have given you, keeping in mind that we are now in the opposition.
“It is our responsibility to reposition our party, give it the necessary energy and strength so that come 2021, we will get our State back,” he said.
Speaking further, the Caretaker Chairman advised the seven-man committee to shun any kind of influence and remain sensitive to the assignment.
According to him, the committee’s terms of reference include examining all wards, chapters as presently constituted.
His words: “Your terms of reference amongst others is to examine all wards and chapter executives in the State as presently constituted and find out vacancies that have arisen as a result of resignation or decamping of persons holding such executive offices.
“Also recommend in consultation with stakeholders in the ward and local governments as the case may be, suitable replacements for those officers in line with the party’s constitution.”
Cobham who insisted that the defection of the Governor was a blessing in disguise to the State, as the PDP still has the goodwill of the people and would create room for the Governor to explain his inadequacies also added that APC only inherited a bad omen.
His words: “The APC is a strange party in Cross River State and so they are trying to introduce themselves to the people. What we will do is meet the people, talk and not mega rallies, they are strange to the people and that’s is why they are trying to introduce themselves and their rallies are for the optics.
“Their bid to socket to the centre has opened up a lot of opportunities and has brought fresh air. We thank the APC for inheriting a bad omen, they went to transfer window and bought a wrong player in Ayade,” he said.
He further disclosed that the PDP Youth Vanguard which will be inaugurated in the 196 wards of the State will create room for the teeming youths of the State to take up leadership positions.
On his part , the Chairman of the Re-validation Committee, Chief Godwin Ettah while responding expressed appreciation to the party for selecting them for the technical assignment.
His words: “This assignment is technical and we promise not to disappoint the party. This is familiar terrain, very practical and straightforward. The peace and furtherance of our electoral values will depend on the tactful management of the assignment given to us. We are going to be thorough and going to submit our report with our credibility and integrity intact.”
The PDP Re-validation Committee includes Godwin Ettah as Chairman; Dr. Rose Atsu-Arop, Mr. Emmanuel Etene, Mrs. Ekondua Amoake, Mr. Anthony Effiong and Mr. Ignatius Agabi as members, while Mr. Donatus Etim is Secretary.
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