By George Odok
Calabar, July 16, 2020 (Naija247news) A chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Cross River, Mr Goddie Akpama, has called on the Chairman, National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Committee of the party to dissolve the state working committee of the party in the state.
Akpama, a former Chairman of Inter Party Advisory Council (IPAC) in Cross River, made the call on Thursday in a statement signed by him and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.
He said that contrary to fears in some quarters that the dissolution of the National Working Committee (NWC) was going to escalate the crises, it rather put a stop to the protracted crises that had bedevilled the APC at the national level.
“We are all witnesses to the fact that the Cross River chapter of the APC has been bedevilled, for years now, by crises of leadership, leading to the emergence of two contending factions struggling to take charge of affairs of the party’s secretariat,” he said.
He noted that one faction of the APC in the state recognises the exco led by Late Matthew Achigbe with Mr John Ochala as acting Chairman, while the second faction recognises the state executive led by Mr Etim John.
He added that both factions have held tenaciously to their positions to the extent that the crisis within the APC in the state is widening with no internal solution in sight.
He expressed dissatisfaction that the leadership crises that has held the APC down in the state has defied any court solution as the main actors have refused to let go any of their grounds.
“Aside from the two factions of the crises laying claim to the leadership of the APC, there is a third leg; those who are strongly of the view that the chairman of the party should have emerged from the Central Senatorial District immediately after Mr Usani Usani assumed office as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs in 2015.
“The agitators for the emergence of a substantive chairman from the Central Senatorial District are already seething with action towards ensuring that what was done in similar situations at the national level is done in Cross River APC.
“These intraparty crisis has caused a lot of setbacks, especially electoral misfortunes. During the 2019 general elections, the intra-party crises was so fierce that each of the two factions operated from their secretariats, and parading their own candidates for each of the elective positions.
“The adverse effect was devastating. Despite parading most of the known political super heavy weight in the state, coupled with its members holding key public offices in a federal government controlled by the APC, yet the party lost all but one of the elective positions to the PDP,” he said.
He further said that in spite of the peace and oneness that is witnessed at the national level of the party, the APC in the state is still factionalised in terms of leadership of the party in Cross River.
“I urge the Caretaker Committee of the APC to invoke the provisions of the constitution of the party and dissolve the executive/state working committees of all factions laying claim to the leadership of the APC in the state.
“I call on the National Caretaker Chairman to immediately set up a Caretaker Committee for the APC in Cross River and members of the Caretaker Committee should be men and women of integrity, who have demonstrated credible neutrality in the face of the crises that has rocked the APC in the state over the years,” he said.
He noted that the APC would be going into a bye-elections in Obudu State Constituency, and Cross River North Senatorial District to fill the vacant positions created by the demise of Mr Godwin Akwaji and Sen. Rose Oko respective.
“From the benefit of hindsight, if the executive of the contending factions are not dissolved, the party will fall into the same trap of 2019 general elections.
“They would have multiple candidates for the elections with each faction nominating their own candidates and submitting more than one name for each constituency . That would amount to surrendering victory to the PDP on a platter of diamond,” he said.
By George Odok