I have watched patiently from the sidelines as our party is being dragged and muddled in the mud by persons whose sole intentions are to cause commotion within the party and destroy it perpetually before eventually moving to another party they’d been hobnobbing with in the last few years. To prevent our party from imploding, I have therefore, decided to speak out to project my voice of reason on why we must embrace the rule of law, equity and justice to resolve the lingering issues rather than continuing on the current arbitrariness and authoritarianism which we have all seen to be counter productive.
It is my well considered opinion that, the subsisting result of the the PDP Ward and Chapter Congresses in Cross River State is Sacrosanct and must not be tempered with under any guise or pretensions. The reason for towing this line of action fastidiously is that the congresses followed due processes and were conducted in line with the guidelines of the PDP and monitored by INEC as required by law. The Authentic list was ratified by the NWC of the Party and Certified by INEC.
Today, as I write, both INEC and the Party have the Authentic list. I went to Court, when I discovered that the governor’s group was trying to substitute the list with a concocted list put together by the Governor himself, his younger brother, Frank and some of their cronies. My decision to approach the court was to give legal backing to the Authentic list and to pre-empt and stop the Party from yielding to pressure from the governor to manipulate and alter the list in his group’s favour. At the trial, the Authentic list was affirmed by the Trial Court and the governor’s group lost out. The Judgment was appealed against me by the governor’s group. Again, the judgment was upheld by both the Appeal and the Supreme Courts. The Judgment of the Apex Court, finally resolved the matter and put the controversy to rest.
The Judgment was given on January 6, 2021. I would like to know what would have happened if I had lost at both the appellate and supreme Courts, would they have accepted the victory or not? Surely, they would have insisted that the ruling remains sacrosanct and that’s what I am also insisting to be done here. To underscore the authenticity of the Authentic list, it was used thereafter in the conduct of the Primary for the Senate By-election and also used for the zonal congress which held in Port Harcourt recently. It is my humble view that the Reconciliation Committee effort forced on the party by a self centred group that must win at all times is an after thought and cannot achieve anything. If it is with regards to the Ward and Chapter Excos, it is far too late in the day to contemplate such a mission because any alteration to the authentic list is contemptuous to the apex court’s ruling.
I believe strongly and rightly so too that the NWC knows that the Authentic list is sacrosanct. The Party Leadership would not want to be charged for Contempt. I need to stridently sound this note of warning because of the grievous implications of tampering or causing an alteration to Authentic list. For one, the implication of altering that list is that the PDP in Cross River State will not be able to field Candidates that are validly nominated in 2023.
The main Opposition Party in the State will take every available position. The reason why we would have such an outcome is that an illegal Exco cannot vote to nominate a candidate meaning that you cannot put something on nothing. Furthermore, I consider it grossly inappropriate for the NWC to be an accused and a judge, it certainly cannot Approbate and Reprobate. The Committee which had earlier ratified the list cannot in all intent and purpose make a volte face turnaround to alter it in just one fell swoop even after using the list in obedience to subsisting Court Judgment. I am worried about the fate of our party because of the vultures hovering overheard.
We see ominous signs in the horizon orchestrated by Agents who have been sent to destroy our Party. They are the ones hired to play the hatchet role of destroying causing acrimony with intent to destroy the party before moving to another party. Not too long ago, we were witnesses to an open romance between our leader and the ruling party.
This is not the first time. Can we please ask Governor Ben Ayade, the outcome of his meeting with the Caretaker Committee Chairman of the APC? Can we also ask him the outcome of the meeting he had with some APC bigwigs in the Villa? I recognise that some of our leaders have inordinate ambitions and are blinded to the realities. I wish them luck. For me, I strongly advise against and will not subscribe to political rascality and disobedience to Judgments of Courts. I would also want to put on notice that I will not hesitate to facilitate an action against anyone who decides to be contemptuous.
The National Organising Secretary is the Custodian of the Authentic list and I do not see him compromising his integrity. Going forward, can I also suggest that we probe to find out all those who contributed funds to the APC in 2019? If we do, are we sure we will not find contributions from some PDP governors including our own? I am not a purveyor of bad news but cannot be fooled either. This Party belongs to all of us. I am a major stakeholders. If that list is altered anywhere, the Party dies in Cross River State.
Let the Committee move on and try to harmonize the various interests, moving forward as we gravitate towards the State Congress and National Convention. We must preserve the supremacy and not kill the Party, in trying to make one person happy in Cross River State. Whatever we do differently to that list now, is an illegality that cannot be swept under carpet. We have Party members whose tenures are already running as ward and Chapter Exco members. Any attempt at dropping them, will definitely be resisted. The Courts are there. Those who want to leave the Party, should be honorable enough to leave, without destroying our Party.
The Party made them and the least they can do, is to leave it the way they met it. They should not accept the role of being the hatchet men. My advice to the reconciliation committee is to do a dispassionate report, taking into consideration the legality or otherwise of altering the Authentic list, being men of proven integrity, with track records of service delivery. Those attributes are not about to be eroded, due to extraneous influences and manipulations. Remember that, for some of us who have been fought by the Party, to please the Governor, we are already down and therefore, fear no fall. We have been widely and openly discriminated against, not minding our consistent loyalty to the party. Yet, we are assets to the Party in our various Constituencies.
To be accorded our dues, we must not have the treasury of the State in our hands. As grassroots politicians, we don’t need the State’s treasury to win our elections. Did Hon Alex Egbona have access to the Treasury of the State when he went to the House of Representatives in 2015? I know the governors that contribute to the existence and sustenance of PDP in this Country, while some sit on the fence, flirt around and play games with all the other Parties, for their personal benefits.
This is not the time to play the ostrich. The Party has to move on.