LG polls: Crisis looms in Cross River PDP over imposition of candidates
…group alleges imposition of candidates
A group known as the “Movement for the Restoration of Cross River PDP, headed by its Coordinator, Mr. Raymond Takon, told newsmen on Tuesday that the party has reportedly submitted list of candidates to the State Independent Electoral Commission and “that critical stakeholders were not carried along in the scheme of things”.
“The party is not allowed to sell forms to aspirants into Chairmanship and councillorship elections so as to enable the party to generate revenue as well as restore party disciplines. He 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 Governor is alleged to have compiled all the names of 18 LG chairmen and 197 councillors, leaving all National and House of Assembly members. No input from them and the party leadership.
“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 rationalize the party
“We, therefore, call on National secretariat of the party to look into our complaints and ensure the proper processes are followed with regard to the election of candidates for the pending Local government elections”, he said.
Raymond said it was disappointing that no consultation was carried out with National and state Assembly members.
“The State party leadership is in a state of comatose as their functions to conduct and screen candidates have been usurped by the Governor and his new team in government house.
Responding, Chairman of PDP in the state, Mr. Edim Inok, told journalists that any member who is aggrieved should forward their complaints to the party secretariat, warning that any PDP member who involves in anti-party activities will be suspended.
Meanwhile, a National Assembly member from the State who pleaded anonymity confirmed the looming crisis in the state chapter of the party.
According to him “Gov. Ben Ayade intends to leave the People Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress through the outcome of the March 28 local government elections in the state”.
The lawmaker added that Gov. Ayade’s decision was a clear cut plan to dump the PDP through the hand picking of Chairmen and councillorship candidates for the polls.
“We are in trouble as we speak, the party in the state is in a deep mess. What the governor is about to do will divide the party across the state.
“There is a lot going on; The party is dying. PDP will soon be totally fictionalized. We cannot even have candidates because there were no primaries. The issue of Zamfara State will repeat itself in Cross River State if the right thing is not done.
“We may not have PDP Chairmen and Councillorship candidates because the governor took a unilateral decision to write the names alone to go and submit to Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission without primaries; and we are supposed to go through the processes of the electoral act”, he alleged.
“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. The governor went to see the President yesterday and this is causing some dissatisfaction at the PDP national.
“He has tried to lobby NASS members to move to APC with him and some of us refused. We are in a quagmire with PDP in Cross River State.
As National Assembly members, we don’t have any candidate because categorically we have not gone through the primaries, the lawmaker said.