Fresh Crisis Hits Cross River APC, As New And Old Members Disagree Over Secretariat, Party Structures Ahead Of Congress
A new crisis has erupted in the APC in Cross River, as new and old members clash over the secretariat and party structures.
A new issue appears to be threatening the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State. The new people who joined the party after the governor are eager to take control, a phenomenon that does not sit well with the veteran members.
The governor began the process of assuming control of the party’s institutions when he opted to turn the PDP secretariat on the Calabar Road into the APC secretariat, discarding the party’s existing secretariat.
Former PDP chieftains who have joined the APC with the governor claim that the previous PDP secretariat has become the APC secretariat, while old party members continue to use their own secretariat.
TNN has learned that several local government chairmen who were elected on the PDP platform but have now switched to the APC are working on purchasing new secretariats.
An internal crisis is already approaching, according to information obtained. Old party members appear to be keeping an eye on the governor and his men as they attempt to take over the party’s institutions. The governor is rumored to be planning to plant his men from the ward to the state level whenever the party’s congress meets.
It was the same issue that contributed to the PDP’s crisis, which ultimately led to his decision to leave the party when it became evident that he had lost the battle for control of the party’s structures to National Assembly members.
Some worried party leaders told TNN that Ayade’s determination to rule the party, regardless of what the people he met there think, might further destabilize the APC in the state.
The governor is said to be planning to promote all those who failed to gain posts in the PDP from the ward to the state level. According to a party member who spoke to TNN, the governor, who is now the party’s leader, is not interested in negotiating those positions with anyone.
This idea has also been verified by the governor’s body language and public comments. For example, his aides organized the stakeholders conference the governor hosted a few weeks after his defection to the APC to introduce himself and his followers to the old members.
Instead of the party secretariat, the state executive of the party had no knowledge of the planning of the meeting, which was conducted in Government House. And, for the time being, it is unclear which of the two secretariats the party will operate from, despite the fact that Ayade has stated that he prefers to operate from the former PDP secretariat.
Many of the party’s leaders are dissatisfied with recent developments. They are also uneasy about the governor’s failure to follow through on his commitment to select 500 old party members to his administration.
TNN learned on Monday that the governor has instructed the PDP members who accompanied him to the APC to submit names for the 500 food-on-the-table appointment positions.
Mr Bassey Ita, the party’s spokesman, declined to comment on any of the issues. In answer to TNN’s questions, Ita simply stated that he would not comment because it was too early to talk about the party’s crisis.
TNN has learned that, aside from the general meeting with members selected from various wards, the governor has yet to meet with top party leaders to discuss his plans and programs.
Some party leaders are unimpressed by the governor’s decision to join the party in the same manner as he left the PDP. Sources within the party said they had anticipated the governor to meet with the party’s leaders and be adequately guided so that he could avoid the mistakes he made in the PDP.