Weetalknaija Daily Post can authoritatively report that, the People Democratic Party (PDP) Chairmanship tussle shifted to Abuja as Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River Stateand some key members of his executive members and political allies relocated to Abuja.
Meanwhile, DAILY NEWS gathered that the battle over who becomes the next Cross River chapter of PDP has continued to gather momentum as the Governor stormed party national secretariat to lobby for his preferred candidate, Bar Okadigbo.
The PDP has tentatively fixed Saturday, August 8, 2020 for state congress across the country after it was postponed due to outbreak of COVID-19.
In Cross River, Ayade and some party chieftains including former governor, deputy governor, National Assembly members, state lawmakers and former elected and appointed party officers are at daggers drawn over who controls the structures ahead of 2023.
While Ayade is backing Alphonsus Eba (a.k.a Okadigbo) for the state chairmanship of PDP, the other aggrieved groups are totally behind the former PDP national publicity secretary and former Commissioner, Venatius Nkem, in the chairmanship race of the party.
A dependable source close to the national leadership of the party disclosed that Governor Ayade had stormed the Wadata House in Abuja, the national secretariat of the party, and have engaged in an intensive lobbying for his preferred candidate and the possibility of in upturning the authentic ward and local government executive committee list inaugurated on April 30, 2020 by notary public, Okimasi Ojong, Esq, as directed by NWC.
The source hinted that in some meetings held between Ayade and his team and some national officers told the governor that the party has nothing against him, but there is urgent need for him to liaise with all relevant stakeholders of the party in the state to decide on what they want.
It was gathered that they made it clear to the Governor that the party cannot impose any candidate or officer on their members in Cross River as they are committed to enthroning a free and fair primaries across the country in line with internal democratic tenets.
It was learnt that Ayade lobby team has met with some aggrieved members in Abuja, especially some NASS members, on the need to forge a common front in the pending state congress to avoid further litigation.
A member of state executive committee, who don’t want his name in print for fear of being tagged anti party man, confirmed that the governor jetted out of the state on Tuesday and has been initiating meetings to sort things out with those opposing his plans to take over the party structure.
The state officer said running to Abuja to beg the members of NWC every time there is a crisis in the state is not the solution to the problem, adding that the party has organs from ward, local government and state caucuses that handle complaints arising from party congresses or primaries in the past.
“This is the time for the Governor Ayade to settle down and discuss with the people who supported him to win Election in 2015 and 2019 rather than spitting them and thinks he would have his way. These people sacrificed for him to be governor and therefore very unfortunate that he has sidelined everybody in the process.
“Even those of us in the exco, we have nothing to show because he is not funding the party. He left the NASS members to be funding some of us and today he wants to have his way because congress is around the corner.
“We beg the national leadership to please not to listen to him this time else the party would die a natural death of they Handover the part structure to him.”
Supporting Governor Ayade’s lobby move at national secretariat, the Southern senatorial district coordinator of Cross River Youth Renaissance Assembly, Mr Ette-Obong Asuquo, decried the subterranean plots by the NASS members to hijack the leadership of PDP in the state at all levels.
Asuquo, who is one of Ayade’s aide, a board member, accused some founding members and legislators of wanting to dictate who becomes the local government chairmen and councillors as well as who becomes the next party chairman after Ntufam Inok Edim tenure.
According to them, these legislators fighting Governor Ben Ayade now wouldn’t have won their elections in 2019 but not for the governor who single handed bankrolled their campaigns and other logistics.
Source: DAILY NEWS
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