From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River PDP stakeholders have given the National Working Committee (NWC) a14-day ultimatum to conduct state congress to elect the next officials to pilot the affairs of the party.
In an interview in Calabar at the weekend, the stakeholders including some founding members and some support groups including Movement for the Restoration of Cross River PDP (MFTROCR) and Northern
Senatorial District Youth Renaisance Assembly (NSDYRA) stated unequivocally that it is high time the NWC rise to the occasion and conduct state congress to give the party sense of direction.
The NWC had initially slated August 8, 2020, for Cross River state congress but was postponed indefinitely following irreconcilable differences between Gov Ben Ayade and NASS factions.
According to a statement, the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, and dated August 8, 2020, ‘the NWC, after due consultations and in exercise of its powers under the PDP constitution, postponed the Cross River State Congress from the earlier scheduled date of Saturday, August 8, 2020 to Saturday, August 15, 2020,’ adding that the postponement was sequel to demands of exigencies of party administration.
Speaking shortly after a combined meeting of the groups and some party elders, the Coordinator of Movement for the Restoration of Cross River PDP, (MFTROCR), Raymond Takom, expressing dismay at the turn of events, saying if care is not taken PDP may lose out to the opposition in 2023 as the state chapter has never been engrossed in thus kind of internal wrangling that have stalemated the state congress.
Takom, who blamed the NWC for its inconsistency, said: ‘We are giving the NWC 41 days ultimatum to conduct a state congress or we mobilise all PDP support groups to protest openly against the caretaker committee.
‘If all that fail, we may head for court to ask for the dissolution as they have over- stayed their welcome.’
Supporting moves and calling for immediate conduct of state congress, the Coordinator of Northern Senatorial District Youth Renaisance Assembly, SSDYRA, Mr Emmanuel Agba, said the unending in-fighting is not helping anybody or group and called on elders forum of the party to intervene and save the party from precipice.
Agba alleged that the caretake committee is totally incompetent lacks the capacity and vision to reconcile the warring factions, adding that only a democratically elected state exco can solve the lingering crisis rather than dilly-dallying and pandering to a few individuals who cannot deliver the party in 2023.
In an interview on the developments seven months after, a party elder, Chief Ekpenyong S Ekpeyong, 67, said it is unacceptable for the NWC to look the other way while Cross River chapter disintegrates.
Ekpenyong from Calabar South noted that at no time in the history of the party had we been under the leadership of caretaker committee for this while, adding that the present crop of caretaker committee are rudderless and cannot change the fortunes of the party.
He warned of the dire consequences of not allowing internal democracy thrive in the state, disclosing that APC is using the on-going registration exercise to woo some PDP members and expressed fear that a good number of them may defect to APC.