Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Fresh crisis seems to have erupted in the All Progressives Congress (APC) Cross River chapter as the governorship candidate in the 2019 general election, Senator John Owan Enoh, and party members fight over Enoh’s inclusion in the APC National Reconciliation Committee (NRC) as secretary-designate.
The senator who represented Cross River Central Senatorial District in the 8th Senate, insisted that he has the credentials to be In the committee headed by the Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan.
His defence came on the heels of the petition against him from a group of APC members from Cross River State.
The group under the auspices of Concerned Members of the APC, Cross River State, had petitioned the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, praying for the review of the membership of the NRC, and specifically for his exclusion.
The group had argued that Senator Enoh does not have the credentials to be a member of the NRC, since he is also part of the crisis in Cross River State APC.
Signed by Busa Thomas Osowo Bisong and Pastor Kingsley A. Ebuka, the group had alleged among other things that Senator Enoh is a disloyal party member.
The statement of the group read in parts: “Without prejudice to the efforts of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the APC to revive the party, we regret the composition of the NRC because it shows open bias.
“While it is agreed that reconciliation is crucial and imminent in politics, a reconciliatory process should not be carried out to evoke provocation and abuse the sensibilities of the various actors and interest groups.
“Therefore, the members of the reconciliation committee must consist of party men and women of proven character and whose participation in the party is consistent and traceable to the merger of 2014. It must consist of men and women with unbiased and non-factional disposition: individuals who have the capacity to foster internal democracy in the party.
“Such is lacking in the recently constituted NRC, with specific reference to Sen John Owan Enoh (the 2019 factional governorship candidate of the APC in Cross River State) who joined the party in 2018 and has been announced the secretary of the reconciliation committee.
“John Enoh‘s membership in the committee makes him a judge in his case; this is an error, and makes the reconciliatory effort dead on arrival. He is in the eye of the storm of the crisis rocking APC Cross River State and should not be in the committee,” the petition read.
However, in a swift reaction through a statement from his media consultant, Missang Oyama, Senator Enoh dismissed the allegations of the group, describing them as enemies of APC working in consonance with the former Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani.
He provided details of his commitment to the APC in Cross River State and his desire towards reconciliation in the state.
“We write in response to a petition forwarded to the National Chairman of the APC against Senator Enoh as the secretary of the newly-constituted NRC of the party. The petition is replete with heated rhetoric and caustic pathological falsehood.
“The tactics of the petitioners appear intended to mask their moral deficiencies as they keep revelling in their pervasive penchant to distort facts. Their baseless allegations were framed with the purpose of distracting and diverting the attention of the party from the central issue of reconciling all aggrieved members.
“It is rather ridiculous and extremely unfortunate that almost one year after the general elections, some people are still hell-bent on dragging the party backward. This is clear evidence of their lack of confidence in even the national leadership of the party and their insatiable urge to keep groping in the trenches.
“We make bold to say that no one has been more reconciliatory and accommodating than the distinguished Senator in Cross River APC. After the primaries, he made spirited efforts and offered olive branch to all the aggrieved candidates and desired they work together.
“It won’t be out of place to draw the attention of the NWC to the fact that the names of these petitioners were boldly featured in the petition against the Hon Minister of State for Power, Prince Goddv Jeddy Agba to the Senate President ahead of the ministerial screening by the Senate.
“Their machination was for the minister as a nominee of Mr President to be disqualified. These petitioners are serial peddlers of falsehood and unrepentant blackmailers who thrive in the proverbial “Pull him down syndrome.
“Their track record in this unwholesome trade is evident. These people should not be taken seriously. The disposition of the Senator has been reconciliatory and he is committed to an indivisible, peaceful and a united APC family in Cross River State and Nigeria in general,” the statement read.