The Cross River State Chapter of PDP seems to be enmeshed in an internal crisis as members of National Assembly and some founding fathers boycotted the ward and local government congresses.
There has been no love lost between Governor Ben Ayade and some members of the National Assembly and some pioneer members who contributed to the success of the party in the past twenty years over who takes control of party structures.
The ward and local congresses of the party were held on Saturday, March 7 and March 21, 2020, across the 196 wards and 18 councils respectively.
But the stakeholders, who have coalesced into Movement for the Restoration of Cross River PDP, (MFTROCR), are kicking against the alleged handpicking of ward, chapter, and state executives by the party through the alleged instruction of the Governor.
The group’s spokesperson, Comrade Raymond Takom, said it is quite unfortunate majority of the National Assembly members, foundation members, former elected and political office holders that built the party from the scratch have been thrown out of the party through a selection of party
Takom, who is a pioneer member, said since the inception of the party they have never witnessed this level of impunity during congresses, calling on the national leadership to cancel it.
He said: “If you have been following the congress you can observe that the key party members including the National Assembly, some state lawmakers, and former party chieftains have all boycotted the exercise because it was a sham. Some of us don’t even know who are our ward or Chapter officers in a party that preaches democracy.
“There was no consultation of any form neither were due processes followed in conducting the congresses in line with the party constitution as the party secretariat refused to sell forms to candidates.
“All we can say is that the party chairman on instruction wrote down the names of their favourites as party officers across board. PDP is in comatose in the state. It is quite unfortunate that internal democracy is being undermined .”
Dismissing the allegations that National Assembly members boycotted the congresses, the state Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Egbung Odama, said the congresses were conducted in consultation with relevant stakeholders from wards to chapter levels.
Egbung maintained that the PDP still remains one indivisible family and everything would be done to carry everybody along as they reposition the part ahead of 2023.
He said: “For the chapter congress, it was conducted in someplace through affirmation and where they don’t agree they vote. So we are sure that the members wishes would carry the day in the exercise.
“It is not true that members of the National Assembly boycotted it. Some of them who could not make it have sent in apologies just as some called to congratulate the party for the successful conduct of the congresses. So, no I’ll feel as being bandied about.”