IPAC Demands Suspension of Party Leaders in Cross River

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By Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The Cross River State chapter of the Inter-party Advisory Council (IPAC), has commenced moves to suspend some of it members who allegedly conspired and attempted removing the state Chairman of the body, Mr. Baron Eyo, and his executive committee from office.

Already, the IPAC in the state under the leadership of Eyo has written to its national secretariat, demanding the suspension of the members who staged a purported election on March 16, where Dr. Fidelis Okoh was allegedly announced as the new chairman of the group.

Aside from calling for sanctions against the leaders of the political parties that participated in the failed attempt, the IPAC have also called for a review of the appointment of the Special Assistant on inter-party affairs to the state Governor , Mr. Austin Ibok,  whom they alleged master-minded the attempt to sack the Eyo-led executive committee.

In a petition, signed by Eyo, and addressed to the national chairman of IPAC, with reference number IPAC/CRS/NO.1/001, dated, April 22, 2017, the IPAC indicated that it was considering legal actions against those who announced the purported removal of the Eyo-led executive.

A  copy of the petition made available to THISDAY in Calabar at the weekend, read in part: “In reference to the recent publication of THISDAY Newspaper  of April 19, page 19 concerning the illegal IPAC election held on March 16 at the Special Adviser to the Governor on Inter-party Affairs (SA) office, Cross River State.

“We want to bring to your notice that it is obvious that the faction of IPAC constituted by the special adviser to the governor on inter-party affairs Mr. Austin Ibok has been proven to be true.”

The petition stated that following a meeting held recently the IPAC under the leadership of Eyo resolved as follows: “That those who took part (political party chairmen) in the illegal election should be suspended; that a petition should be written from its National secretariat, asking for the terminate the appointment of Austin Ibok as SA Interparty-Affairs; and approval should be given to IPAC in the state to take legal action against their activities.”

In the petition, the IPAC demanded the immediate suspension of  the state chairmen of the Accord Party(AP), Independent Democrats(ID), All Progressives Grand Alliance(APGA), Peoples Progressives Alliance(PPA), Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Social Democratic Party(SDP), Peoples Democratic Movement(PDM), and Alliance for Democracy(AD).

Speaking on the development, Eyo challenged his opponents to produce the result of the purported election they claim to have held on March 16, and the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that supervised it.

Eyo brandished the result of the election held at the INEC secretariat in Calabar, which brought him and his executive committee members to office on September21, 2016.

The document sighted by THISDAY indicate that Eyo defeated Mr. Sunday Michael of the ID by 7 votes to 6 to emerge chairman; Nlami N. Eseje of the Peoples Party of Nigeria (PPN), emerged deputy state secretary with 7 votes to defeat Engineer Eno .E . Eno of the AP who  had 5 votes; Francis Offiong of Action Alliance (AA) emerged state treasurer with 7 votes against Ita Bassey of AD who had 6 votes; and Pastor S.E. Esuabanga of Fresh Democratic Party (FDP) had 6 votes to emerge state publicity secretary against Dr. Uke Enun of PDP who had 5 votes. Those who were returned unopposed were Mr. M.B. Bujor of National Conscience Party (NCP), Deputy State Chairman; Ali Patrick of PPA, state Secretary; and Pastor Franklin E. of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), state Financial Secretary.

Ibok who said he has no knowledge of the power struggle in IPAC, absolved himself of any complicity, and involvement in the attempted removal of the Eyo-led executive.