Cross River IPAC Election Ends in Controversy

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Bassey Inyang in Calabar

A fresh round of crisis is rocking the Cross river state chapter of the Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) , following the boycott of its election by fourteen out of twenty political parties that were billed to participate in the elections which was scheduled for Thursday at the state headquarters of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The among representatives of the political parties that worked out of the venue were those of the Action Alliance(AA), All Progressives Congress (APC), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Labour Party (LP), Green Party of Nigeria (GPN), Fresh Democratic Party (FDP), National Conscience Party (NCP), New Nigerian People Party(NNPP), Peoples Party of Nigeria(PPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) and Action Democratic Party (ADP).

The Chairman of the IPAC in the state, Baron Eyo, who was seeking a return to office for a second term, told THISDAY that majority of the party representatives decided to leave the venue because they discovered that the process had been compromised by the INEC, and representatives of the national leadership of the IPAC.
According to Eyo, said he was still the chairman of the IPAC in the state because the executive committee which he leads was yet to be dissolved.

He stressed that the IPAC guidelines states that a substantive executive committee at any level of the body must be dissolved before fresh elections are conducted.

Eyo alleged that the party representatives had to boycott the election where the INEC suddenly substituted the list containing the names of the approved twenty political parties with a fresh list containing 27 names which was brought that morning to the venue through the influence of Governor Ben Ayade’s Special Adviser of Inter Party Affairs, Mr. Austin Ibok.

Eyo also alleged that in the fresh list, which was brought, another name was superimposed on his name as chairman of the LP in the state despite a subsisting court order recognising him as the chairman of the LP in the state.
He said the IPAC in the state under his leadership would challenge drag the national leadership of the body, and the INEC to court over the matter.

He said it was unbecoming of agents of the state government to interfere with the activities of the IPAC which is an independent body of political parties.

However, despite the boycott of the elections, the candidate of the Independent Democrat (ID), Mr. Sunday Michael, who was billed to contest against Eyo was declared as the newly elected chairman of the IPAC in the state.