C’River APC Crisis Deepens as Zonal Vice Chairman Rejects Congress

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By Bassey Inyang in Calabar

The crisis rocking the Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has expanded its margins as the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, has described the special congress held last Saturday to elect a substantive chairman of the party in the state as null and void.

Eta spoke in reaction to the election of Mr. Etim John, as the substantive chairman of the APC in the state at a special congress conducted by a five-man team led by Mohammed Indabawa.

After the count of vote at the special congress, John polled 56 votes to defeat his only opponent, Dr. Mathew Achigbe, who polled 36 votes.

However, Eta who is a member of the APC in the state, kicked against the conduct of the special congress, describing it as illegal, null and void.

Eta said as far as the law of the land was concerned, Mr. John Ochalla remains the acting chairman of the APC in the state.

He said a court injunction had barred the party from conducting any special congress for the APC in Cross River State.

“Since a court order has been served, the parties must resort to status quo until the exhaustion of the litigation process regarding the issue in contention. I had instructed the committee based on the court processes served us in Abuja and Calabar, to stop the exercise.

“As National Vice Chairman, it is my duty to see to the operations of the party in my zone. On the basis that, we are law abiding; and cannot go against the law. I hereby, nullify the congress.

“The issue of filling the position of state chairman of the party had been in contention thus attracting the litigation. Those celebrating such a nullity as a victory have further exhibited their folly of the law and displayed flagrant disregard for court orders.

“There have again exposed their folly of the law and of due process. It is a caricature of sort that these folks still live with the mentality of their former political platforms.

“The national echelon of the party will not condescend to such illegality and constitutional breach of defying a court order. Saturday’s exercise reveals the height of compromise on the part of some party leaders to insist on constitutional democracy as part of the change mantra.

“What happened is a travesty and the height of impunity. It is an attack on the constitution of the party and the rule of law. We are a party of change. We are a party of doing the right thing. We cannot as a party that came into power on the basis of change indulges in such illegality,” Eta said.