Bassey Inyang in Calabar
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, has been accused by some stakeholders in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State of working towards the election of Governor Ben Ayade of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for a second term in 2019.
Though Usani is a claimant to the governorship ticket of the APC, stakeholders of the party from the 18 local government areas of the state have complained that the minister was deliberately working against the party, and the possible victory of the party’s authentic and recognised governorship candidate, Senator John Owan-Enoh, at the 2019 governorship election.
To this end, the stakeholders, at a press conference in Calabar at the weekend, accused Usani and his supporters of engaging in anti-party activities and urged the APC National Working Committee (NWC) to impose sanctions on him.
The stakeholders were reacting to a street protest staged by the minister’s supporters in Calabar, last week, where they declared that the APC will get nothing in the 2019 general election, if Usani is not enlisted as the party’s governorship candidate for the state.
Reading from a prepared statement on behalf of the 18 signatories to the document, a former governorship aspirant, Dr. Odigha Odigha, said they were appealing to the NWC of the APC to impose necessary sanctions on Usani and his foot soldiers because their actions, if not put in check, would fester beyond control, and dim the party’s prospects in 2019 elections.
Reeling out the alleged anti-APC activities of the minister, Odigha said: “We will no longer sit back and allow someone who brazenly refused to support the party at registration in 2014; someone who said this party was North-driven; someone who as APC chairman only attended only one gubernatorial campaign rally at Abi LGA out of 18 in the state, and could not even stay till the end; someone who brought violence into APC system in Cross River State; someone with a baggage of un-cleared indictments to sink our party in his failed inordinate ambition to become governor.”
Alleging that the minister was working actively against the APC in support of Ayade’s second term bid, Odigha said: “This is clearly evidenced in Usani’s political activities, which are sponsored by Governor Ayade.
“As we speak, Pastor Usani with his co-travellers are recalcitrantly sustaining parallel party organs across the entire state, thereby undermining the authority and decision of the national organs of our great party. There is no gain saying that Pastor Usani U. Usani has not only shown serious disdain for the directives of the party at the highest echelon, but has also incorrigibly and unrepentantly become law onto himself. Without doubt, his actions are increasingly disrupting the peaceful, lawful, efficient organisation and proper focusing and positioning of the party for the forthcoming general election in the state.”