By Lateef Ibrahim
The crisis in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State has taken a more dangerous dimension as the State Chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok Edim, rejected the ward and local government list of members forward to him to inaugurate on Thursday.
National Working Committee (NWC) of the party had in a letter with ref no: PDP/DOM/GF.V/VOL.2/20-387B dated April 26, 2020 and signed by Col Austin Akobundu (rtd), National Organizing Secretary, ordered the state chairman of the party to inaugurate the ward and local government EXCO for the eighteen local government areas of the State.
“After giving a careful consideration of the reports of the Electoral Committee and the Appeal Panel, has, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party, approved the said Congresses and the Executive Committees emerging therefrom.
“You are therefore by this correspondence, directed to take necessary and appropriate steps to Inaugurate the new Executive Officers in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of our Party’s Constitution as amended in 2017” the letter stated.
“In doing this, you’re please advised to also take into proper account the provisions of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Guidelines of Covid-19 as it concerns Social Distancing and the gathering of people in one place.
“This shall be the new Exco Members at the expiration of the current Executives, i.e. April 30, 2020 for Ward and May 05, 2020 for LGA, and shall hold office for a period of four (4) years pursuant to Section 47(1) of our Party’s Constitution as amended; (i.e. April 30, 2020 – April 30, 2024 for ward Executives; and May 05, 2020 – May 05, 2024 for LGA Executives).
“Accordingly, I hereby forward to you the authentic list of the Ward and Local Government Executives for all the 196 Wards and 18 LGAs of your State as contained in the attached lists of Names of Approved Ward and LGA Exco Members,” the statement added.
But the party chairman, Ntufam Edim, while addressing the press on Thursday, said that the National Chairman of the party has denied the list, hence he cannot go ahead to inaugurate the EXCO.
“Again, we have been served with court injunction by aggrieved members who have gone to court restraining us from inaugurating the EXCO,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the ward and local government executive committees of the party in Cross River State have been inaugurated in 196 wards of the state.
The Ward Executive Committee members were sworn-in by a Notary Public, Okimasi Ojong, Esq, Principal Partner of Barr Okimasi Ojong and Co, in accordance with the provisions of Section 65 of the PDP Constitution as amended in 2017, would be in office for a tenure of four years.
He said that the committee was inaugurated following a directive by the National Working Committee, NWC, of the party in a letter dated April 26, 2020 and signed by the National Organising Secretary, Col Austin Akobundu. “The national leadership of the party had released the approved authentic list for ward and local government executives for all the 196 wards and 18 local government councils.