The National Working Committee (NWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday intervened into the crisis rocking the party in Cross River State. The party on Tuesday summoned stalwarts of the party from the state to the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja for a meeting. At a chaired by the APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Segun Oni, were Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani; Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba; Senator Bassey Out; Mr. Odey Ochicha; Senator Florence Ita-Giwa and the Special Adviser to the President on Constitutional Matters, Chief Okon Obla. Also in attendance were the APC Deputy National Chairman (North), Senator Lawal Shuiabu; Deputy National Secretary, Mr. Victor, National Organising Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso and some other NWC members.
The state party Chairman, Mr. John Ochalla, who was not invited for the meeting, however, faulted the composition of the members. According to him, there was no serious meeting to reconcile or make peace in Cross River that should exclude him.
The chairman, who spoke with journalists while the meeting was going on said the problem with the state party was the Minister of Niger Delta. According to him, the desire of the minister to appoint the state party chairman was the bane of the party crisis. He called on the APC national leadership to resolve the stat party crisis by conducting a free and fair state congress. Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, APC National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso, who was part of the meeting, told journalists that the meeting that lasted for over two hours was adjourned and the members were asked to come back on Monday. However, Ndoma- Egba, Ita-Giwa and others that attended the meeting declined to speak with journalists who were waiting for them.
It will be recalled that the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, had recently issued a letter condemning the vandalisation of the state’s party secretariat.
He also stated that the state party executive led by John Ochalla was the duly recognised executive of the party. In the statement, Abdullahi said: “That the state executive of our chapter in Cross Rivers State led by John Ochalla, is the duly recognised executive of the state.
“That we condemn in totality the activities of Friday, February 2, to Tuesday, February 6, in which some party members allegedly broke in, vandalized and occupied the state secretariat and allegedly claim that there is a change in leadership of the State Executive Committee. “All perpetrators of this illegality and acts of gross indiscipline, causing undue disaffection among party faithful, shall be investigated and prosecuted in line with the constitution of our great party.”
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