The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries allegedly conducted by the leadership in Cross River State has torn the party into shreds as aspirants threatened defection.
Consequently, out of eighteen local government council’s aspirants in the state, thirteen have condemned the alleged primaries conducted by the party and have threatened defection.
The aspirants who were drawn from the three senatorial zones of the state said the recently released list of aspirants of the party falls short of the provisions of the party and the danger of losing the state looms by this act of outright imposition and impunity.
The aspirants in a petition addressed to the national chairman of the party and signed by thirteen of them including Godwin Offiono (Yala), Naku John (Ogoja LGA), Ikpi Ubana Eyong Yakurr LGA) Obi Stephen Owan (Etung LGA) lamented the attitude of the party leadership.
Others who signed the petition included Orok Bassey Duke (Odukpani LGA), Boniface Odey (Yala), Sunday Igbaji (Ogoja), Bar Ikpi Ubana Eyong (Yakurr), Chief Nelson Ofem (Yakurr), Theophilus Abri Abeng (Obubra), Bar Iwasam Adaga E, (Abi), Francis Ekeng (Calabar South) Ekeng Effiom Edet (Akpabuyo), Christopher Ekpo (Calabar Municipality)
They said that the party should do the right thing else the Zamfara episode which the party benefitted from may be used against it. According to the aggrieved aspirants, “What happened in the state was a meeting of a few people who wrote names and forwarded the same to CROSIEC as candidates of the party.
“We therefore respectfully urge you to admonish the leadership of the party in Cross River State, to cancel the entire process, which was a sham and conduct fresh primary elections for the emergence of candidates. We foresee danger ahead for the party if Cross River State Government does not do the right thing, the precedent in Zamfara state is too fresh that our memory will be aloof, we benefitted.
“Otherwise, the danger of losing Cross River State as a PDP state to the opposition parties is gradually looming by this act of outright imposition and impunity”, they said.
The aspirants emphasized that from the beginning, activities in the time-table were not observed, no forms, neither interest nor nomination was made available to the aspirants despite the fact that some aspirants made payment to the party’s account.
They added that rather than do the right thing as stipulated by the constitution of the party, on the 30th of January, 2020, some groups of persons appeared with heavily armed soldiers and policemen and affirmed persons hitherto published as candidates in contravention of the date for submission of list of candidates by political parties.
Speaking with newsmen, the State PDP Chairman, Inok Edim said, “Party members should complain to the party rather than going out to complain to outsiders. Those complaining are playing anti-party and anybody found protesting will be disciplined by the party.
“The party has the right to select whoever they want; nobody should force the party to go to the field to conduct primaries. We have other options than to go for primaries. The Peoples Democratic Party constitution allows for affirmation,” he stated.