BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Cross River State National Assembly (NASS) members have warned the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, to steer clear of the People’s Democratic Party Congresses in the state or face the consequences.
It would be recalled that For over a year now, Ayade and the State Executive members led by the Caretaker Chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok on one hand and most of the National Assembly members and founding members of the party on the other, have been at loggerheads over the ward and chapter congresses of the party as well as who controls the party structure.
There has been allegations of neglect and non performance against the governor and counter allegations against the lawmakers that they are pursuing selfish interest thus resulting in the postponement state congresses on Saturday, August 8, 2020 as no compromise could be met.
The warning comes against the backdrop of the claim by the former Presidential spokesperson to President Jonathan/ Sambo Presidential Campaign Committee that he will dump the party alongside several other party men if the structure of the party is taken away from the governor.
Fani-Kayode had in his twitter handle cautioned the NWC of taking away the party structure from Gov Ben Ayade saying, “no matter how powerful the PDP might be, any attempt to undermine Ayade will spark off a crisis that will split the party and the consequences will not be limited to Cross River State.”
However, members of the State’s PDP caucus at National Assembly in a statement yesterday faulted the claim by the minister and advised him against meddling into the affairs of the state.
They wondered why Kayode should not concentrate his efforts in ensuring that the party wins election in his own state rather than dissipating energy on another state’s internal affairs, saying, “the National Assembly members from Cross River are astonished that Fani Kayode can get so ballistic on a matter, he knows nothing about. He throws tantrums at the people that have sustained the party, while he is on sabbatical.
“We thought he was going to ask Gov Ayade certain salient questions before dabbling into the state matter. He should have asked Ayade why he contributed so much to the APC in the 2019 Elections. Did Fani Kayode ask him why he supported Hope Uzodinma in Imo State against Emeka Ihedioha of PDP in the last Governorship Election in Imo state?
It was alleged that the state government spent over N2 billion in the last election for APC but spent only N5 million for the PDP.
The Caucus members asked: “Did he ask Ayade why he sent N5m only, in December last year to the Party, as a Seating Governor after so much pressure? Did he ask Ayade if he could win CRS for PDP without the NASS Members? Did he ask Ayade if he had at least 50% of the structures or not, bearing in mind that there are other stakeholders and we are in a democracy? We think that Fani Kayode should brief us on the standing of the Party in his own State, if he is on ground. We know that the PDP is very weak in his State, so he should go and put his State together for the Party. Fani Kayode’s main occupation at the moment is “talking but he should choose when and what to talk about, in spite of the inducements”.
Meanwhile the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has rescheduled the state congress to August 15 and it is expected that all warring groups may have resolved their differences.
The aggrieved NASS members are Senators Gershom Bassey of Cross River South Senatorial, Sandy Onor of Cross River Central Senatorial, Pastor Essien Ayi of Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi, Ntufam Eta Mbora of Calabar/Odukpani, Chief Daniel Asuquo of Akamkpa/Biase, Mr. Chris Agibe of Ikom/Boki and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe of Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituencies.