Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Cross Rivers state chapter, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to urgently wade into the crisis rocking the party in the state before it degenerates further.
They equally pleaded with the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the Board of Trustees (BOT) to intervene by cancelling what it called ‘an illegal state congress’ held on February 24, 2018.
They alleged that the illegal Congress conducted by the former Deputy National Chairman, South, Segun Oni, disenfranchised 980 delegates and has aggravated the party crisis in the state and therefore required urgent attention.
In two separate letters copied to the National Chairman and the BOT chairman, the Chairman, Ikom Local Government and Area Council Caucus, Bar Odey Oyama, who made the petition available to newsmen in Abuja, claimed that the state congress fell short of the law and should be cancelled.
“By the copy of this letter, we are notifying President Buhari, as well as Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the crisis in Cross River State Chapter of APC and to emphasise that it requires urgent attention in order to prevent a multiplicity of actions,” he said.
Oyama further stated that the disenfranchised 980 delegates included 196 women from196 wards were also disenfranchised, contrary to the party constitution which stipulates that “five delegates per ward, at least one of whom shall be a woman’, shall take part in the congress.
Oyama, however, lamented that only 94 delegates including a woman “were rather deliberately handpicked to participate in the state Congress. The disenfranchisement of 980 legitimate delegates (about 91 per cent of the total number of legitimate delegates that ought to have participated at the congress) is perverse.
“Therefore, in order to avoid the perpetuation of such gross impunity in APC, the BOT and/or the NWC has an inherent jurisdiction to set aside the congress that has been done in abuse of the APC Constitution. Hence it is our prayer that the BOT and/or the NWC should invoke its prerogative and inherent jurisdiction to discountenance the state congress of Saturday February 24, 2018 held in Calabar,” he appealed.
The petition further read; “the Segun Oni’s Congress Committee lacked jurisdiction to exclude 91 per cent of constitutionally recognised delegates from participating in the state Congress. The prescribed procedures for conducting such a congress were not properly complied with and the event did not occur in consideration of the universal domain stipulated in the APC Constitution.”
The Ikom LGA Caucus Chairman also described the congress as; “an assembly of co-conspirators who wanted to appoint a handpicked person as state Chairman of the party in total disregard to the Constitution of APC and the laws of Nigeria. This is a situation that has the potential of creating very serious crisis in Cross River state chapter of APC.”
In the second letter seeking proper construction, interpretation and administration of the APC Constitution, Oyama claimed that the state Congress held in Calabar on February 24, 2018 was in breach of the party’s Constitution, stressing; “it did not give at least 14 days notice to eligible members to attend.