The former special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on prosecution, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, has raised the alarm that the members who flocked into the All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside Governor Ben Ayade on May 20, 2021, have completely emasculated the older members.
He said the emasculation and complete denial were visible in the just concluded party primaries for House of Assembly, House of Representatives, Senate and governorship held last week.
“The discrimination that is been dished out to the old APC members in Cross River State manifested glaringly in the highly compromised primaries for the emergence of candidates.
“The new group that joined APC has set out to emasculate those they met at the party. During the last State, Local Government Areas, and Ward Congress, State power and machinery were deployed/used to capture all the State, Local Government Areas, and Ward Executive positions for the group that came from PDP.
“How unjust, unfair, and greedy can some people be?
“Out of the 3 Senatorial tickets, all went to new entrants from PDP. Out of the 8 House of Representatives seats, six went to the new entrants. Out of the 25 House of Assembly seats, all went to the new entrants.
“None of the old APCs had any victory because State Might was used to monetise and corrupt the whole process to the advantage of the new entrants, thus edging out all the old APC? There is a grave silence to all of these shenanigans. The days ahead will determine the fate of the party in the state.”
Obono-Obla, who himself lost the APC Senatorial primaries, listed some of the older and key members of the party who invested much of their time and resources to sustain the party in the fledgling days, including the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, who out of frustration, abandoned the party recently.
“Today, the potentate has pushed him and several others out of the party using discriminatory and unscrupulous tactics against them. And the people they brought to gang up against them and allegedly forced older members to step down for them at the primaries are those that came in between June and July last year!”
Obono-Obla said that APC in the state has become a vehicle for the perpetuation of the whims, interests, and caprices of the potentate.
“What’s happening in Cross River State APC, require men of good conscience to speak up. The injustice perpetuated by hegemonists in Cross River has become nauseating,” he said.