The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, has denied speculations that his political ambition is responsible for the crisis in the All Progressives Congress (APC), Cross River State chapter.
The minister made the clarification at the APC National Secretariat on Tuesday in Abuja, while speaking with journalists through his Aide, Sam Bassey.
He added that his desire like every other committed member of the APC in Cross River, was to ensure that it was up and doing and without rancour.
“We are all anxious to have the party moving, it is not about anybody, but about APC in Cross River, if anybody is interested in contesting election, he must have a platform,’’ he said.
He alleged that since his appointment as minister, the Cross River chapter of the APC had been without an effective chairman and was collapsing because of lack of good leadership.
It would be recalled that the Niger Delta Affairs Minister until his appointment, was the APC Cross River chapter chairman.
Mr. Usani said with John Ochalla as acting chairman of the APC in the state, the party had no platform in the state.
The minister said that this was due to the fact Mr. Ochalla had, a “phobia for meetings’’ and was not carrying members along.
He stressed that a politician who had phobia for meetings had no place in politics, adding that APC Cross River needed a vibrant chairman to achieve its desire of winning the governorship position in the 2019 elections
“We want to win election in Cross River and we need somebody that can stand out and lead the party in the office of the chairman to get us to victory,’’ the minister said.
The minister, while admitting that the Cross River chapter of the party had crisis, said the crisis had however, been put to rest.
This, he said, followed the election of Etim John, as the new chairman of the state at the party´s just concluded congress.
According to him, Mr. John won the election with 56 votes, while his opponent Mathew Achigbe got 36 votes.
The APC National Working Committee (NWC) took the decision to organise a congress in the state after getting the buy-in of major stakeholders.
This followed the suspension of Mr. Ochalla, the state´s former chairman amid lingering crisis in the chapter.
The crisis in the chapter it would be recalled, led to forceful occupation of the party’s secretariat in Calabar by some members, who allegedly broke into the building and vandalised it.
The “aggrieved’’ members had claimed that there was a change in the leadership of the executive committee of the party in the state.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abudullahi, who reacted to the development, said that the perpetrators of the act would be investigated and prosecuted.
He described the development as “gross indiscipline,’’ which had caused undue disaffection among party faithful in the state.