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Politics

Cross River APC chairman must go – Stalwarts insist

Stakeholders and key sponsors of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, in Cross River State have again insisted that the party chairman, Alphonsus Eba, and his exco must bow out immediately.

But the exco two days ago met and affirmed Eba as their ‘indisputable chairman’ amid increasing calls for his removal.

Former presidential aide Chief Okoi Obono-Obla also opposed his removal, saying Eba cannot be removed in a kangaroo manner. He maintained that the party’s constitution must be followed if such calls were to stay.

Speaking for other chieftains, in an interview, a former benefactor of the party chairman, Chief Higgins Peters who is at the vanguard, championing Eba’s removal, said their insistence is as a result of the Eba leadership’s abysmal performances during last year’s general election as well as the recent rerun elections where they lost woefully.

But addressing his exco, Eba himself had boasted that not even one billion of Peter Higgins can remove him from office.

Higgins said, “Incidentally, it is not me that is calling for his resignation. It is the people who want him and his entire exco out of office over very poor electoral performances. We have insisted that the whole party exco should go because they have failed. We have nothing against Barrister Alphonsus Eba. It is Eba’s issue. He is just a component of the party exco. He is not APC but a member, and presently the chairman. So we are asking the entire exco, including himself to go. Simple!

“I don’t feel insulted over his boast. I only sympathize with his limited knowledge and ignorance of me after being around me for 18 years.

“I have sympathy for him over his lack of knowledge of his Yala ancestry. In 2006 he was brought to me in Abuja. I saw prospects in him and took him in closely like I did with other younger brothers.

“If within this length of time and closeness to me he still does not know me enough and could still speak through that level of shallowness and ignorance about me then I should rather be worried for him or worried that the party Chairmanship has affected his morals or conduct yet he remains my younger brother”.

On why they are insistent on Eba’s exco removal, Higgins asked, “Have you heard that any government in power lost senatorial district election in the state? Have you had a state party chairman lost his own senatorial district election before? Have you had any chairman that had a sitting governor who lost his senatorial district election? But a sitting governor, Ben Ayade lost when Eba was State party chairman!

“Have you had any chairman that had no state House of Assembly candidate from his own LGA? Such has been the failure of the party leadership!

“We’re saying that if APC led us to general election and by-election, and we lost, it means the leadership of the party failed.”

He further explained that he was not a party stakeholder or leader who will see things going wrong and keep quiet because he wants to be politically correct or not insulted.

On need to apply constitutional process, Higgins said for the interest and welfare of parties, state excos have been dissolved elsewhere without finishing their tenures, state party Chairmen and national Chairmen have been removed in line with exigencies of the times.

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