The Minister for Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usani, has described his suspension by Cross River State Working Committee (SWC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as an exercise in futility.
Reacting to the suspension which was announced at the weekend by the Acting State Chairman, John Ochala, the minister said the SWC did not have the power to suspend him and declined to speak further.
While making the announcement, Ochala had said that after exhaustive deliberations by the SWC and the enlarged state exco, Usani was suspended for engaging in anti-party activities.
The minister was accused of allegedly holding several meetings as part of efforts to form a
“Majorly, what we took in the meeting had to do with the formation of caucuses across the state and also the issue of indiscipline, which is fuelled by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“With the powers invested in the state working committee, we had no choice but to invoke the tenets of the constitution which is the suspension of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and recommend his expulsion to the national,” he said.
“The party severally called him and warned him but he did not listen. Last year, he appeared before the State Working Committee to explain his role in some of those meetings.
“He told us he doesn't owe us any explanation and he was warned. He promised us that he will be of good character from that moment. But he keeps holding different meetings both here in the state and Abuja.''
It was further revealed that recently, he tried to constitute a parallel EXCO as opposed to the one that has been in place from the inception of the party. So we have no option than to suspend him and recommend for his expulsion from the party at the national level.
“That is just the summary of all we did. We truly tried to manage the problems associated with him since he left us as State Chairman.”
Usani was described as cog in the wheel of progress of the party in the state.
Soon after Usani's suspension was announced at the meeting which was attended by the South South Vice Chairman of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta, the minister's supporters went wild at the party's state secretariat on Barracks Road, breaking chairs and disrupting the Exco meeting. The police had to be invited to restore normalcy after party leaders had scampered into safety.
APC leaders in the state who were contacted on Usani's suspension did not pick their calls. They did not respond to text messages sent to them regarding the seeming implosion of the party in the state on the eve of an election year.