All is getting set for the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Convention scheduled for Abuja on Saturday, where a new national chairman and other principal officers of the party will hopefully be elected.
But the fate of delegates from Cross River is not certain. This is as a result of the factionalisation of the party in the state. Party leaders accused the minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani of masterminding the crack in the party.
The minister was accused of ignoring the authentic list of those who emerged winners during the ward and chapter congresses. The issue tore the party into two parts. Stakeholders of the party had to organise what they called the authentic state congress, using the list of the original winners. They also secured a court injunction restraining the Usani camp from parading themselves as leaders of the party in the state.
Apart from this setback, it was learnt that the choice of aspirants for certain positions zoned to the state is causing ripples in the Usani camp.
As it stands, it is not clear which of the delegates of the two factions will be allowed to take part in the national convention.
However, Etim John, who enjoys the backing of Usani, and the Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, told TNN that his group was the officially recognized one to send delegates to the convention, boasting that he has in his possession the authentic delegates list for the convention.
“There are no two delegates lists. There is only one delegates list approved by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party headed by Chief John Oyegun. The media should go to the national headquarters of the party and verify.
Dr Mathew Achigbe did not take his calls when TNN tried to reach him on Saturday. At the root of the crisis is the alleged the governorship ambition of Usani. Party leaders in the other faction have accused him of attempting to plant his stooges in the state executive to enable him get the governorship ticket with ease.
The lack of cohesion and internal democracy in the party in the state may affect the chances of the national chairmanship aspirant and former governor of the state, Chief Clement Ebri.
Ebri is running against a former governor of Edo state, Adams Oshiomhole, who is reported to have been enjoying the support of some state governors and the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.