DAVID ODEY, in Calabar, spoke with some chieftains of the APC after the congress that produced a substantive chairman for the party.
What is your opinion about this congress organized to elect a state chairman of your party?
We are here to exercise our inalienable right. As a party we have the right to choose any candidate. There have been a couple of issues in the secretariat which I believe the moment we have a substantive chairman, all these issues will be resolved.
How would you assess the process today?
I think the process today was very, very transparent. You could see the number of screening points which the officials put in place to make sure that we have a very transparent process. I believe that other parties would learn from what is happening here in order for us to deepen our democracy.
What if the outcome of this congress is contested in court?
I want to believe that the court will do justice. As far as I am concerned, we have played our own part.
What is your aspiration for 2019?
2019? I am still in the vanguard of God. I am a pastor now. I am working very hard in the vineyard. Until probably I get an order, I will remain there.
But your posters and banners are all over town and you are saying you have not decided?
Yes. Actually it is my supporters who put them out there. I quarrelled with a few of them because they did not take permission from me. They just thought that they had waited for too long and that the silence was becoming alarming and they decided to move and that any time I decide to join them, I could do so.
We have observed that there is a sharp divide in APC. The people in the street are saying that this is the time any party could take over power from the PDP. What is the strategy and hope for 2019 as far as capturing power from PDP in the state is concerned?
For me, I will not accept that there is a sharp divide. You know, in every party at time there are some families. It takes some time to build the unifying passion that would actually put together a family. I think that we are passing through the rudiments of the process now. By the time we get through this, people will get to know themselves better and build a stronger family. But the most important thing is the fact that APC must be positioned to take over power in this state because there is need for the dividends of democracy to get right down to the people.
What would you say about the massive endorsement of Ayade for 2019 and the impact it would have on APC's quest to capture power in 2019?
I believe all is part of the democratic process. For APC, we are certain about what we are going to do. The whistle has not been blown yet. We are not joining issues with anybody. When the whistle is blown, then we will come out in full swing.
What would you say about the recent Supreme Court judgement on Bakassi?
Well, that has been my position ab initio. For me, I believe right from day one that the state assembly has the right to do some boundary adjustments if need be. So it aligns totally with my belief. The only thing is that I believe that the votes that were normally counted to Akpabuyo will now be purely Bakassi votes. I think INEC has been called upon to come and delineate the constituency which they have to do very quickly in order to make sure that our democracy is able to catch pace on time before the elections, because we don't have too much time.