Immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Cross River State, Sir John Ochala has disclosed that the crisis the party suffered in the state was orchestrated by external forces who were trying to subvert the system. In this interview with CHIEMEKA ADINDU he expressed his gratitude to members of the party who stood by him in his period of trial. He urged the new chairman of the party to have sincerity of purpose.
A new chairman has just been appointed for the party in the state by the CTC. What is your take on this development?
If this will bring peace and lasting solution to APC in Cross River state, I absolutely subscribe to it. You will recall that there has been a long lasting litigations concerning leadership of the party in Cross River state which were thrown to the wind. Avarice and the rest were all at play. I think some persons were bent on subverting the system and after this long and torture route, the leadership of the party in the state felt well, if sacrificing will bring peace, we will sacrifice so that we will have a situation that is a win-win situation and a new face coming on board. That is what we did pray and we party that this decision will bring a lasting peace tour party in Cross River state.
You said some people were trying to subvert the system. What do you mean by that?
It has always been clear before now that we have issues in Cross River APC and they emanated from external force and source. You are a journalist you can investigate and find out yourself. What we are saying is that if we have a new face, God may bring lasting peace to us through it and that’s where we are now. We have left the past and we are moving into the future.
You sound uncertain about the full restoration of peace in the party (cuts in)
I say if this will bring peace. I’m not God. I said that I subscribe hundred percent to what has taken place; hundred percent. I sacrifice all claims for peace to reign.
Do you also see the development as a boost to the party in the upcoming bye elections in Cross River North?
Absolutely! You remember the issues of double candidature and all that. Those things have been put to rest with this development.
What words of advice do you have for APC members in the state?
I greet the entire APC members in Cross River state. I salute their courage. I salute their dedication. I salute their loyalty to the party. I thank them for the longsuffering and patience, it’s not easy. It will only get better. A tree that does not produce nobody goes there; it is a tree that is fruitful that stones are cast at. APC is a beautiful bride. APC Cross River state is the party to beat that is why we have gone through all these challenges. Where we are now is only for us to come together, harness human and material resources together and channel them towards victory, victory and victory in all electoral processes and procedures that will come up. I thank them very much and for our Exco, I will continue to encourage them with the support they gave to me; they should double it for the new arrow head of our party so that at the end of the day we will have a win-win situation.
What areas do you think the new chairman should focus more?
Sincerity of purpose! That’s the summary of all; sincerity of purpose. Let him put his efforts towards achieving a one indivisible APC by being sincere to his calling and his purpose, that’s all. Yes, politics has to do with some intrigues but when you shortchange a person or a group in the name of politics that is when you start causing trouble. Once there is sincerity of purpose, the sky will be his limit. Every member ought to be carried along. Every member!