Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Cross River state is to witness a new beginning as every form of internal crisis rocking the party in the state has ended.
State chairman, John Ochala and other APC chieftains in the state unfolded the new development to TNN in separate interviews where they said the party decided to use dialogue in addressing the conflicts affecting the progress of the party which, according to them, had yielded positive results.
“There is no crisis in APC, not at all. We have come together. Hon. John Etim is no more agitating.
“He and his faction are not losers and they are going to be carried along in the new dispensation.
“There is no winner, there is no vanquished. We are all together. So we are going to try our best to see how we can win that election”.
On his part, John confirmed that the situation was being handled by the leadership of the party. He also revealed that the party would come out strong to win the upcoming northern senatorial district bye election in Cross River.
“We are working by the grace of God to make sure that the APC comes out as one body that will stand any election and stand any challenges anywhere.
“The APC will come out as a bride, as strength, as a force to win any election in Cross River state. So the leadership is working on that and by the grace of God we shall come out strong”.
On the aspirants for the Cross River North bye election, he said “the leadership is handling the situation so nobody right now can authoritatively tell you who the candidates are.
“As I speak with you, we have held a meeting with the leadership of APC caucus in Abuja. The only people who have the right are those in the caucus.
“So until we come with a position, anybody commenting on that is on his own, we cannot take any position right now until the leadership has concluded with what they are doing. Whatever anybody is saying right now about candidacy does not hold any water.”
Meanwhile, state vice chairman for APC Cross River central, Vodina Enya stated that the conflict resolution was timely and commendable as the impact will be greatly felt.
“This is what we have been longing for a very long time. We were having different views as of the 2019 elections and you know that a house that is divided cannot stand. So as of 2019 we were supposed to put our house in order to get the PDP out of government but because we were not united, we couldn’t make it happen.
“So for the fact that we are going to put our house in order is going to help us in the forthcoming election in the northern senatorial district. And not only that, if built on it you will see that by 2023, come what may, the APC will take over Cross River state. If APC had worked as a body and as a party, PDP wouldn’t have won the elections. So it is a welcome development and I am praying that God will help us to achieve so.
Commenting on the level of preparedness for the bye election in Cross River north, state vice chairman for Cross River north, Dr. Valentine Eneji expressed optimism that the peace accord in the party would boost their morale in coming out victoriously.
He added that the party was working hard towards coming up with a consensus candidate for the election.
He said “we are in sync with each other because we are working together. We are preparing seriously for the election and if we cannot get a consensus candidate, then we will go for primaries. But we are looking at having a consensus candidate but if cannot, because I promised to give a level plain ground for everything and the national must talk to us and they must hear from us and they must listen to our own point of view too.
“But in all, if there is fairness and transparency in the system, the winner will be accepted by the loser and they will come together to work, but when there is no fairness that is when the problem comes in. I have had a meeting with the general people and in the next few days I will meet with the aspirants again and I will tell them to discuss among themselves and see if we can have a consensus.”
The vice chairman added that they will also bring the criteria for everything, and if the aspirants meet the criteria and refuse to get a consensus candidate that they will leave them and go for primaries.
“Maybe it will be direct or indirect depending on what will be decided at the national level too. But we desire that we have a consensus candidate because this election is a must win election. But as for where we are, I think we are doing well. If you look at my aspirants’ electioneering programmes, their campaigns and confrontations, they have been handling it in a very mature way,” Eneji stressed.