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PDP rejects Ayade’s list as crisis deepens over Cross River congresses

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Internal crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River State has worsened as the National Working Committee (NWC) rejected the ward and chapter executives put in place by Governor Benedict Ayade.

Instead, in a letter to the state Chairman of the party, Ntufam Edim Inok Edim dated April 26, 2020 and signed by the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu, it recognised the executive put in place by the Abuja bloc.

For the past three months there have been crisis over the control of the party structure in the state in view of 2023 elections, as the Abuja group accused Ayade of hijacking the party by dismantling all structures that helped him into office in 2015.

The group also accused him of plotting to anoint a successor to enable him to assume total control of the party.

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The letter titled “Approval of New Ward and Local Government Area Executive Committee Members In Cross River State,” copies of which were sent to Ayade and National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus.

“Following the successful conduct of the ward and council congresses of our party in Cross River State on Saturday, March 7 and Saturday, March 21, 2020, for the purpose of electing new executives, the NWC, after giving careful consideration to the reports of the Electoral Committee and Appeal Panel, on behalf of the National Executive Committee (NEC), approved the executive committees that emerged from the congresses.

“Accordingly, I hereby forward to you the authentic list of the ward and local government executives for the 196 wards and 18 councils of the state as contained in the attached list of names of approved executive members.

“These shall be the new executive members at the expiration of the current executives on April 30, 2020 forwards and May 5, 2020, for councils and shall hold office for four years pursuant to Section 47(1) of our party’s constitution as amended,” the letter reads.

The NWC, therefore, directed Edim to take necessary and appropriate steps to inaugurate the new executive officers in accordance with provisions of Section 65 of the party’s constitution as amended in 2017.

Reacting to the development, Spokesman of the Abuja group under the auspices of Movement for the Restoration of Cross River PDP (MFTROCR), Comrade Raymond Takom, supported the NWC’s decision.

He said, “The party has handed over the PDP structure in the state to the original owners and founders that brought Ayade into office in 2015. This development would restore the confidence of the founding fathers in the party.”

Consequently, Ayade’s loyalists including Edim, the Publicity Secretary, Egbung Odama and others were shocked at the development but declined comments, as they refused to take their calls.

However, sources at the party secretariat said the leadership of PDP was trying to study the list before making any further pronouncements.

In a similar vein, effort to reach Governor Ayade’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Christian Ita to comment on the matter failed as he did not take his calls but government sources said, “We have seen this in the past and it turned out to be contrary to what they were saying. So let’s wait and see.”

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