There are strong indications that the All Progressives Congress (APC) held on Saturday 16tn in Cross River State may create more problems, confusion and plunge the party into further crisis.
The leadership of the party at the State emerged through consensus but one of the Chairmanship aspirants, Mr Koko Dan has kicked against the move insisting that there was need to change the State Working Committee (SWC) because he was unlawfully excluded from participating.
Speaking to https://solomonislandblog.com.ng, Dan dissociated himself and his supporters from a meeting purportedly called by members of the party to disenfranchise him. He threatened to seek redress in the court saying “I Swear, I Cannot be Excluded, We Will See In Court”.
He has vehemently insisted that he was excluded from running as State Chairman of the APC. And he is going to court as legal modalities have been concluded to challenge the process.
“For me, someone who has been in the party since the CPC days, up until now, and one of the major financers of the APC in Cross River State since 2013..for anybody to now turn around and think of excluding me from vying for Chairman simply shows that the person doesn’t mean well for the party and all of us in the party.”
“I was sold the form at the National secretariat in Abuja and I obtained my tax clearance. Fulfilled all requirement as required by the party guidelines . The committee didn’t invite me for screening neither was any screening report submitted to the Appeal committee or the National working committee of the party.
Koko reiterated that as a party member and a contestant he wasn’t informed of any screening date, venue or date by the committee.
“You know before a congress takes place, there is a congress committee in place and then an appeals committee, suited to the process; it is in the guidelines of our party. These two critical committees were not functional in this particular instance and those who are singing the chorus that somebody was the consensus candidate knows
that the party sold form to me.
“The consensus is an agreeable decision taken by party members, in the event the other party members showed interest in the contest such consensus can only be achieved if they all write letters of withdrawal from the process agree to a consensus.
“There indeed is so much that will be thrown up and I can assure you that the insult of excluding me is going to show that impunity will find no place in the APC in CRS”.
Continuing: “Look, in the Federal College of Education, FCE, Obudu, in my Obudu/Bekwarra/Obanliku Federal Constituency, I created a free internet hotspot for students, teaching and non- teaching staff to enhance academic work and I was diligently spending N43,000 (forty three thousand naira) a day, for 13 months. This was one initiative that bolstered APC membership and popularity.
I gave the people a resource centre, kept a phone there with a recharge balance of N500,000, so that anybody who had a pressing need to make a phone call but had no credit, will simply walk in and make a call. Little things like this served a need that was properly assessed. I was also the person who single handedly paid and furnished the APC secretariat in Obudu,Bekwara and Obanliku, with a televisions, DStv, generators,and phones loaded monthly with 500,000.00 for people to make free phones calls. when all of these people were not in the party. Ask around, didn’t I sponsor the 336 participants from the 30 wards and three chapters chairmen for the ward and local Government congresses? In the party last National convention I paid a 270 rooms hotel in Abuja and gave 20,000 each to them to get bread on their way home for the party’s sake. These are open book. Where were all these people when I was doing these things?”
Listen, so many of my party folks were excommunicated from their community for supporting APC, later in they were fined to bring pigs,cartons of beers,palm wine and 12 kolanuts to appease the community . I single handedly bought nine pigs, 27 cartons of beers, the kolanuts and supported them to pay for the fine so they can return back to their homes.
Mr Koko who aspired to represent Bekwarra/Obudu/Obanliku Federal Constituency in 2019 said after the election he was the only one who didn’t take his opponent to court, maintaining that is there anything as sportsman as that?
“I was accused of been given N200 Million by Ayade, the Governor doesn’t know me . I met him for the first time five days ago in the course of negotiating the need for the congress.
“The last ward congress, we had a stakeholders meeting in calabar and the agreed that we should all go to our various ward and have a consensus. No money was given, I went home,bought three goats,cooked varieties of foods, brought all the best champagne and whisky,50 cartons of bear,250 liters of palm wine and the ward congress turned out well. Not only my ward Utugwang North, all other wards came to have fun.
“During the affirmation, the committee approached me and complained of the 30,000 given to them, I had to give them 100,000 and the INEC staff 100,000. Am I an appointee of Government? Did Government made any provision for me?
“I think clearly that this saga has only just begun, I am human and I don’t have the strength to absolutely keep quiet over a thing like this.
It’s not about the Governor or the stakeholders or the person who emerged by the way Okadigbo has been my long standing friend and I think he won’t accept such losses over the past and such manner of exclusion. It’s about me and my commitment overtime that has been deliberately abused. So many things will be revealed in court, I promise you.”