The crisis rocking the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State on Friday assumed a new twist as a new factional acting chairman, Mr. Etim John, took possession of the party secretariat located along Barracks Road in Calabar.
On January 27, 2018, the party executive led by its Acting Chairman, Mr. John Ochala, alongside the Vice-Chairman of APC (South-South), Chief Hilliard Eta, suspended the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Uguru Usani, over alleged acts of insubordination.
Usani was specifically accused of working against the interest of the party by holding “illegal meetings”, contrary to article 21 of the APC constitution, in order to install a new chairman that would do his bidding.
But Usani, had during a reception in his honour by some party supporters at the Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar on Friday, said he was not aware he had been suspended from the APC.
He said, “I am not aware of my suspension from the APC. Every party has a fight and how you resolve it is what is important. My worry is within the limits of known partisan tradition and conflict. We are resolving it. When a resolution takes place, whether amicably or by victory, the important thing is that there is a resolution and we are resolving it.”
Shortly after Usani’s suspension, a faction of the party led by the state Organising Secretary, Mr. Ekpe Ayang, held a meeting, where they declared the minister’s suspension null and void.
They went ahead to announce the suspension of John Ochala and Hilliard Eta from the party.
Subsequently, the Ayang-led group went ahead to endorse Etim John as the new acting chairman of the party in the state.
However, a statement from the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, had on Friday countered the endorsement of Etim John, saying Ochala remained the acting chairman of APC in Cross River State.
The statement went further to warn that members involved in the appointment of a new acting chairman would be disciplined.