Etim 'Humiliated' As Ochalla Attends APC NEC Meeting

Acting Chairman of APC, Sir John Ochalla at the NEC meeting yesterday in Abuja
In what appears as an apparent disapproval of the Congress that produced him as the Chairman of Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Etim John, was yesterday blocked at the National Secretariat of the party from attending the party's National Executive Council meeting.

The Acting Chairman of the party in the state, Sir John Ochalla was the person recognized as a NEC member representing the state in the meeting.

Recall that on Saturday, February 24th at the party Secretariat in Calabar, a mini Congress ordered by Shegun Oni was held to elect a substantive Chairman for the party. Although the congress held but reactions have continued to trail with many saying that it was illegal.

National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the party, Ntufam Hilliard Eta in a statement on Saturday declared the Congress null and void citing a court injunction stopping the Congress as his reason.

Eta said that ''once a court order has been served, the parties must resort to status quo until the exhaustion of the litigation process regarding the issue in contention''.           

Stating that the issue of filling the position of state chairman of the party had been in contention thus attracting the litigation, Eta however said those celebrating such a nullity as a victory have further exhibited their folly of the law and displayed flagrant disregard for court orders.

Also, Dr. Mathew Achigbe, a candidate for the state party chairmanship position in the Congress on Sunday maintained that Etim was a product of illegality that can't and shouldn't be recognized as the duly elected Chairman of APC in the state.

He said that the Congress that produced Etim was heavily compromised and against the APC constitution as well as the electoral act therefore should be declared null and void.

"The Congress that produced Hon. Godwin Etim John defied Article 25(IV) of the APC constitution which states that at least 14 days notice be given to each level of the party of its intention to hold Congress. No notice was given in the instant case", he said.

In what seem as a confirmation of their positions, Etim was yesterday shown the way out of the party's NEC meeting as the Ochalla led executive was the duly recognized leadership of the party in state.

An impeccable source who was at the Secretariat yesterday said that "When we told them not to elect somebody that will be recognized as Chairman only in Calabar, they refused. The man was chased like a common criminal yesterday out of the Secretariat. He can use his thugs and claim the APC Secretariat in Calabar but here, national won't bow to the illegality perpetrated by him and his boss, the Minister of Niger Delta, Usani Usani. This is a final burial for them".

He added that "I hope they will realise their mistakes now and come back let's build a party capable of winning elections in the state. We can't continue fighting and giving PDP and Cross Riverians the impression that we're not organized".

Efforts to get Etim on phone to react to the development was unsuccessful at the time of filling this report.
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