Cross River State today swore in 17 council chairmen and their deputies in a ceremony that drew a large crowd to the main bowl of the Cultural Centre Complex, Calabar. Bakassi LGA, the 18th LGA will have her chairman sworn-in at a later date.
John Aniah, Secretary to the CRS government, in his opening remarks noted that, this particular ceremony showed clearly with the number of women elected to either of the positions that, “the voice of women in Nigeria has been given better expression in Cross River state”. The chairmen and vice chairmen had two oaths administered to them; the renunciation of cultism and other related illegal associations and the oath of allegiance, in line with the policy thrust of the state government
In a swift reaction to the ceremony, social commentator and APC chieftain, Okoi Obono-Obla,on the line from Abuja to calitown.com, carpeted the ceremony and described events leading to the ceremony as “a sad commentary”. He went on to say that for the state government to even go ahead and swear-in chairmen for Yakurr, Obanliku and Obubra LGAs, the three local councils whose candidates a court in Calabar agreed, concluded their nomination formalities with the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC, outside the time set for the exercise, shows clearly “that the government of the day does not have respect for the rule of law and the Judiciary. As at 17th June, 2013 when nominations for chairmanship positions closed, the PDP had not filed candidates for Yakurr, Obanliku and Obudu. Because they did not bring up the candidates within the time prescribed for the process, by virtue of this, they should not have taken part in the election”. He went on to say that for defying the court, “maybe what they are asking for is anarchy, because if they do not respect the Law, they should not expect us to be law-abiding. It is annoying that there is a pattern of lawlessness by government in Cross River State”.
Obono-Obla’s position is also held by Goddie Akpama, CRS chairman of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, PPA, who alongside the National Conscience Party, NCP, are claimants in the suit challenging the participation of the PDP chairmanship candidates from the three local governments in question. Akpama is of the opinion that, “the action of the PDP in going ahead with the fielding of these candidates is a show of lawlessness, the reason why we have approached the court for interpretation and enforcement of the judgement to confront the impunity of the PDP. That is a party that has a culture of doing things wrongly. They can even take your wife away with impunity if you do not stand up to them. We are a different set of persons and we are going back to court because we in the PPA are law-abiding and cannot take laws into our hands like the PDP does”.
The PPA chairman was particular that “CROSIEC which should have advised government properly, showed it was compromised by refusing to make the PDP understand that it should never had gone on to field candidates from the three LGAs.
But insider sources within the PDP, on condition of anonymity told calitown.com that, “their allegations are unfounded and His Excellency is one governor who has the highest regards for the Law of this nation or any other nation where he finds himself and it is this disposition that he has encouraged within the party. The people insisting that the PDP should not have fielded candidates in the LG polls should go back to the Law and get proper guidance, it is there for all to see. What they seek to do is to distract the PDP from taking our local councils to enviable levels”.
At press time, it was clear that the last of this story has not been heard.
Please make a financial donation to the St. Joseph Centre for the Visually Handicapped, Obudu, CRS. Call Rev. Sr. Rose Abang on 08035970495, 08053363221, to know how you can make the donation. God bless you as you do.
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