Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Venatius Ikem, says he has enough capacity to see him become the next Chairman of the party in Cross River State and that even his harshest critics agree he has capacity. He also feels eminently qualified to contest for the position because of his vast and varied experience in party administration and government which cannot be disputed.
Ikem, also a former aide to Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria who made his intention known via a widely circulated message on social media came clear, “at inception of the Party I was one of the nine Stakeholders that were given the official mandate to convene the party in the state, under the leadership of Senator Liyel Imoke. In other words in the archives of this Party, PDP, I am listed amongst the original Conveners of the Party in CRS. I also had the privilege of serving as a member of the inaugural State Executive of the Party in the state before … I was to later serve as National Publicity Secretary.”
Addressing fears in some quarters that he ought not contest for the position when state governor, Ben Ayade, an indigene of Obudu like himself, intends to aspire to return to the Senate, Ikem informed in writing that: “There is enough precedence to justify the aspiration. When Odukpani Local Govt produced HE Barrister Effiok Cobham as Deputy Gov. and Sen. Bassey Otu as senator from the Southern Senatorial District, it didn’t prevent Ntufam Ekpo Okon from becoming State chairman simultaneously. And stakeholders in the Southern Senatorial District didn’t complain because Ntufam Ekpo Okon was , perceived as eminently qualified for the job and he went on to distinguish himself. Similarly, when Sen. Matthew Mbu was Senator representing Central Senatorial District, it didn’t prevent Ambassador Soni Abang, both from Boki from emerging as the state party chairman and he also went on to serve with distinction.”
On what he can bring to the party as State Chairman, Ikem points out that, “…we are at a critical juncture where our state Party chapter needs people with my experience to step up to the plate and rebuild the fabric of our party as a necessary step towards reinvigorating our society’s social fabric and complement government’s efforts. Government cannot do it alone. For government to succeed, she needs adequate mobilization for a stakeholder buy-in to her policies, programmes and projects. A political party is an instrument critical for that social mobilization; Mobilization for socio-economic advancement, different from, but in addition to mobilization for the ballot box! I assure you that it will all work out for our collective good.”
The party’s congresses to elect new state officers are expected to hold next month.
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