As the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members in Cross River continue to prepare for the make or mar State Congress rescheduled for Saturday, August 15, with an expectation that all warring groups would sheath their swords before that date, National Assembly (NASS) members from the State have warned former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, to mind his business and stay off Cross River’s politics.
Recall that the former spokesman to Jonathan/ Sambo Presidential Campaign Committee during the 2015 election, Fani-Kayode, had said he would dump the PDP, alongside several other party men, if the structure of the party is taken away from Gov Ben Ayade.
For some months now, the Governor and the State Executive members of the PDP, led by the Caretaker Chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok had been in daggers drawn against most of the National Assembly members and founding members, believed to be in control of a vast percentage of the party structure.
This followed allegations of neglect and non performance against the governor, and counter allegations against the said lawmakers that they were pursuing selfish interest. The controversy is believed to have resulted in the postponement of the state congresses which was scheduled for last Saturday, August 8, 2020 as no compromise could be reached.
Fani-Kayode, in his twitter handle, had accused the NWC of attempting to take away the structure of the party from Gov Ben Ayade, saying, no matter how powerful the PDP might be, any attempt to undermine Ayade would spark off a crisis that would split the party and the consequences would not be limited to Cross River State.
“It would be a big mistake for the NWC of the @OfficialPDPNig to take the party structures in his state away from Ben Ayade, Gov. of Cross River state, and hand them over to anyone else. If this is done and Ayade leaves the party, be rest assured that many of us will leave with him.
“You cannot and must not undermine a sitting Governor or attempt to humiliate him in his own state and before his people. Some of those that are advocating and behind this nonsense would never allow it to happen in their own states. A word is enough for the wise.
“No-one, no matter how big or powerful, should think that they own the @OfficialPDPNig. If there is any attempt to undermine Ayade it will spark off a crisis in the party that will split it right down the middle and the consequences will not be limited to Cross Rivers state,” Fani-Kayode tweeted.
However, members of the State’s PDP caucus at National Assembly, in a statement, Wednesday, advised the former Minister against meddling in the affairs of the state.
The aggrieved NASS members, which include Senators Gershom Bassey of Cross River South Senatorial District, Sandy Onor of Cross River Central, Pastor Essien Ayi of Calabar South/Akpabuyo/Bakassi, Ntufam Eta Mbora of Calabar/Odukpani, Chief Daniel Asuquo of Akamkpa/Biase, Mr. Chris Agibe of Ikom/Boki and Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe of Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituencies wondered why Kayode would not concentrate his efforts in ensuring that the party wins election in his own state rather than dissipating energy on another state’s internal affairs.
The statement read in part: “the National Assembly members from Cross River are astonished that Fani Kayode can get so ballistic on a matter, he knows nothing about. He throws tantrums at the people that have sustained the party, while he is on sabbatical.
“We thought he was going to ask Gov Ayade certain salient questions before dabbling into the state matter. He should have asked Ayade why he contributed so much to the APC in the 2019 elections. Did Fani Kayode ask him why he supported Hope Uzodinma in Imo State against Emeka Ihedioha of PDP in the last Governorship Election in Imo state?
“Did he ask Ayade why he sent N5m only in December last year to the party, as a seating Governor after so much pressure? Did he ask Ayade if he could win CRS for PDP without the NASS Members? Did he ask Ayade if he had at least 50 percent of the structures or not, bearing in mind that there are other stakeholders and we are in a democracy?
“We think that Fani Kayode should brief us on the standing of the party in his own State, if he is on ground. We know that the PDP is very weak in his State, so he should go and put his State together for the party. Fani Kayode’s main occupation at the moment is talking but he should choose when and what to talk about, in spite of the inducements.”