Former Nigerian Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode @realFFK, has threatened to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, if the PDP National Working Committee takes the party structures in Cross River State away from Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross Rivers state, and hand them over to another person
Fani-Kayode in a statement on Wednesday morning warned that if the PDP structures are taken away from Governor Ayade and the Cross River Governor leaves PDP, many of them, including him, will Leave.
The PDP chieftain wrote: “It would be a big mistake for the National Working Committee of the PDP to take the party structures in his state away from Ben Ayade, the Governor of Cross Rivers 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 PDP. 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.”
Cross River PDP has become the cynosure of political eyes in recent times. The party once noted for its unique ways of doing things and resolving internal squabbles has been bedevilled by series of litigations as they have about three pending cases at various levels of courts over who becomes what; who takes what and who produces what.
Checks at the judiciary headquarters in Calabar showed that some party members are in court challenging the outcome of party primary for local government and councillorship election and the ward and local government congresses in suits No HC/MSC.28/2020 and No HC/178/2020 respectively.
Again, there is a suit instituted in Abuja Federal High Court with No FCT/HC/1551/2020 and Motion No FCT/HC/CV/M/6886/2020.
These cases are instituted by the contending factions and have so far defied any resolution just as the battle for supremacy rages. The rumour mill has it that the newly-elected chairman and councillors may soon institute legal action against the state government with regard to local government administration and alleged plan to cut their salaries and allowances that are statutory.
In the light of the above, one can see that in the last six months, the “umbrella” has been torn into two. One controlled by Governor Ben Ayade and the other controlled by the founding members of the party but anchored by NASS.
At the head of the Abuja coordinated onslaught against Ayade is the man described in political circle as the ‘political avatar’ and former governor, Sen Liyel Imoke. His other lieutenants are former Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, Sen Gershom Bassey (a.k.a Obong Ekpe), Prof Sandi Onor (a.k.a Caterpillar) Essien Ayi (a.k.a Nsantim), Daniel Asuquo (a.k.a Dansuki), Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, Eta Mbora and Chris Agibe, Venatius Nkem, Mr Efa and some former elected and appointed party members.
In other words, the big “umbrella” can no longer shield everybody either during downpour or in scorching sun. Party members in the state are all running helter skelter looking for shelter. If one runs into the shelter owned by Ayade’s people and one is averse to their political belief, they would push one out for being an enemy and if one seeks shelter in Abuja’s own, they may welcome one and preach repentance to one.
Infighting within the party has become a sort of neoteric innovation that makes political observers quirk. To Ayade, the NASS has been stymied to his political ambition and calculation. To founding members, it would be suicidal to totally surrender the party structure to the governor. So, wanting to control the party has become a kind of shaggy-dog story.
Investigations revealed that salaries of some Ayade’s aides, said to be sympathetic or have close affinity with the Abuja-based opponents, have been stopped in the interim. That is the fate of members now that the leaders are at daggers drawn over the soul of PDP.
Below is a part of the tweet:
It would be a big mistake for the NWC of the @OfficialPDPNig to take the party structures in his state away from Ben Ayaade,Gov. of Cross Rivers state,& hand them over to anyone else.If this is done &Ayaade leaves the party be rest assured that many of us will leave with him.1/3