Thursday, 2 July 2020

C'River IPAC interim Chairmanship and the Politricks in between

Ukorebi Esien | 2nd July 2020

Politics they say is a game of interest but when the interest becomes selfish and self centered it leads one into going the extra mile, while morality, ethics and character may be shoved aside all in a bid to satisfy fleshly desires.

Recent happenings and investigations reveals that things weren't different in the case of the recently purportedly conducted election said to have ushered in an interim state executive council for he Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC in Cross River State, with one Anthony Bissong who is said to be the state Chairman of Young Progressive Party, YPP, emerging as the interim Chairman of IPAC. 

On the 29th of June 2020, news broke out that the Cross River State Chapter of Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC has elected a new leadership to hold forth in the interim pending when an official election would be conducted in September. 

A statement by Mr. Ogar Emmanuel, Secretary of Cross River State chapter of Young Progressive Party, YPP, who broke the news on social media reads thus: 

"Following the meeting with the new Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Emmanuel Alex Hart at the INEC Secretariat, Calabar, today, 29th June, 2020, eight (8) out of the eleven political parties recognized by INEC in CRS met and unanimously agreed to elect a seven man interim Executive to lead the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC. This became necessary in order to fill the vacancy created by the deregistering of political parties housing the defunct Executive members of the Council. 

Accordingly, Comrade Anthony Bissong Attah, the State Chairman of YPP was elected Chairman..."

The statement which was accompanied by an attendance list which had the names of members from other political parties as members of the new Exco.

But surprisingly, some persons whose name appeared on the said attendance list used to enthrone Anthony Bissong as Chairman of IPAC have denied their involvement in the process calling it a hoax and a charade. In detail, those who denied their involvement through a disclaimer are representatives of New Nigeria People's Party (NNPP), Engr. Christopher I. Ashabe and Labour Party (LP), Comr. Ekpo Bassey Ekpo

In his argument, Engr. Christopher I. Ashabe, pointed out that there was never an election but rather he was called upon to meet with one Dr. Vincent Ebu who cajoled him into signing a document called attendance list. 

"I want to categorically disclaim that I was never part of the illegal meeting, I actually met Dr. Vincent by the road side along Abitrans park... Inside his car and Anthony Bissong including one other person. and I was handed a piece of paper to write my name and signature."

"I am fully aware that IPAC election is not done by the road side and can attest that there was no gathering of eight (8) persons anywhere to choose an interim Exco..."

Comr. Ekpo Bassey Ekpo of Labour Party who also disclaimed, through a press release dated 1st July, his involvement in what he referred to as an illegal meeting that saw to their emergence as part of the interim leaders of IPAC in the state.

Ekpo disclosed that 'it is horrible that these fraudulent set of persons went as far as including my name, phone number and signature in their treacherous act... I was cajoled by Mr. Vincent Ebu'.

In his defense, Anthony Bissong Attah, the alleged interim state Chairman of IPAC, when approached by TDN asked if those disclaiming their involvement in his emergence as state chairman of IPAC are kids to be cajoled into doing what they don't want to? 

"How can a man at the status of a state Chairman of a party say he was cajoled to append his name, his party's name, his phone number and signature, were you flogged or was it at gun point? And after how many days you now went and wrote a disclaimer..." 

On the need to have an interim government in place Bissong said its a national affairs but not a state government issue. In his words "When 74 Political Parties were deregistered the surviving parties met and came up with an interim National Exco and many states have been following suit.

" This entire IPAC thing is not a state affairs but a national affair, so the only first meeting we have had after a long while was on Monday and a state chairman asked now that we have started meeting what happens now that elections are by the conner,...So apart from the ACCORD and APC representative we all sat down there in INEC office and did the election."

Anthony added the state INEC Residence Electoral Commissioner had asked them to go and take a position and report back to him. As they were shocked that the state was without leadership. 

But a senior staff of INEC who pleaded not to be quoted said the state REC had asked the visiting party chairmen to wait until he gets back to them on the issue of IPAC leadership. The source informed that since the REC was still new in the state so he needed to get more information on the matter before getting back to IPAC members on what to do to fill in the gap created by the delisting of parties. 

When contacted, the National Chairman of IPAC, Ezenwa Leonard told TDN
that he has instructed all states to stay put until they receive a directive from the National, which he stated will be communicated soon. 

Back in the state some former members of IPAC whose parties were deregistered said two of their Exco members survived the deregistration process of INEC. Specifically, Christopher Ashabe of 
NNPP who is the state Youth Policy Adviser and Enoh Enang of ACCORD party the state Organizing Secretary are said to have survived the delisting process of INEC, it is therefore, incumbent on these two to have assumed leadership of IPAC and manage the house till September 2020 when a new election will be conducted by the expiration of their tenure. 

Going by the last statement, it's worrisome why the whole brawlhalla when there where still remnants of the Leadership of IPAC after INEC deregistered some parties. 

As at this morning TDN learnt Comrade Anthony Bissong and some persons have been invited by the state police command. We are still monitoring the entire situation as we promise to update you as events unfold.