Wednesday, 1 December 2021

PDP in Deep Crisis as Cross River Executive Accuse Chairman, Barr. Ikem of Financial Embezzlement

All seems not to be well in the People's Democratic Party family, as it appears to be sinking gradually with multiple phases of maladministration by the leaders. 

Recent happenings such that, the State Executive Committee of the party has been fictionalised and this is devastating for an opposition party as some members of the State Executive Committee have threatened to expose the anomalies going on within its Executive arm. 

It will be recalled that after going through a long battle with the state governor, which led to the defection of governor Ayade into APC, the People's Democratic Party finally conducted her state congress and successfully inaugurated the Cross River State Executive Committee on the 29th September 2021with Barr. Venatius Ikem as State Chairman. Recent reports has it that the three months after state executives members are yet to receive any form of enumeration. 

According to a member of the state Working Committee who doesn't want to be mentioned, there are intelligence gathering  that the Chairman Barr Venatius Ikem has been milking money from members of the party, especially those who have attempted to indicate interest for any elective position at all. "It was even more embarrassing when Barr. Ikem forced those interested in the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency By-election, to pay huge sums of money in the guise of raising funds to attend the Abuja Convention,  even when they were not yet flag bearers, even before the House of Representatives declared the seat vacant. Just barely two months in office, the Chairman has created division amongst the Exco and has  created a cabal, because of his greedy intentions." our source revealed.

In a similar statement made available to our newsroom, TDN gathered that some executive officers of the party are already complaining of hijack of their duties by some cabal arrogantly working with the state Chairman. A typical example brought to the fore is the frustration cried out by the State Financial Secretary Comr. Chris Edadi, who lamented the total sidelining of his office and that of the treasurer, a situation where financial activities and records are carried out by the State Publicity Secretary, Organizing Secretary and Youth Leader.

It was also reported that Barr. Ikem has an attitude of pocketing every Kobo that drops in favour of the party. Our source also complained that "Barr. Ikem was recently spotted with a Gubernatorial aspirant of the party from the Central Senatorial District, signalling his thirst to grab a pinch of the Rivers money, a move that indicates the future selling of the State's ticket to the highest bidder". 

Continuing the source said "Most sad in all of these is that in an attempt to dislodge some of his colleagues, the Chairman's aides have been given preference over some Exco members. A review of this, reveals that the Chairman and his cabal have refused to allocate any office space for all assistants members of the Exco, but have furnished offices for their aides within the Secretariat annex building at Mary Slessor, thus, having Elected Exco members hanging outside the perimeter fence while aides of the Chairman and those of his three cabal State working Committee members swim in flamboyant offices."

Also when contacted by TDN, a chapter Chairman of the party had this to say "It will interest you to know also that in the just concluded retreat at Abuja the Federal Capital Territory, Local Government Chapter Chairmen from Cross River State denied us of our meal ticket by, even when we funded our bills to a gathering that already captured our expenses. "The State Chairman was very angry to see us at the retreat, because he thought we were not going to be able to take care of ourselves. we know how much was given to him, we were not interested in the envelope, but the knowledge we will gain from the retreat, if not for one of our former NASS member from the Cross River South who took us to his house and cooked for us, we would have been left cap-in-hand begging for food". He informed. 

"One would have expected that Barr. Venatius Ikem would love to do better for once in his lifetime as a leader, especially knowing that he is a State Chairman of an opposition political party." Our Source concluded.

This reporter couldn't get Barr. Venatius Ikem to speak on the matter as calls sent to his Phone didn't connect and neither did he respond to our text messages as at press time.
But TDN promises to publish his response as soon as we get across to him.