C’River NASS members warn Fani-Kayode against meddling in state politics
By Joseph Kingston, Calabar
The Cross River state national assembly (NASS) members have warned the former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, to mind his business and stay off the state’s politics.
The warning came against the backdrop of the claim by the former spokesman to Jonathan/ Sambo Presidential Campaign Committee that he would dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alongside several other party men, if the structure of the party is taken away from Gov. Ben Ayade.
The governor and the state executive members of the PDP, led by the caretaker chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok, had been in daggers drawn with most of the national assembly members and founding members who control the party structure.
This followed allegations of neglect and non performance against the governor and counter allegations against the 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 will spark off crisis that will split the party, and the consequences will not be limited to Cross River state.”
However, members of the state’s PDP caucus at national assembly, in a statement, Wednesday, faulted the claim by the minister and advised him against meddling into 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 reads 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 inducement.”
Our reporter gathered that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party has rescheduled the state congress to Saturday with an expectation that all warring groups must have sheathed their sword before that date.