Why I am against the purported removal of the Cross River APC Chairman – Chief Okoi Obono-Obla

On 21 February 2024 feathers were ruffled within the Rank and File of the Cross River State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (Congress), when purported Stakeholders issued a letter signed by Chief Mark Ayo (Secretary) and Chief Mathias Ake (Chairman) suspending the State Chairman.
The duo also proceeded to appoint an Acting State Chairman.

All party members were bewildered and shuddered at the development as were in the dark on what was responsible for the dramatic development.

I do not think this is the best way to conduct the affairs of a governing party.

It is clear that the procedure used by the purported stakeholders to attempt to remive the incumbent State Chairman was mired in irregularities,wrongful, and a clear breach of the Party Constitution.

Most importantly , there was no consultation with relevant leaders of the Party at the State, Senatorial District,Local Government Areas, and Wards levels across the length and breath of the State.

This is not fair and undemocratic by any stretch of imagination.

The APC Constitution ( 2013) (as amended) provides that the tenure of every elected member of the National ,States , Local Government Area, and Ward executives is four years from the date of their election.
At the four anniversaries of their election, the elected executives have to bow out because of the principle of constititional effluxion of time.

A study of the Constitution reveals that there is no clear-cut procedure for the removal of an elected State Chairman .
Article 17 (v) subject to ratification by the National Convention or Congress an officer shall be relieved of his post at any time if a vote of No confidence is passed on him by two-thirds of members of the relevant Party Organ.

The State Executive Committee of the Party by 2/3 majority has not passed a vote of no confidence on the Incumbent State Chairman,Barrister Alphonsus Ogar Eba, at any time.

The State Executive Committee consists of thus:
State Chairman;
Deputy State Chairman;
State Secretary;
State Assistant Secretary;
Three Zonal Vice Chairman (from North,Central and Southern Senatorial Districts);
State Legal Adviser;
State Assistant Legal Adviser;
State Treasurer;
State Assistant Treasurer;
State Financial Secretary;
State Assistant Financial Secretary
State Organising Secretary;
State Assistant Organizing Secretary;
State Publicity Secretary;
State Assistant Publicly Secretary;
State Welfare Secretary;
State Auditor;
State Assistant Auditor;
State Women Leader;
State Assistant Women Leader;
State Youth Leader;
State Assistant Youth Leader;
Special (Physically Challenged)Leader;
Senatorial Youth Leader;
Senatorial Women Leader;
Four ex-officio members;
Governor and Deputy Governor who are members of the Party;
Speaker ,Deputy Speaker, and other Principal Officers of the House of Assembly who are members of the Party; and
All other statutory members of the National Convention from the State.

The framers of the Party Constitution contemplate that 2/3 of the members of the State Executive Committee as enumerated above must convene and pass a vote of no confidence before the State Chairman or any State Officer can be relieved of his office.
Again,such removal must be ratified at the State Congress.

To the best of my knowledge,the State Executive Committee has not passed any vote of no confidence on the incumbent State Chairman.
Conversely ,the State Congress has not convened since 2022.

Concerning discipline :
Article 21 of the Party Constitution provides that subject to the provisions of Article 21 of the Constitution,the Party shall have the power to discipline Party Members.
The Power shall be exercised by the respective Executive Committee of the Party .
The respective Executive Committees of the Party are National, Zonal,States,Local Government Areas and Wards.
None of these respective Executive Committees have exercised their power to discipline the State Chairman.

The State Chairman was never subjected to any disciplinary proceeding to afford him the right of fair hearing.

The Party is a democratic institution created by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) and the provisions of the Electoral Act,2022 and must at times and in all matters democratically conduct its affairs in accordance with its own rules and tenets of natural justice.

The Party cannot be run like a Mafia organization in accordance with the principle of Might is Law.

It is settled that two wrongs can not be made right.

Assuming (without) conceding that the State Chairman has breach the Party Constitution or committed any act (s) of misconduct ,then due process of the law has laid down in the Party Constitution must scrupulously he followed in dealing with him.

Also, where any allegation(s) has been levelled against, he should be given the opportunity of defending himself.

We can not continue to behave in such an unruly manner as if we are in a Banana Republic.

We must always endeavour to follow due process in accordance with democratic tenets and traditions no matter the temptation .

If you place nothing on something, it would certainly collapsed because out of nothing comes nothing.


Facebook Comments Box
Spread the love
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments