Cross River State Senate Caucus Leader, Senator Gershom Bassey and stakeholders of the People Democratic Party (PDP) in the State have hailed the Supreme Court judgement over the issue of Wards and Chapter executives in the state, saying, “the truth has been upheld”.
In a telephone interview yesterday Bassey thanked God and the court for the fair judgement and enjoined “all party men and women to come together to move this great party, the most successful political party in the history of Cross River state, forward to even greater heights.
“For me this puts the PDP back on track. Lets put this behind us and move forward. It’s a victory for democracy and the democratic process. The Governor is the leader of the party as Governor. He will bring the entire party together. It’s his inherited responsibility and knowing him he will live up to this responsibility”.
On his ambition for 2023 and the role the National Assembly Caucus played while the tussle lasted, Bassey said, “2023 is two years away. Let’s focus on our current mandates… The caucus insisted on strict adherence to the NEC approved party guidelines for the ward and chapter congresses and all congresses”.
Speaking to journalists in Calabar on yesterday’s judgement, a member of the State PDP Caretaker Committee, Chief Austine Edibe, said:” The Supreme Court Ruling shows that the people’s will shall always prevail. For us the Judiciary has once again shown that that they are the last hope of the common man as they have risen to the occasion.
“The list the Supreme Court has authenticated emanated from various wards and local governments and are all Cross Riverians. We have tasted the validity of the process and the court said this is the valid process. This, therefore, has put paid to all doubts and controversies surrounding the congresses”.
He pointed out that, “Now is the time for us to come together as one family and rebuild the party especially. We expect the Governor to call for a meeting of all factions and take decisions on the way forward.”
Also speaking, the Director General of Jarigbe Campaign Organisation, Barr. Venatius Ikem while congratulating the Ward and Chapter executives said, “there is no gainsaying that the task of rebuilding the Party to her enviable ‘family’ status that accommodates everyone in her symbolic Umbrella remains a daunting one indeed.
“You must brace yourselves to live up to the expectations of our people to offer credible leadership devoid of bitterness and divisiveness despite the unfortunate altercations of the last 11 months or so. Remember that no meaningful development can take place in an atmosphere of chaos. You must therefore rededicate yourselves to work towards achieving a tranquil political environment within the party that is favourable to peaceful coexistence and consequential development”.
Ikem who was former National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, said, “never lose sight of the fact that the challenge of making peace is more difficult than winning a ‘war’. let me use this opportunity to advise that you extend your hands of fellowship to all those who may not have been favoured by this judgment through no fault of theirs. As all can see this Executive committees are a contribution of the most diverse interests of various stakeholders that has ever emerged in the history of the party in Cross River State. Therefore there should be no fear whatsoever of any dominance of any political tendency, moving forward.
“Finally, let me also express our profound appreciation to the National Assembly Caucus of Cross River State for the uncommon support given to the struggle for participatory democracy to prevail in our body politics and especially in the last Congresses of the Party”.
For almost a year there has been a tussle between the governor’s group and the National Assembly members and stakeholders over the issue of the authentic Ward and chapter executives for the state which the Supreme court settled in favour of the National Assembly members and the stakeholders.