APC NWL Vs Cross River : When The Voice Of Reason Is Ignored BY INYALI PETER


Yesterday, August 23rd, 2023 the long awaited replacement of vacant National and Zonal Working Committee offices in the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC was filled and Cross River State which is the only South-South state governed by the APC is the biggest loser. Some of us had warned against the process and unevenness that depicted the choice of whom the leadership of the party in the state favoured to replace Dr. Betta Edu, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation as National Woman Leader (NWL) but our good counsel as in many cases, hit the bricks wall. The consequences is starring at us all, today.

It is traditional and constitutional in the APC that when a position becomes vacant, a replacement always comes from where the former occupant hails from. However, this time around, the National Executive Council of the party which has the power of the convention nullified the existing zoning and directed re-arrangement of positions.

This meant that all vacant positions were thrown open for the best lobbiest to take. Unfortunately, Cross River State leadership didn’t take this into account because if it did, it wouldn’t have assumed erroneously that they can throw any name devoid of equity and simple logic and still retain the position simply because the last occupant hails from the state. Instead of deploying all its arsenals to lobby and negotiate to retain the position or least, press for higher or equivalent alternatives, some vested interests hijacked the process and decided to go about it surreptitiously.

The right thing would have been to call an Extraordinary Stakeholders meeting where critical stakeholders of the party across the state would meet, discuss and agree on who to project. But this was thrown to the abyss and a certain powerful woman from Cross River South was allowed to impress her inordinate personal interest on the leadership who secretly forwarded her name to the national secretariat without proper consultation or consent of majority of the Stakeholders.

But that wasn’t all. God created a second chance for them to correct their wrong when some overzealous page boys released the information and party members of good conscience protested. In limpid display of impunity, the leadership of the party in the state refused to listen to the voice of reason by pressing on with their plots. And now, the state has lost out completely. No Woman Leader. No alternative!

Imagine for a moment the influence the candidate that had the support of majority of the stakeholders would have had in the national secretariat had they listened to the voice of reason! The truth is that majority of APC stalwarts in the state were unsatisfied with the choice of the candidate that was forwarded and the process that produced her but decided to maintain unholy silence to see how much influence those who brought her have in Abuja.

When her name got to Abuja, the leadership of the party in South South consulted some leaders that were sidelined and they bluntly said she was not a product of collective decision. This empowered leaders from other states to unite against her interest and in the end, Edo won. Akwa Ibom even came closer at some point than Cross River because those with influence in the national that would have synergized with the state leadership to pursue her course decided to allow “them do their thing”.

The bitter truth is that Governor Bassey Otu needs to re-consider those he listens to. It’s not normal that the only South-South Governor had failed to directly produce a Minister even when his state had two. He has failed again to retain the National Working Committee position he inherited or secured alternative to the state. These failures are largely due to pushing for candidates who emerge through a skewed process and with little acceptability amongst stakeholders. It’s still early but the signs we’re seeing are very dangerous for the State and the Governor. He needs to expand his team and consult more.

As my friend Richie Romanus stated in his expository piece two days ago, the state has been so favoured in this administration. There’s need for urgent extraordinary stakeholders that should aim to achieve synergy and collaboration. Without mincing words, if all hands were on deck, Cross River wouldn’t have lost the National Woman Leader to another State. There are more to come, our leaders need collaboration to attract things to the state if not their advantage would amount to nothing.

It’s hoped that going forward, this would serve as a lesson that would catalyst the needed adjustments in the interest of the party and state.

Congratulations to Dr. Mary Alile Idele, the new National Woman Leader of APC. May her reign bring prosperity to our great party.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher @theluminenews.com, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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