By Magnus Effiong
The caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River state has held a stormy all night meeting in Calabar over sundry issues like zoning, the coveted party secretariat, court judgments, sales of forms and conduct of primaries.
Our reporter learnt that sensitive issues like zoning was yet to receive unanimous concensus while the caucus readily agreed to work for the unity of the party with a view to taking over Peregrino Government House and reclaiming all other elective positions at the 2023 polls.
After hours of deliberations, the leader of the PDP in Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke told newsmen that it was the tradition of the caucus as the highest advisory body of the party to meet regularly and review important matters.
“The caucus is the highest advisory body of our party. What happens in the caucus is that the caucus is able to discuss issues that affect the party as we plan towards winning the general elections.
“The party primaries will start in a few weeks’ time. The PDP is poised to take the Cross River State to where we use to sit as a victorious party. We have never lost an election since 1999 in PDP; a defection is not a loss.
“In 2023, we do not intend to loss that is why the caucus is convened so we can rub minds, share our opinions and strategize towards winning the 2023 general elections. We have just had a very successful meeting and we are confident that come 2023, we will win the elections,” Imoke said.
Also speaking, the state party chairman, Mr.Vena Ikem said “we had a rumbustious discussion on all issues including zoning. At the appropriate time, you will know how we resolved those issues. All PDP aspirants are assured of a level playing field.”
Efforts to convince the party Chairman to through more light on the zoning controversy which is threatening to tear the party apart did not yield result as Mr Ikem refused to speak further.
Recall that some prominent members of the party like former House of Assembly deputy speaker, Chief Orok Duke, foremost businessman and founding PDP father, Bassey Ndem and thousands of their supporters had defected to the APC two months ago citing refusal of the PDP leadership to be categorical on zoning the governorship to the southern senatorial district as reason for defecting.
The meeting, which took place at the Transcorp hotel, Calabar on Sunday night had bigwigs of the party like former governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, Senators Sandy Onor and Gershom Bassey in attendance. Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, it was learnt, could not attend the meeting due to a reportedly missed flight.
Others in attendance were serving members of the House of Representatives, state legislators as well as former senators and members of the green chambers like Senator Musa Adede, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Patrick Ene-Okon, as well as Ambassador Nkoyo Toyo, and former deputy governor, Efiok Cobham and ex-PDP State Chairman, Ekpo Okon