Arrangements are in top gear for the former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Barr Vena Ikem, to become the Chairman of the party in Cross River state.
The Chairman of Congress Screening Committee, Mike Usibe, who spoke to newsmen, Friday, during accreditation of delegates at the party’s State Secretariat along Mary Slessor Avenue, Calabar, said the State Congress would be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Event Centre along Parliamentary Road Extension, Calabar.
Usibe, the immediate past commissioner for new city development, who resigned from the Gov Ben Ayade’s administration few months ago, said Ikem’s opponents had stepped down prior to the screening.
“We had a lot of contestants in all the positions and some have stepped down for others. For the Chairmanship position, it is unopposed. The contenders decided to step down and support the candidature of Barr Vena Ikem. He stands unopposed in the Chairmanship position,” he stated, but did not say whether candidates for other positions were also emerging under a concensus arrangement as Ikem.
Usibe believed that going by the peaceful accreditation process and the manner in which delegates were comporting themselves, the state Congress would be peaceful without any form of rancour.
He said, “We shall witness a free and fair process. As you could see, the way accreditation is going on points to a free, peaceful and amicable process.The contestants are very friendly. They are party men and women who believe in the ideal of the PDP and what it stands for.
“As pointed out earlier the process is going to be peaceful and open without any form of favouritism or intimidation.”
The party chieftain said delegates would have the right to make thier choices on who they desire to represent them at the party level.
He said about one thousand eight hundred delegates were expected to take part in the exercise but explained that all the council areas do not have equal number of delegates.
Our Correspondent who was on ground to monitor the exercise said the accreditation was witnessed by Ubaku Ugwunebo, Head of Department, Election and Monitoring of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.