The Peoples Democratic Party in Cross River State is enmeshed in crisis following the recent appointment of caucus leaders in the 18 local government areas of the state by the chairman, Mr. John Okon.
The state PDP had on August 8, appointed new caucus leaders, but aggrieved members of the party are faulting the appointment, saying it fell short of the amended 2012 Constitution of the PDP.
A group known as the PDP Conscience, in a press briefing in Calabar said it might seek redress in the Federal High Court if the leadership of the party failed to withdraw its decision to use the ‘illegal’ caucus leaders to screen aspirants for 2015 elections.
Coordinator of the group, Chief Ogar Egodo, said the state chairman breached section 17 (1 a and b) of the PDP Constitution in appointing caucus leaders in the 18 LGAs of the state.
Section 17 (1 A and B) of the amended 2012 PDP Constitution states that there shall be a caucus of the party in each LGA and Area Councils of the federation which should consist, (a) the local government chairmen of the party who shall be chairman; and (b) the LG party chairman, secretary, treasurer woman and youth leader.
But Egodo said the state party chairman unilaterally appointed new caucus leaders who are not chairmen of the party at the LGA.
He said, “The leadership of the party cannot appoint caucus outside what is contained in the constitution. They are using this appointment to target some perceived internal enemies. We are calling on them to reverse it in order to avoid over heating the system.”
Egodo, who was a former chairman of Ikom LGA, also said it was sad that the caucus leaders in the northern senatorial district had directed governorship aspirants to pay N300, 000 for screening, saying such levy was a complete illegality.