The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed the state congress of the party in Cross River State to hold on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

This was contained in a nationwide timetable of congresses released by the party yesterday.

The PDP state congress in Cross River State was postponed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to the NWC of the party setting up an interim committee led by the outgoing chairman, Ntufam Edim Inok.

Recall that the ward and local government congresses of the party has already been completed. The controversial congresses led to the factionalization of the party, with a faction supported by the state governor, Prof. Ben Ayade laying claim to the leadership of the ward and LGA of the party while another faction supported by serving members of the National Assembly, past leaders of the state and party also layed claim to the party’s structure, inaugurating parallel executives.

The NWC of  party issued a clarification on the authentic leadership of the party at that level, giving support to the National Assembly members’ supported faction. This did not go down well with Governor Ayade’s faction who had vowed to reclaim their mandate, insisting that they were the duly elected leaders of the party at the local government level. A suit has already been filed in court to challenge the decision of the NWC.

Irked by the decision of Ayade’s faction to sue the party, the NWC recognized faction of the party called for the suspension of Governor Ben Ayade, on grounds that those challenging the NWC’s decision are bankrolled by Ntufam Inok, through the office of the governor. The group, under the auspices of Movement for the Restoration of Peoples Democratic Party, also claimed that the governor is planning to defect to the All Progressives Party (APC). This was denied by the Governor, through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Christian Ita.

The contenders for the State Chairman of the party are Barr. Venatius Ikem, former National Publicity Secretary of the party and Alphonsus Eba-Ogar.

Although Barr. Ikem is from Obudu, same as governor Ayade, he doesn’t enjoy the support of the governor while Eba-Ogar, from Yala LGA is fully supported by the governor.

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