Mr. Ntufam John Okon, Chairman of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party in Cross River State, has raised the alarm that most of its members who are aggrieved over the last party primaries in the state have stockpiled arms and ammunition with the intent of using them during the election.
Mr. Okon, who was speaking with newsmen in Calabar, the state capital, said, “Some members of the party stockpiled weapons ahead of the last party primaries and the upcoming local council elections. But I can assure you that we will not allow them to use the weapons because we will make sure that we recover such weapons from them. We are aware that they have the intention to use the weapons to cause violence in the state because they were disqualified or screened out.”
He also denied allegations that the party imposed candidates for the upcoming council elections in the state.
“We have a constitution, and we strictly followed the provision of zoning and consensus. We did not prevent anyone from participating in the processes. There was a level playing field, although, we came out to encourage women in keeping with our promise to give them 50 per cent opportunity,” he said.
The chairman also sounded a note of warning to aggrieved members that sued the party saying they would be suspended.
In his words, “We will not take it lightly with any member who did not exhaust all options to address grievances, but rather takes the party to court. We will continue to suspend such members.”
He also used the opportunity to debunk the allegation that the wife of the state governor, Mrs Obioma Imoke, influenced the selection of candidates.
“We shall also ensure the emergence of somebody from the Cross River-north senatorial district as successor to Governor Imoke in keeping with the zoning formula in the state”, he said.