The Rivers State All Progressives Congress, APC, Caretaker Chairman, Dr. Sekonte Davies, has continued to strengthen his new portfolio as efforts continue to rebuild the beleaguered party.
The Neighbourhood learnt that Davies shall today(Friday) hold “a crucial meeting” with the APC Zonal Secretary(South South), David Okumgba, in Port Harcourt. However, it was not clear where the meeting shall take place as of when a source familiar with the agenda for the meeting spoke with The Neighbourhood on Thursday night.
Since coming aboard as the party’s interim chairman in Rivers State following the removal of the court-installed Caretaker Chair, Mr. Igo Aguma, via a vote of no confidence by 28 out of the 38 statutory members of the interim leadership, Dr. Davies had held series of meetings with individual members of the party and groups.
However, today’s meeting, the first Mr. Okumgba is expected to hold across the party’s South South geo-zone, the newspaper gathered through a source involved in the plans, shall centre on re-building the its fortunes and re-launching its appeal. It is coming on the heels of the dissolution of its National Working Committee, NWC, on Wednesday by the National Executive Committee, NEC. The NEC, during its meeting, convened by the Ag. National Chairman, Victor Giadom, constituted a National Caretaker Committee headed by the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni. The Caretaker team has about six months to organize a national convention where new officials shall be elected.
The sack of the NWC swept off Ntufam Hilliard Etta, until then the APC Vice Chairman, South South. Etta ran into worse murky waters on Thursday as his home chapter of the party suspended him over anti-party allegations. A statement on Thursday signed by the Cross River State Secretary of APC, Chief Francis Ekpenyong, said the party would be meeting to formally announce the suspension of the sacked VC for anti-party activities.
The party alleged that Ntufam Etta has factionalised the party and created parallel structures in the state which offends the provisions of article 21 (a) (1) (11) and (vi) of the constitution of APC, 2014, as amended and is punishable under article 21 (D) (1) (a) (c) (d) (e) (f) (g) (h) and (j) of the same constitution.
The statement continued: ““His suspension followed due process and came on the heels of complaints of anti-party activities in his ward by a member of his ward Mr Andem Okokon. The ward five executive committees of the party set up a fact-finding committee to hear and determine the complaint.
“Upon the receipt of the report of the fact-finding committee/disciplinary committee, the ward five executive committee ratified the report of the committee and transmitted its decision to the Calabar Municipal Chapter executive committee which also ratified the decision to the state executive committee of our party
“The position of the party has since been communicated to Ntufam Hilliard Etta through correspondence both by the ward and the state structures and we are surprised that Ntufam Hilliard Etta has ignored the party’s position and has carried on, parading himself as the acting National Chairman of our great party with impunity.
“By his suspension from the membership of our great party, his rights and privileges as a member of our great party are temporarily terminated until his suspension is lifted.”
When contacted via phone on Thursday, the Publicity Secretary of the faction loyal to Ntufam Etta, Mr. Bassey Ita, dismissed the statement saying it was illegal and should be discountenanced.