By Our Reporter
Fifth term member of the house of representatives, Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi may be disqualified from contesting the People’s Democratic Party primary election if a petition against him succeeds.
Hon. Ayi who is seeking a sixth term in the green chambers to represent Bakassi, Akpabuyo and Calabar South federal constituency was reportedly absent at the screening exercise held at Transcorp hotels in Calabar due to ill health.
The lawmaker is said to be in a terrible health condition and has only attended house plenary once after the inauguration in 2019. Those close to him confirmed to this paper that he can barely walk unaided and has difficulty climbing staircase.
At the Transcorp hotels in Calabar, venue of the PDP screening exercise, aspirants for different political offices were expected to climb several stairs before accessing the hall. “this could be the reason why he (Essien Ayi) refused to come because he will be unable to climb. It is a clear case of incapacitation” said a source close to the lawmaker.
But in a petition dated 27 April, 2022 and signed by one Bassey Okokon unbehalf of Dr. Peter Eyo Campaign organization, it questioned why “the incumbent was screened and cleared to stand for the upcoming primary election, while he was at home and unable to appear before the screening committee under the watchful eyes of all the people in the constituency because of serious health challenges?
It described the successful screening in absential by the screening committee and clearance of Hon. Ayi as a gross violation of the party’s constitution, injustice to other participants and a direct act of connivance with the incumbent to victimize the people of Bakassi and Akpabuyo local government areas.
“In view of the foregoing, we hereby appeal under section 60(1) of the constitution of the PDP against such act. And that the incumbent be disqualified due to his permanent incapacitation. And as such, be withdrawn from contesting the primary” the petition reads.
It added that the PDP stands a chance of loosing the election if their request is not granted.
Efforts made to reach Hon. Essien Ayi through his known mobile phone number was unsuccessful, as the call failed to connect.