By Joel Ndifon
The excitement that greeted the Cross River State APC at the defection of Gov. Ben Ayade and the thousands of followers that defected gave hope to the seeming divided house of the Cross River State APC.
The Governor wasted no time in bringing the house together. For the first time in a very long time, the Cross River State APC cohabited as one big formidable family.
Not long after, came the ward, chapter and State congresses, the new entrants wanted positions, the old landlords felt they were the original owners of the Party and will naturally control and influence who emerged at the congresses.
The landlords and new entrants reached a compromise for the sake of the new found peace and the congresses featured candidates from both camps.
During a get together event after the governor defected, he made some promises about appointments which will absorb the old APC. In that event, Gov Ayade said about 500 appointments will be made, they were also vacancies in some ministries as some commissioners had defected, leaving a vacuum which was to be filled by the old APC to harmonize the house.
So far, list from some leaders of the APC which were sent to the Governor for appointments seemed to have been placed on KIV, on the other hand, list from the just defected PDP leaders had since been approved and appointments given.
The only appointments which some of the old APC have benefited are the #30,000 allowances in Local Governments, the vacant commissioner seats have remained vacant. For the avoidance of doubt, no dignified state position has been given to the old APC.
This occurrences has since sent an impression of marginalisation to the old APC who have consistently complained about the neglect.
Recently, slots were open to state to bring a concensus candidate for the positions at the national Congress, this time the old neglected APC felt they were to be considered for this positions. Alas, that was not be as Gov. Ayade was fingered to have supported new entrants for the positions at the national Congress.
The heated crises which emanated from the fight between the Cross River State Old APC and new entrants led a forceful imposition of the new entrants allegedly by the State Governor himself.
The aftermath of the crises has the capacity to throw the Cross River State into the dark days of division if not properly managed.
The just concluded bye elections for House of Reps and State House is an eye opener, while the Ogoja/Yala ticket was given to an old APC member, the Akpabuyo State House ticket was given to an unpopular new entrant in the midst of very popular old APC candidates. The results of that election is there for all to see, while the Old APC member from the North won, his counterpart from the south, an unpopular new entrant lost. Why did he lose? Because the APC in Akpabuyo felt he was imposed on them against a popular candidate, on the of election, they left him on the lurch.
Going forward, the governor has to make a conscious effort in harmonizing the house, with the 2023 elections in front, he must divide the position fairly. For instance the position of Governor should naturally go an old APC member and complimented with a new entrant as Deputy Governor, in senatorial Districts, if the position of Senator is given to the new camp, the old camp should be complimented with some number of house of reps seats