The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State yesterday inaugurated a new executive committee, amid protest by a faction of the party.
This followed the dissolution by the APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, of the leadership that emerged from the parallel congresses held in May 2018.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) monitored the congress, which was conducted by a five-man committee led by Henry Idah Agbom.
The executives through voice votes elected Dr. Mathew Achigbe as chairman, while John Ochalla was picked as vice chairman, with Bishop Victor Ebong emerging as Secretary.
Before now, the party had been polarised along Ntufam Hilliard Eta-led faction, with Dr. Matthew Achigbe as chairman, and Pastor Usani Usani’s group that produced Mr. Godwin Etim John as chairman.
Oshiomhole, who was represented by the National Vice Chairman, South-South, Ntufam Hillard Eta, inaugurated the new EXCO.
On his part, the congress committee chairman, said the party needs a united front to take over government in the state in 2019.
The new chairman, Achigbe urged support of members, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari, and Oshiomhole for remaining committed to the rule of law.
The senator representing the Central Senatorial district of the State, Mr. John Owan-Enoh, said the days of impunity were over with the inauguration of the state executive council.
Meanwhile, a faction of the party in a communiqué by its state chairman, Godwin Etim, distanced themselves from the congress.
He said: “Members of the party should not participate in any purported state congress due to a subsisting court injunction, which stated:
“That the APC in Cross River State shall obey the order of an Abuja High Court of August 16, 2018 in which a perpetual injunction was placed on APC against conducting any further state congress in the state.”
Etim said that a congress by any group of individuals, or party agents in Cross River remains null and void.
He stressed that stakeholders agreed that as a law-abiding party, the APC in the state would continue to engage all groups and individuals in a discussion to reach an agreement.
Party top officials at the inauguration were former governor, Clement Ebri, ex- Tourism and Culture Minister, Edem Duke, and former Senator of the Southern Senatorial District, Bassey Out.
Others were governorship aspirants, Paul Adah and Eyo Etim Nyong.