Cross River PDP: Venatius Ikem emerges State Chairman
Eme Offiong, Calabar
The Former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Venatius Ikem, has been elected Chairman of the party in Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Ikem including 38 other state chapter executives emerged via a consensus and affirmation of more than two thousand delegates on Saturday in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State.
Ikem, who was appreciating the overwhelming support given him by party members at the state delegates’ conference, pledged to provide a level playing ground for any member seeking elective positions and assured of his commitment to the party.
He extended a hand of fellowship to all those who left the party due to a clash of interest, saying “we all know that they were legitimately aggrieved. I stand here as a testimony that this party is truly a family. I got aggrieved and left too. I came back and here I am. Surprisingly, the family has not just received me, they have elevated me to lead the party.”
“I think my story should encourage anybody, who had left to know that when you come back you would be received; and if you have a legitimate ambition, the party would give you an opportunity to contest within its fold and I, having gone through the experience, can guarantee that I would give you a level playing field,” he assured.
He further promised, “in all my inadequacies, I have resolved that I would not disappoint you. I will work hard with all of us to bring reconciliation and reconstruction to this party. I will ensure that I do everything within my powers, standing on the shoulders of all members, to reclaim our mandate to Peregrino House in 2023.
“I will ensure we reinvigorate all the structures of this party as it used to be from the ward to highest levels so that we would reclaim our mandate without any stress. I will ensure that we return power to select candidates for the party to the members as the constitution provides,” he stressed.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Congress Committee, Oke Muo Aro commended the over two thousand delegates for the peaceful conduct and smooth voting process.
Aro noted that throughout the accreditation process, which was held on Friday to the State congress held Saturday, delegates conducted themselves peacefully and cooperated fully with the committee for a hitch-free exercise.
“The process was free, fair and transparent; and the people of Cross River State, working through their party, have done the heavy lifting and that was why what we did was free and fair,” he said.
He commended the delegates and stakeholders for agreeing to a consensus as well as those, who voluntarily set aside their ambition for the greater interest of the party.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of the PDP in Cross River, who is also the former deputy governor of the state, noted “this is the largest PDP converge since the defection of Governor Ben Ayade to the All-Progressives Congress, APC. Our party more than ever needed this tonic because we have been winning until we rested on our oars.
“Nevertheless, we have enjoyed tremendous support as a caretaker committee and without you, we would have fallen flat. We commended the courage of the national assembly caucus for standing firm for the party. We will not rest until we get back rightfully that which is ours,” he stated.
He hinted that in a few days, the fresh state executive would be inaugurated while the caretaker committee hands over to the Venatius Ikem led administration.
The congress was attended by stakeholders such as the members of the national assembly caucus and the leader of the party in Cross River State, former governor, Senator Liyel Imoke.