By George Odok
Calabar – Sen. John Owan-Enoh, the All Progressive Congress (APC) 2019 governorship candidate in Cross River, has called on members of the party to close ranks and build a united and stronger party in the state.
In a statement to APC members in the state, Owan-Enoh said it was time for all factions of the party in the state to put the past behind and forge ahead.
He said it was time to collapse the two factions of the party in the state and unite firmly behind the Minister of State for Power, Prince Goddy Jeddy-Agba.
“In spite of the avoidable internal wrangling that bedeviled our chances in the last general elections, you have established and maintained unwavering faith in our party which I must commend you so highly for.
“The impasse we faced should point us all to a new common ground and the lessons should serve to remind us that beyond our individual ambitions, we are one people with a shared history and a common destiny,” he said.
The former lawmaker stressed that the disputes that ensued during the party’s congresses in 2017 culminated in the fiercely fought party primaries in the build up to the 2019 general elections.
He said that candidates of the party went into the elections fragmented, factionalized and disunited, adding that the outcomes have been extremely undesirable for members of the party in the state.
“The rulings of the Election Petition Tribunal and the subsequent judgments of the Court of Appeal have no doubt given credence to the timeless biblical injunction that, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.
“Nevertheless, I must congratulate all the candidates of our party who approached the tribunal and others who explored their constitutional right to fair hearing up to the Court of Appeal.
“I wish to further commend them for the peaceful acceptance of the judicial proceedings with a good measure of grace and sportsmanship because I understand the bitter feeling of unfavorable court judgment.
“After the outcome of the recent Court of Appeal judgments on the 2019 Election Petitions in our state, I believe the dust has finally settled, we can begin to rethink our individual and collective mistakes and start the healing process,” he added.
He disclosed that he has started the process of discussions with the Minister and has also opened a line of communication with Mr Godwin Etim-John and Mr Francis Ekpenyong, State Chairman and Secretary respectively of the other faction in the spirit of reconciliation and brotherhood.
He urged APC members in the state to sheath their swords, bury the hatchet and convey trust in the leadership and integrity of the Minister and other leaders of the party.
“I wish to express my warmest congratulations to Gov. Ben Ayade on his second term in office and other candidates who won at the Court of Appeal, particularly my brother, Sen. Sandy Onor.
“lt is my prayer that the governor will recognize us on the other side of our state’s political divide as opponents and not enemies with shared interest in the development of our dear state.
“My fellow party men and women, we are starting a new page in our great party. On this new page, there will be peace, unity, love and justice to all.
“I urge you to refresh your belief in our party and continue to invest your fidelity for a better tomorrow,” he said.