The newly inaugurated Chairman of All Progressives Congress, (APC) Cross River State Mathew Achigbe has waved olive branch to the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani and his supporters to synergize with the new executive in the interest of the party.
He maintained that it is most appropriate for the minister to come back to the fold and that it could amount to political suicide if the minister decides the leave the party at this stage.
Achigbe made this call in Calabar after his arrival from his first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting as state chairman of the party in Abuja.
It would be recalled that the national executive of the party recently dissolved the previous state executive led by Etim John, an associate of the Minister and sanctioned fresh congresses which produced the new state executive led by Mathew Achigbe.
Speaking in Calabar on the outcome of his first NEC meeting and efforts to reunite the party, he said, “We have a large heart to accommodate and to take care of ourselves. In fact today we spoke face to face and I was very happy that he was very receptive but he is a man of his own and he will take his decision.
“I will continue to appeal to him because where will he go to? He has to belong to his own party. He is progressive so I know that he will belong to APC. The only appeal is that he should be more fatherly as a leader he should show that he is truly one and make sure that he has a large room in his heart to accommodate others.
“And again we cannot divide this party at this critical time in our history so I believe from my own interaction with him, he is going to take some other issues into consideration and he will be part and parcel of this big family.
“When I say that I am interested in peace, I will pursue this matter to a logical conclusion and I will ensure that our Minister returns to fold, in fact, I have never imagined otherwise, I don’t even see where he will go to.
“To go outside APC is to commit suicide so I will not prefer a gentleman like him, how many Ministers we have that we will allow him to go and commit suicide in the name of going elsewhere. He is going to be part and parcel of APC”.
He maintained that the party has no leader and that the party’s caucus will soon meet in order to determine who the leader of the party is and called on members to close ranks and help the president liberate the suppressed people of Nigeria.
“Within the shortest possible time, I am going to put together the state caucus of the party and all of us within that forum will agree on who our party leaders are.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on all progressives, all members of APC to please close ranks. This is not the time for us to begin to fight and continue our internal wrangling, the face of a very daunting challenge of 2019 elections. Everybody must bury the hatchet, let us work as a team otherwise, we will not be able to realize the dream of winning cross river state to the party.
“God forbid, if we do not win Cross River State, we will be one of the lone states that will be left behind. We have had it even without giving the President the support he needed to win, we have benefited so much, in fact, we should be thinking on how we can add to the benefits Mr President has given to us.”