By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Chief Clement Ebri, a strong contender to the office of the National Chairman of the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), has formally declared his intention to run for the position.
Also, he used the occasion to give an insight into his vision and programmes for the party if elected into office.
Ebri, a former governor of Cross River State, in his speech during a Town Hall meeting at Transcorp Hotels in Calabar to mark his formal declaration to run for the office envelope an eleven-points argument why party delegates to the convention should entrust him with their votes.
According to him, “as National Chairman of the APC, I will in conjunction with other officers and members make APC’s existing organs, all 30 of them to function at optimal levels”.
He explained, “all the organs of the party should communicate effectively. They must not be allowed to exist in silos and operate as lone rangers. The power and effectiveness of the party depends, in part, on a strong network of its community of party organs.”
After identifying that “across the length and breadth of the nation and at different platforms and levels of the party organisations, there is visible evidence of poorly handled, unresolved and lingering intra-party crises which have potentials to derail” stakeholders from the primary goal for which the party was established, he declared that “as National Chairman of APC I will design rapid response mechanism to petitions and complaints”.
He said, “I will encourage activities at local party levels such as cooperatives, empowerment programmes, group lending schemes and awareness programmes. All these and others will help along with a verifiable culture of internal democracy, transparency and accountability to encourage commitment to the party by all members”.
Adding, “as National Chairman of the APC, I will advance the idea that the ability of our party to recruit the best candidates that will win elections will be the root of its further victories. We must make adequate provisions to offer our party.s candidates functional training and support. More than this, we must not only help those who need raise funds, but we must do our best to turn out voters on Election Day”.
Ebri further declared that “as National Chairman of the APC, I will also promote the significance of skilled information Management. Right from the level of the wards, information should be made to percolate up through the networks to the center”.
“As National Chairman of the APC I will pursue a policy of constructive outreach to all sections of the country and all sectors of the economy and the business world as well as to major stakeholders and traditional leaders all over the country”.
“The party will invest in a party newspaper to provide a forum for sharing positions on national issues as well as place for members to share opinions. I will also organize periodic meetings with government officials to monitor consistency in the implementation of party platforms”.
He emphasized that “as I have stated elsewhere before, No party can give democracy to the people except it demonstrates democracy in the running of its own affairs. This will be the lesson of the forthcoming National Convention. It is to this cause – the need to achieve internal democracy within the APC as a means of delivering development to our people- that I am at this moment dedicating my life”.
The town hall meeting was attended by many party members within and outside Cross River State persons across various strata of the society including the disabled, market traders, civil society organisations among many others.
Various interest groups across different regions in the country pledged their support for the victory of Clement Ebri to emerge as the next National Chairman of the APC.