Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate leader and Cross Rivers State Senator, Victor Ndoma-Egba, who failed to secure the party’s ticket to return to the Senate in December 2014 had been a strong supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan’s reelection bid although most of his supporters dumped the party altogether.
In the Senate, the senator is still a force to be reckoned with and as the All Progressives Congress (APC) continues to grow ties and spread its influence in the South East and South South regions, people like Ndoma-Egba might become more and more appealing to the party.
On Friday, May 8, 2015, Ndoma-Egba, just like many other leaders across the country had done in the last few weeks following the elections, led a delegation to pay a courtesy visit to the President-elect but this visit did not go down well with the original APC members from his state. According to them, Ndoma-Egba had no business leading a delegation to Gen. Buhari since he was a prominent PDP member.
The APC leaders described the visit as political gold digging, they made this known in a statement under the umbrella of the Forum of Concerned Elders of the APC in Cross River State. Among those who signed the statement are Eyo Nsa Ekpo, Ekeng Iwatt Effiom, Cyprian Oyom Igban, Agim Lawrence Ikwen, Oyo Ita and Elder David Okon.
They stated that they would resist any attempt by Ndoma-Egba and his delegates to foist themselves on the state’s APC chapter or to stampede the President-elect emphasizing that these were the same people who only a few weeks before were unequivocally opposed to General Buhari’s ambition all the while raising dubious, sectional and religious sentiments.
“The concerned elders are however disturbed by the timing of this visit and the demands tabled before our President-elect. Chief Victor Ndoma-Egba has been a prominent part of the decision making process in Cross River State and Nigeria as a three-time senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, majority whip in his second term and majority leader in his third term. It was in his tenure Cross Rivers State finally lost Bakassi to Cameroon and witnessed the most degrading form of infrastructural decay,” the elders added in the statement.
In a statement signed by Ndoma-Egba’s media aide, Ignasius Uzegbulam, the senator insisted that his delegation and visit to the President-elect was a non-partisan as they had gone there with the interest of the state at heart.
“The suffering of the people of our dear state has no party affiliation. The painful loss of Bakassi and our oil wells which has further impoverished our people is a problem we all have been living with since the sad events took place,” he stated.
Adding that the people of the state stand to benefit if these injustices are reversed by whoever God gives the power to do so, irrespective of political or religious affiliation. “Anyone who is unhappy with my visit should arrange his or hers. It is my constitutional right to associate with whomsoever I choose,” he said.