From Aniekan Aniekan, Calabar
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State are in sombre mood following the tragic death of the State Party Chairman, Dr Mathew Achigbe.
Achigbe died in a ghastly road accident on Saturday in Afikpo, Ebonyi State alongside his driver and his death has dampened morale in the party as it prepares for next year’s general elections.
Reacting to the incident, outgoing NDDC board Chairman and APC candidate for Cross River Central Senatorial District in the 2019 election, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba said, “I am still in shock. It is a tragic loss to me personally. It is a tragic loss to the party in the state and nationally.
“He was the last person I spoke to before going to bed last night. We were discussing party issues. You know we are about to start campaigns. It is very sad indeed that he died at this time.”
In his brief reaction, Chief Wilfred Inah said, “I got the information about one and a half hours ago. I don’t know how to react. I am not even in Calabar. I will react later.”
The late Achigbe’s deputy, John Ochala, also expressed shock about the passing of the chairman.
“We are all in a state of shock. It is a very unfortunate incident. It has been confirmed that he is dead and his body moved to the mortuary. His death is a very big loss to us.”
The party’s Publicity Secretary, Bassey Ita, who confirmed Achebe’s death earlier, said he did not have details about how it happened.
The late Achigbe was involved in a protracted tussle with Etim John over the chairmanship of the party in the state until the National Working Committee of the party recognized him as the authentic chairman.
The late party chairman who hails from Obubra in Central Cross River State has held several administrative positions in the state including the Executive Secretary of the Cross River State Secondary Schools Education Board.
Meanwhile, the State Government has expressed shock over the Chairman’s death and has promised to organize a State burial for the deceased chairman.
A statement from the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Christian Ita also said the Governor is saddened over his demise and expressed the deep condolences of the government and people of Cross River State to the family of the deceased chairman.