By Magnus Effiong, Calabar
As leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, continue to publicly and clandestinely express their views on who becomes the running mate to the party’s governorship candidate, Senator (Prince) Bassey Otu, the publicity secretary of the party in Ward Six, Calabar South, Mr Ekpenyong Effiom, has written to the Governor on the matter.
Effiom, in his open letter to the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade, believed that the party already has its best bet in the person of Senator Dr Stephen Odey.
Warning against going for any of the members of the Cross River State House of Assembly and the other two members of the House of Representatives, Effiom said the defection case against the above was still pending in the Appeal Court.
He said bringing any of them as running mate could spell doom for not only Senator Otu’s ambition but to the party as a whole.
The Open Letter, as sent to our Editorial Unit, is reproduced below:
Open Letter to Sen. Ben Ayade
Your Excellency, I write to very humbly and respectfully convey the very troubling position of more than 90 percent of members of our great party.
The issue of who emerges deputy governor of our a great party has become an issue of all concerned party stakeholders. I have been reliably informed of plans by the leadership of the Cross River State PDP to approach the court to nullify all aspirants who are currently sacked members of the House of Assembly and National Assembly who had appealed in an affidavit to be members of the PDP in an ongoing case before the court of appeal.
The case before the appeal court clearly states that the judgement of the Federal High Court which sacked the affected members for defecting to the APC was wrong as the said House members never defected to the APC and are not members of the APC.
If the court of Appeal affirms their prayers of not being members of the APC, their tickets under the platform of the APC becomes null and void. The APC will go into the general elections with no candidate in the affected areas. Our prayers are that the case before the appeal court goes in our favour.
Having presented candidates with uncertainty, we cannot further fold our arms and make the same mistake with the position of the deputy governor.
The insinuation of Hon. Peter Odey as deputy governorship candidate in a joint ticket with Sen. Prince Bassey Otu is a mistake that should be nipped in the bud.
The implication of having Hon. Peter Odey in a joint ticket with Prince Otu is that if the appeal court affirms Peter Odey as a member of the PDP, the APC gubernatorial ticket is gone. As was the case in Bayelsa, if the deputy governor who is on a joint ticket is disqualified for a technicalities, same disqualification goes for the guber candidate.
The Back to South agenda which Your Excellency has been greatly applauded comes to nothing if this ugly scenario plays out.
Your Excellency will also not be forgiven for the clear blunder which has been repeatedly appraised by members and non members alike for caution to be taken in these very critical issue of who emerges deputy governor.
Your Excellency, my candid advice is that you allow elders and party stakeholders take a position of who is best suited from the array of your choice of candidates.
Particular in our minds is Sen. Stephen Odey who has shown capacity as chairman of SUBEB with direct impacts on the sector and quality representation at the National Assembly. He has shown loyalty and dedication with structures across the Northern Senatorial district with notable electoral value.
He stands as our best choice for the position of deputy governor.
We urge you to make the right choice even as you did in your choice of Sen. Prince Bassey Otu. We count on your wealth of wisdom in providing leadership as we look forward to a crisis free and qualified deputy governorship candidate as we all know that we going into competitive elections.
Mr Ekpenyong Effiom Asuquo publicity secretary APC ward six Calabar South LGA