By Our Reporter
A governorship hopeful and House of Representatives member, Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo, has rejected a reported endorsement of Sir Jarvis Archibong as consensus candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the governorship election in Cross River next year.
Recall that Archibong, a university chancellor, was said to have been endorsed as a consensus candidate of the party by a group, ‘Cross River Southern Community Elders’ Forum,’ led by former governor Donald Duke.
But in a counter move, members of the ‘PDP Southern Senatorial District Leaders of Thoughts’ said they had also adopted Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo alias DANSUKI, as their own consensus candidate, and therefor distanced Asuquo and his campaign team from Jarvis Archibong’s reported emergence through consensus.
In a press statement, signed by the Director General of the Daniel Asuquo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Yibala Inyang, and titled “We are not part of any botch consensus’ the Dansuki team said 22 PDP leaders and stakeholders of the party had decided to go for the Akamkpa-born lawmaker, Asuquo.
Condemning the Duke-led group for organising a meeting allegedly skewed against the Dansuki team, the press statement stated: “One would have expected that a meeting of a socio-cultural group, under the aegis of Cross River Southern Community Elders’ Forum, would have restricted their scope of operation to specifics rather than stray into contentious areas which does not fall under their priorities.
“Conversely, how would one distinguish a meeting of the said group called at the instance of His Excellency, Mr. Donald Duke and dominated by a sectional ethnic interest, to address political issues bordering on the multiplicity of aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party if not to undermine the sensibilities of the good people of Cross River State who deserve the right to enthrone a candidate of their choice.
“So, the wild goose chase embarked upon by this infamous socio-cultural group constituting member of different but notable political parties goofed in attempting to impose a candidate on our great party, the PDP, all to no avail.
“While we remain patriotic community members and resolute in brazing the trail to deliver on people oriented policies and programmes, we dissociate ourselves from this fragrant incursion into our party’s transparent democratic processes.
“The relevant provision of the PDP constitution, the party primary guidelines for electing candidates, the 2022 electoral act as amended and other extant laws, severally and collectively frowns against the imposition of candidates by or through any guise.
“Arising from the meeting of critical stakeholders of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State of the People’s Democratic Party, on Monday, 9th May, 2022 unanimously adopted Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo as our governorship candidate for the 2023 general election.
“Our decision is predicated by his groundswell acceptability, delivery of democratic dividends, landmark achievements and antecedents in politics and the overall development of Cross River State and beyond.”
Our reporter observed that whereas the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State is believed to have arrived at the choice of the former Senator for Cross River South, Bassey Otu, as their consensus candidate for the election, the PDP seems to be in disarray as the party leaders continue to battle over who squares it up with Senator Otu in next year’s guber contest.