By Magnus Effiong
Governor Ben Ayade has restated his commitment to rotating governorship position among the three senatorial district of Cross River, saying rotation would ensure equity and fairness to all.
He made this known in Calabar, Thursday, during a reception of some stalwarts of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), including Arc Bassey Ndem, Rt Hon Otuekong Orok Duke and Barr Edem Ekong, into the All Progressives Congress ( APC).
Ayade said, “I am firmly in support of the sustenance of the governorship rotational principle in the state which has been in place since the return of democracy in 1999.
“I will keep to my words. 2023 is a harbinger of peace, equity and justice so that every one of us will have a sense of equity and sense of balance to maintain and sustain our politics. This will enable everybody to know his turn at every given time.
“When I turned my back and look at Cross River-from Obanliku to Bakassi- I wonder where the opposition is coming from. PDP in Cross River is finished, it is now an empty shell, APC is in total control.”
Describing the PDP, which he dumped in May 2021, as a haemorrhaging party, the governor said he has the moral obligation to ensure that Cross Riverians do not remain there.
He said with the exit of the number of defectors into the APC, PDP in the state was finished and empty.
“Anybody who wants us to remain in opposition does not wish us well. We have socketed to the centre and APC has come to stay in Cross River. Our state is better off with the APC.
“The array of political juggernauts joining us in APC today were the men who made PDP thick. Today, they have joined us in APC, so where is the PDP in Cross River? The party is dead,” he submitted.
Speaking after receiving the symbol of the party, the broom, Arch Bassey Ndem said he joined the APC for equity and integrity reasons, adding “because His Excellency, at several fora, stood on the principle of rotation and by rotation, he simply means turn by turn.
“And I trust that from everything I have seen so far, His Excellency, the Governor, will continue to uphold the ethics which has made the Southern Senatorial district stand by him even in his moment of greatest trial.”
Ndem, an industrialist and a former Commissioner for Lands in the state, emphasised the need for total support of the people of the state to enable the governor finish strong.
Rt Hon Orok Duke, who also spoke, said he was dumping the PDP because the party deceived the people of the Southern Senatorial district by turning its back on zoning, which he said, is dear to the heart of every southerner.
Duke appealed to the Governor and the APC leadership in the State to return power to the South for justice and fairness, and promised to utilize his political arsenals to ensure the APC emerges victorious in the approaching 2023 elections.
On his part, Barrister Edem Ekong, a former Commissioner for Lands, described PDP as a vehicle with a knocked engine which would be unable to take the occupants to their anticipated destination.
Recall that the southern senatorial district of the state is staking a claim to Cross River 2023 governorship, as the remaining two districts- Central and North have had their turns.
By Magnus Effiong