Home News Governorship: Why Bassey Otu is Our Choice, C/River North, Central leaders Explain

Governorship: Why Bassey Otu is Our Choice, C/River North, Central leaders Explain


By Magnus Effiong

As the country moves toward the next phase of the general elections, leaders and people of the northern and the central senatorial districts of Cross River State have explained why they would vote for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bassey Otu, as the next person to govern the State.

Rising from different meetings in Okpoma, Yala, in the northern zone, and Ikom in the central, stakeholders said they would pitch tent with Senator Otu, who hails from the southern senatorial district, because the south should rightly produce the next governor for the sake of equity and fair play.

In a communique seen by our reporter shortly after the meeting in Yala, the northern leaders reaffirmed their earlier agreement as contained in what they referred to as Calabar/Ogoja accord of 1980.

“The office of the Governor of Cross River State shall rotate sequentially between the three constituent senatorial districts of the South, Central, and North for equity, brotherliness, justice, and accommodation,” the communique read in part.

The northern leaders further agreed that after the turn of the incumbent Gov Ben Ayade who hails from the north and is soon completing the circle, “It is only fair, just, and equitable that the office of Governor should return to the South in the 2023 general elections, and continue to move sequentially thereafter.”

The communique was signed by Etubom (Arc.) Bassey Eyo Ndem, Ntufam John Achort Okon, His Excellency (Amb.) Dr. Nya Asuquo and others for the southern zone, as well as Ntufam Fidelis Ugbo, High Chief Higgins Peters, Elder P. J. Ekunke, Hon. Signor Omang Idiege and others for the northern zone.

Similarly, another stakeholders meeting in Ikom, the central zone, agreed with the submission of the northern leaders, saying the rotation decision of the governosrhip seat had helped in cutting off acrimony and bad blood often associated with such struggle.

Speaking on behalf of the central zone, former Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, said “it is not the turn of Ejagham ethnic group to produce a governor as some people are propagating. We have never played ethnic politics in Cross River, we rotate governorship position on the basis of senatorial districts and not on ethnic line.

“We have decided to support and elect Senator Bassey Otu from the southern Senatorial district since it is the turn of the zone to produce a governor. Other political parties whose candidates are not from the south are on their own.

“A greater percentage of us seated here are of the Ejagham stock but what we are saying is that anyone from the central using Ejagham sentiment to campaign has make a mistake because we had never met to take such ethnic-related decision. It is the turn of the south.

“The rotational policy which our fathers introduced, has stabilised the polity,  brought us peace, unity and development. We will cleave to it.”

Speaking earlier, Etubom (Arch) Bassey Ndem, who led other leaders from the South to the stakeholders meeting said “it began in the south with Mr Donald Duke, shifted to the centre with Senator Liyel Imoke and now it is in the north with Gov Ben Ayade. Fairness and accommodation demand that it begins again from the south.

“We are here to solicit your support for our son, Senator Bassey Edet Otu, who is in the race under the APC platform. We will also support you after our turn. We believe that it is not right for anyone to truncate this lofty arrangement.”

Pillar Today reports that the main opposition party in the State, the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has its governorship candidate from the central zone, a development many Cross Riverians who spoke with our reporter are not comfortable with.


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