The Primary conducted by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to elect a governorship candidate to run the March 11 , 2023 governorship election had come and gone,but the backlash that followed that infamous election is still with us today.
That election saw the worst gang up against the interest of the people of the southern senatorial district and the principle of power rotation among the three senatorial districts of cross River State.
Recall that in 1999, Governor Donald Duke emerged from the southern senatorial district and governed for eight years,
After Duke,Governor Imoke emerged from the central senatorial district and after eight years handed over to Governor Ayade from the northern senatorial district who is about to complete his eight years in office
In 2023,power is expected to return to the southern senatorial district which has waited for sixteen years after Duke
But alas, what did the leadership of the PDP in the state do?
The party which had hitherto respected the rotation of power principle aimed at giving all sections of the state opportunity to take a shot at the governorship,turned around to jettison the sanctity of power rotation which the electorate in cross River have imbibed as an acceptable mechanism for peace,equity and unity irrespective of ethnic backgrounds of governorship contenders
The leadership of the PDP in the state against all reasoning decided to throw their weight behind an aspirant from the central senatorial district in the person of senator Sandy Onor to hijack the turn of the south to grab the governorship ticket of the PDP
In order for the gang up to work for them,they played the ethnic card of ejagham and kiong and the political leaders from ejagham and kiong recruited their own to vote for their ejagham brother from the central to pick the PDp ticket
They succeeded in dividing the votes of the aspirants from the south giving way for Sandy Onor to emerge from the central inspite of the huge votes of senator Gershom Bassey and Dansuki from the south
This ugly development did not go down well with the people of the south who felt cheated that it was their turn to produce a governorship candidate
And most especially that the APC had given their governorship ticket to Prnce Otu from the south
Having finished their hatchet job of picking a governorship candidate from the central against the interest of the south,they went about campaigning for support from the same people whose interest they betrayed
And February 25,2023 came and the grand betrayers presented themselves to the people of the south thinking that they have forgotten so fast about their inglorious roles and they gave their verdict at the polling units and voted all the coup plotters out
The people who truly have the power sent all of them on compulsory retirement
March 11,2023 is around the corner and it will be an historic date to test the rotation of power principle in our state,a kind of plebiscite where the electorate will vote not just to elect a governor but also to decide if cross River State should continue to adopt power rotation principle among the three senatorial districts for equity,fairness,unity and mutual respects
Dr David Etim Duke,is a public Affairs Commentator and writes from Calabar