By Our Reporter
With former governor Donald Duke and Senator Sandy Onor’s position that zoning never existed in the political journey of Cross River state from 1999, agitators for power to return to the south have exhumed a communique said to have been issued in 2018 by stakeholders/leaders from the northern and southern senatorial districts over the controversial issue.
In the Communique which was signed by Brig Gen Anthony Ukpo, of blessed memory, for the northern senatorial district and High Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong for the southern district, the leaders said zoning would bring equity, fairness, justice and inclusion.
The communique further indicated that leaders from the two zones unanimously agreed that power should return to the south after Gov Ben Ayad’s tenue of eight years.
Reports said this understanding explained why southern leaders advocated that power should remain in the north, and warned southerners against taking part in the 2019 governorship race which had Senator John Owan Enoh/Pastor Usani Usani of APC slugging it out with Gov Ayade of PDP.
Below is the Communique which was made available to Pillartoday on Tuesday:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE JOINT MEETING OF THE LEADERS, ELDERS AND OPINION MOLDERS OF NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN SENATORIAL DISTRICTS OF CROSS RIVER STATE
At its meeting of the 10th of November 2018, Leaders, Elders and Opinion molders from the
northern and southern senatorial districts met in Calabar to fashion out terms of engagement
and future alliance.
It moved from the understanding that the development of the state is a function of its peaceful coexistence; such coexistence is further enhanced by a sense of equity, fairness, justice and inclusion.
Consequently, the meeting addressed a number of issues and agreed to continue with future
consultations as a means of reinforcing corporation and understanding.
The meeting therefore resolved as follows:
1. The principle of rotation/zoning of the governorship seat should be maintained and sustained amongst the three senatorial districts of the state in all future elections.
2. Both sides agreed that such rotation/ zoning consists of allowing each senatorial district to complete its eight (8) years of two terms as this was the case of the south / central senatorial districts.
3. Upon the completion of the second term by the northern senatorial district in 2023, the
rotation/zoning shall commence in the southern senatorial district and follow in that sequence as earlier instituted.
4. There is need for further engagement starting with a meeting between the north and central senatorial district.
This will be followed by a tripartite meeting between all the Elders, Leaders, Opinion molders and Stakeholders of the three senatorial districts of the state to consolidate this arrangement and make them broadly acceptable to the people of the state as a means of ensuring peaceful political coexistence and stability.
Brig. General Anthony S. 1. Ukpo (Rtd)
Convener Northern Senatorial District
HIGH Chief Asuquo Ekpeyong OON
Convener Southern Senatorial District