By Magnus Effiong
The controversy over whether or not power should return to the southern senatorial district of Cross River state has shown no sign of abating as the Commissioner for Rural Transformation, Hon Edem Okokon Efiom, has, lashed out at some political leaders from the central zone for allegedly standing against what he said is the turn of the South.
Some of those who attracted the anger of the Commissioner included the immediate past minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Usani, the immediate past senator representing the central senatorial district, John Owan Enoh, foremost business mogul, Chief Chris Agara and many others.
Reports say they had converged at Ikom, central Cross River, to vehemently oppose zoning the governorship to the South.
And, Efiom, in a chat with our reporter, described the anti-zoning All Progressives Congress, APC, chieftains as ‘political revisionists,’ saying “ I say so because if they are true men of vision, if they have not lost sense of history, they would have reminded themselves of what happened in 1999.
“As quiet and as docile as the south may look, it does not mean that it cannot bite. Demographically, the south has seven local governments out of 18 and controls over 45 percent of the population of this State.
“In terms of total voter’s registration, the seven local government areas of the south also control more than 45 percent of the registered voters. If the south is pushed to the wall, this number would be unleashed in collaboration with the northern senatorial district. I use this medium to appeal to our brothers in the central never to dare the south.”
Asked to comment on people from the south who have glaringly pitched their tents with candidates from central already, the Commissioner said “woe betides any man who shall attempt to sell his people for peanuts. The ancestors of the land would show such people where they rightly belonged.”
On whether Gov Ben Ayade would not reneged on his promise of ensuring power returns to the southern senatorial zone, Efiom said the Governor remained a man of his word and would not change his mind.
He however alleged that many supporters of both Pastor Usani and Sen Owan Enoh contributed to the failure of the party to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the just concluded Akpabuyo State constituency by-election of last month.
“Their supporters worked against APC interest. I say a greater portion of their supporters refused to work for the party because their leaders have no grip over them,” he stated.