From Andy Esiet, Calabar
The member representing Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency of Cross River State in the House of Representatives, Ntufam Eta Mbora has insisted that the current zoning arrangement in the state starts from the Southern Senatorial district .
Some persons in the state have argued that the governorship position has gone through the three zones so it can now start from anywhere except the North, some others say zoning should be jettisoned while the third school of thought insists zoning must stand for equity and fairness as “Nigeria’s politics is not matured for just the issue of merit” .
But briefing some news men in Calabar on Sunday, Mbora said, “for me, it is a straight issue. We had agreed and I am very happy that the persons who were the architect of the zoning in the state are still very much in the PDP. The likes of former governors Liyel Imoke and Donald Duke and the majority of the voices that have kept the unity on the issue of zoning are all in the PDP. We are starting our rotation from the South. There are a lot of voices reasoning that such is the proper thing to do.
“However, you can’t stop people who want to work for their personal interest. But what the majority believe is that if it should go the proper way, then the rotation should start from the south. There are some thoughts that since the three districts have had their rounds, it could start from anywhere, some have even argued that we should allow merit to emerge, that is opening the space for merit to emerge, many have also said, that from south it went to central, and from central it went to North so it should start from the south again. We have responsible leaders and they are listening and at the end, of the day what the masses want is what we will stand for”.
On Governor Ben Ayade’s defection, Mbora declared that the governor did not defect voluntarily but was chased out of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Ayade had on May 20, 2021 dumped the PDP for the All Progressives Congress (APC) saying he did so on “the realisation that Cross River, which has been emasculated economically following the ceding of its oil wells, needed to be in sync with the party at the centre, as the main reasons for moving…It is obvious that at this point we needed to join hands with him (President Mohammadu Buhari) to build a Nigeria that we can be proud of” .
But Mbora said, “we were in the party before him and when he tried to destroy the PDP for us, we chased him out of the party. We also won a seat that is sited in his senatorial district. We won the Northern senatorial seat which is his primary district. So the PDP is not shaken at all. We want to rescue this state.
“We are repositioning the PDP after the exit of governor Ayade. We have brought in vibrant young blood into the party leadership. We have injected the interest of the youths into the party exco, the elderly ones are still there, guiding them and watching them and praying for them . With what we have put in place as PDP executive, we are set to rescue that state from the decay cost by Ayade on the state”.
He said, “we have confidence going forward and approaching 2023 without Governor. We know his style of politics. He works with mediocre but if you turn round to the PDP you still see a lot of persons that have always won elections in the state.
“All of them were in the congress and you can’t compare them with the small boys who Ayade is relying on and he dishes out orders to them because he runs the government alone. He always believes he knows all and that is his style of politics. So we don’t really feel his defection. If we actually felt his effect, you will not find majority of us still remaining in the PDP in the National Assembly”.
The lawmaker decried the politics of incessant cross carpeting without recourse to the law saying, “defections and cross carpeting is becoming a child’s play and we need to stop it. Fortunately in Cross River State we have even some councilors at the local government level that refused to go to the APC with the governor.