By Eniang Ndem
A lot has been said about the idea of power returning to the southern Senatorial District of Cross River State in 2023.
Before the Gubernatorial primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC and that of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, various stakeholders and groups took to the media to propagate the fact that power must return to the Southern Senatorial District of the State since the South has waited for almost sixteen years after HE Donald Duke from the south became Governor.
The gubernatorial primaries of the two major parties have come and gone and the APC has graciously picked its gubernatorial candidate from the south in the person of Senator Prince Bassey Edet Otu in line with the promise of the state Governor, Senator Professor Ben Ayade to support the return of power to the southern Senatorial District based on fairness, justice and equity.
However for the Peoples Democratic party, the outcome of their primaries saw Professor Sandy Onor from the central senatorial district emerging as the party’s flag bearer as a result of the splitting of votes of aspirants from the south.
The lesson from the outcome of that PDP primaries is that the gubernatorial aspirants from the south failed because they did not put their house in order and did not provide leadership to streamline their aspirations.
Looking at the entire results of the major two aspirants,that is Senator Gershom Bassey who pulled 175 votes and Hon.Daniel Asuquo who pulled 147 votes, a combination of their votes if pulled by one aspirant would have knocked off Sandy Onor’s 236 votes which saw him emerging as the winner of the primaries, meaning that most of the delegates in the PDP primaries preferred a candidate from the south to carry the flag of their party which is indication that the idea of power returning to the south after sixteen years wait is sacrosanct.
Furthermore the people of the southern Senatorial district are faced with the fear of being marginalized for another sixteen years should they fail to take the Governorship in 2023.
That is why it has become absolutely imperative that for the sake of fairness and equity, the southern Senatorial district should be supported by all across the state to produce the next Governor of Cross River to sustain the peace and orderliness in the political space of the state, as anything short will result in mistrust, marginalization and instability which will not augur well for the development of our dear state.
The campaign for the return of power to the southern Senatorial district cuts across party lines and is being embraced and supported by Cross Riverians from across the entire three Senatorial districts of our state as clearly shown in the endorsement of the APC gubernatorial candidate, Senator Prince Bassey Otu during his thank you tour of the northern and central Senatorial districts and same is expected in his senatorial district of the south.
Also Senator Otu’s massive votes from the delegates across the three senatorial districts of the state during the APC primaries is a strong statement that Cross Riverians across the state prefer somebody from the south to be the next Governor of their state
No doubt the campaign for BACK TO SOUTH is still very much alive because it cuts across party lines and there are many who are determined to ensure its success irrespective of the party they belong to because they believe that is the just thing to do for peace to reign.
Various support groups for the APC candidate across the state have demonstrated glowingly their unflinching support for Prince Otu due to his wide acceptability not just as a candidate from the south but as a person who is passionate about the wellbeing of the people and who will transform our state into a more viable economy for the benefit of our people.
Under Governor Otu, come 2023, our state will experience rapid growth and development and inclusive governance where Cross Riverians irrespective of where they come from or their political leanings will be given opportunity to contribute in moving the state forward in all the sectors.
It is worthy of note to stress that more and more groups and individuals are expected to sustain the BACK TO SOUTH agenda, just like the GREATER CALABAR FORUM which has been at the forefront of the agitation across party lines.
It is expected that as the gubernatorial campaigns draw nearer in October, 2022, the agitation for power shift to the southern Senatorial district should be given the utmost support it truly deserves, for it is said that what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.
The South has waited patiently for sixteen years for power to move to the central and north of our state and now is the turn of the SOUTH.