I congratulate the vast majority of electorates who stood for equity, justice and fairness – Gershom Bassey
By Kelvin Obambon
The lawmaker representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District, Senator Gershom Bassey has affirmed that the outcome of the 2023 governorship election in Cross River is a reflection of the wishes of the people.
Bassey spoke with newsmen in Calabar on Monday, shortly after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Prince Bassey Otu winner of the governorship election.
Otu won the election with a total of 258, 619 votes against Sen. Sandy Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 179,636 votes.
But reacting to the development, Senator Bassey, who is one of the founding fathers of PDP in the state, congratulated “the vast majority of the Cross River State electorates who are not card carrying members of any political party and who stood for equity, justice and fairness in this election.”
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Referring to the electorates, the two-time lawmaker said, “You have settled all the arguments, postulations, theorizing and calculations. You said it loud and clear that having waited patiently for 16years without complaint but lovingly supporting their brothers in other Senatorial Districts, it is the turn of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State to produce a Governor. You, the electorates, have emphatically said that one good turn deserves another and endorsed “BACK TO SOUTH”.
“The principle of rotation and zoning in Cross River State has been, by your singular action, established forever. End of discussion. The matter is now settled.
“Cross Riverians are a proud and dignified people. We are also our brothers’ keepers and so we abhor imposition, bigotry, jingoism, hate speech and even colonialism. So, the idea that elections can be won by spewing ethnic sentiment and promoting division is alien to our culture and vexatious to the spirit of every Cross Riverian. The idea that our State can be annexed as the personal property of puppeteers is a joke and will always be resisted by voters.”
On the poor performance of his party, especially in the state assembly election, Senator Bassey said, “Today I am sad for my party, the PDP in Cross River State. I am particularly sad about our loses in the House of Assembly elections and I sympathize with the good men and women who contested those elections for us. Take heart and better luck next time. For the very few that won, congratulations.
PDP’s unbroken run of winning every Governorship election since the return of democracy in 1999 is gone. Also gone are over 22 House of Assembly seats.
“The PDP has suffered the most spectacular and humiliating rejection by Cross Riverians in its over 24year history. It is now time for very sober reflection.
“What this election has critically demonstrated is that we, the political leaders, must always listen to those that we aspire to lead, especially in this new age of BVAS and improving electoral processes.”
He, therefore, congratulated APC and the Cross River governor-elect, Senator Bassey Otu and urged him to lead the state in the right path.
“Finally, let me congratulate the APC and its candidates, led by Sen. Prince Bassey Edet Otu. “Sweet” Prince, on behalf of the entire people of the Southern Senatorial District of our State, from where you hail and whom I represent in the 9th Assembly, we are proud of you. God bless you and your family. Your Excellency, lead our beloved Cross River State well. Make us proud,” he said.