By Victor Ekpo
A Southern Senatorial District Agenda through the eye of 1980 Calabar-Ogoja Accord.
It is no longer news that Cross River State is heading to 2023 general elections with different agitations and political arguments.
Agitations rising from where the gubernatorial candidate should come from and who that or those candidates should or must be.
For his article let me focus on the first point of the agitation, which is where the gubernatorial candidate should or must come from.
1. The state has witnessed relative political peace since the inception of democracy in the country; during the 1979 democratic era, the state thought it was the right time to set a path that will ensure fairness, equity and even development for all political interests within the state.
These led to political leaders and elders’ decisions to produce a trans-generational accord that can accommodate future interest and geo-political interest that may be birthed in the near and far future.
The accord was to ensure that every political interest is protected irrespective of party platforms. It was also highlighted in the accord, that no senatorial district is to hold a consecutive position between an incumbent and immediate past political tenor.
The accord did guarantee that at all times, the state must ensure that there must be even development between all interests and equal representation by all; as seen in the federal government’s federal character doctrine.
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2. Rotation of power back to the south agitation.
Rising from the principle of fairness as enshrined in the accord which is the precursor to our democratic process, those with the argument that power must not come to the south after sixteen years of waiting on the sideline, should grant us a commitment that they will equally support a candidate from the Northern senatorial district come 2023. It is only then will those of us from the Southern senatorial district drop our back to the south legitimate agitations.
3. We have a legitimate agitation not because it is our turn to lead; our agitation is legitimate because it is the only fair and equitable thing to do; which our Governor in his pre and post-election back in 2019 acknowledged the fact that the only fair thing to do come 2023 is for power to return to the Southern senatorial district.
4. Sowing disunity in the Southern senatorial district.
Those crying that the southern senatorial district is experiencing some form of infighting and lack of unity are merely “giving a dog a bad name and hang it” the truth Is; this is a far cry from the reality of the on the ground.
Kin political observers will educate everyone that the southern senatorial district remains the most peaceful senatorial district in Cross River State.
From the green lands of Biase to the creeks of Bakassi; there is no single record of war or any form of disputes for over six hundred years.
The Efik, qua and Efut have lived together in peace, love and harmony. To even further shame those preaching disunities amongst the southern senatorial district, you can hardly find a true Efik man or woman who is not either related to Efut and Qua by bloodline or marriage.
So, therefore, for us from the South, elections do not divide us, it rather brings us together.
5. The question of who becomes governor from the southern senatorial district.
The Southern senatorial district is blessed with both leaders who were born to lead and those who were taught to lead. We have never been bereft of quality leaders.
The 2023 general election will be a critical election for the state. Hence the need for a leader who is proof-ready to advance the course of the state.
An ideal southern candidate must first have the ability to further strengthen the bond of love and unity between all ethnic groups domicile in the senatorial district. He or she must galvanize the strengths of the Efik, Qua and Efut.
Below are the true copies of the 1980 Calabar-Ogoja Accord.
A Public Affairs Analyst
& Founder SAM