Some stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and supporter’s in Cross River State have threatened a protest vote in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 if it does not zone the governorship ticket to the South Senatorial District of the state..
The PDP stalwarts were reacting to the emergence of Prince Bassey Otu of the APC from the south and a recent statement by the State Chairman of the PDP Venatius Ikem that the 2023 governorship race should not be zoned to any specific senatorial zone of the state.
“I still stand by zoning by elimination because it is what we have practiced before. I don’t know why people are making a big deal out of it”, he said.
The former member representing Abi\Yakurr Federal House of Representatives, Bassey Ewa said “in 1999 after Donald Duke, Liyel Imoke, after Liyel Imoke Ben Ayade. As a party, it is agreed it should go back to the South. Courtesy demands that we go back to the south and start from where we started the first time. You use the importance of the past to understand the presence and then predict the future. You and I were here in Cross River State in 1999; Donald Duke was an unpopular candidate”.
“The people of Southern Senatorial District had in mind then Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong. He was a household name. Even in PDP we were afraid of him because he is a name that is already a household name. Donald just came. Nobody knew him. But it took just one mistake and what was that? They took away the ticket of APP from Eyo Etim Nyong and gave it to somebody who was not from the South.
“In fact, it didn’t take one week everything changed and of course by the providence of Almighty God, Donald Duke won. That is what I see playing out again. Unfortunately, it is those that should advise us well that are even making the mistake. APC has done the right thing. They have got Bassey Otu. For me it is a lesson for PDP to say come let us sit back and address the issues that are coming up within the party”.
He pointed out that “the fact that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria did not talk about it, has not excluded zoning. PDP has zoning. It is in the constitution, and that’s why I was very happy when I heard Wike, the revered Governor of Rivers State talking about it. He speaks about the PDP constitution on zoning. There is zoning. I have been in the party as a caucus member from 1999 till date. I was privileged to be elected the first majority leader. We have met and agreed that there should be rotation. When this Senatorial District takes, the next time it should be the other one. If we do that I don’t think APC will win us”.
On who he thinks can match Otu of APC, Hon. Ewa who was also a one time Speaker in the State House of Assembly said, “Gershom Bassey is a seasoned politician that has ran elections a couple of times and won against Prince Otu. Gershom Bassey is a household name. He has been in politics even before my dear brother and friend, distinguished Senator Prince Otu came into politics”.
He added that “In Gershom Bassey I see those qualities of Prof. Eyo Etim Nyong then. He has touched lives across the state, not limited to the southern senatorial district and therefore he stands a better chance to give Senator Bassey Otu a good fight. So if PDP is smart we have our choice to be Senator Gershom Bassey. For he can give us the victory we want in the state”.