By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The bid by some stakeholders in the Cross River State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC to move the governorship slot to the Central Senatorial zone of the state has received the strong rebuke of a group championing the interest of the Northern senatorial zone.
Stakeholders under the aegis of the Cross River North Solidarity Forum (CRNSF) in a declaration yesterday vowed that any shift of the governorship from Cross River North to Cross River Central would be strongly resisted by the North.
The incumbent governor, Prof. Ben Ayade is from Cross River North and the assertion follows the recent strong bid being mounted by Senator John Enoh, a recent defector from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP to the APC.
Before Ayade, the South and the Central had held the governorship for two distinct terms each between 1999 and 2015.
The group in a statement issued in Calabar by its spokesman, Joseph Ogah, said that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has not been fair to members of the party from the zone in terms of appointment and will resist any move by corrupt people who just defected to the party to hijack the ticket from the North.
They questioned why zoning was observed in the recently held congresses from ward to national but some “greedy and self-seeking intruders” are going about planning to take what was zoned to the North in 2014.
“The message we have to pass in this press statement is simple; we will vote the PDP massively if the governorship ticket is given to another senatorial district. Akwa, Anambra etc have in line with the party instructions retained the 2014 zoning but in Cross River, some people who don’t mean well for APC are trying to scuttle the agreement.
“Many of us used our money to work for APC, but when the party won, the zone was completed neglected. No reasonable appointment was given to the North despite the numerous juicy appointments that came to the state.
“The central alone got Minister of Niger Delta, NDDC Chairman, Career Ambassador, SA on Prosecution to the President, Auditor General etc. The South has the Head of Service, Ambassador, NDDC Commissioner, DG, National Centre for Women Development and many others. The North was left with nothing. Even the governorship candidate who sacrificed so much for the party in 2015 was not given anything reasonable.
“Are we less a senatorial district to others?” the group asked.
“We also want to advice some APC leaders who have collected money from aspirant sponsored by PDP to sell out to trade with caution as a day of reckoning is just by the corner.
“Those who last year were shouting that the North must do eight years like others but are now saying different things because of the bribes they have collected should trade with caution. APC must avoid another Governor Ortom and Saraki experience in Cross River State. Some aspirants are only in APC because they want a platform to achieve their desperate political ambition after which they will destroy the party and return to PDP. APC must be careful”.
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