From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Ahead of the 2023 general election, Cross River Southern Senatorial District Stakeholders Forum has insisted that it is their turn to produce the next governor after Ben Ayade’s administration.
The forum, which cuts across religious, ethnic and political lines, had in attendance some senior citizens, former governor, senators, representatives, traditional rulers, politicians from the APC and PDP, the academia and serving political office holders from the zone.
At the inaugural meeting of the group held at Transcorp Hotels, Calabar, at the weekend and jointly convened by Sen. Bassey Ewa Henshaw, former senator representing Southern Senatorial district, and Chief Ogban Ebock, the forum said there was an urgent need for them to meet regularly with a view to addressing serious and important issues affecting the zone.
The forum after lengthy deliberations resolved that the zone must produce Governor Ben Ayade’s successor in 2023, insisting that “the existing zoning arrangement for the office of the governor of Cross River and all other political offices be maintained.”
It noted that since the advent of the Fourth Republic, a system of zoning of key political offices in Cross River State, particularly the office of the governor, has evolved and been established over time, adding that the “zoning system has produced in succession the last three governors from each of the senatorial districts in the state.”
It, therefore, called on stakeholders from central and northern senatorial districts to join hands with them to ensure that the zoning arrangement continued uninterrupted for equality and equity in the state.