From Judex Okoro, Calabar
The battle for the soul of Cross River has continued to gather steam as All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are engaged in vitriolic attacks ahead of 2023 polls.
While APC berated PDP for undermining zoning at its peril and boasted of credible candidates with enormous electoral value rout the opposition in 2023, the PDP lashed at the ruling party for playing the politics of ethnocentric agitation after running the state to comatose.
Stoking the fire in an interview recently in Calabar, the Director General of the Campaign Organisation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Cross River State, Amb. Soni Abang, stated stated that the party has credible candidates with enormous electoral value and would rout the opposition PDP in 2023.
Abang, the former Nigerian Ambassador to Mali, further stated that “PDP is coming into the elections with a very heavy moral baggage which is hanging conspicuously on its neck.
“This baggage is the insistence of the opposition PDP on producing a governorship candidate from the central senatorial district when the doctrine of equity, natural justice, fair play and brotherliness dictates otherwise.
“There is an unwritten rule which governs power equations in Cross River whereby all the senatorial districts in the state take turns to produce the governor without any rancour,” adding that it was natural for south to take the slot after Ayade.
Taking a swipe at Amb. Abang’s statement, the PDP publicity secretary, Mike Ojisi, wondered why the former PDP chairman and Boki council chairman spoke disparagingly againat a party that gave threw him up to political limelight.
Accusing the DG of APC Campaign Organisation of having worked surreptitiously to give his younger brother the ticket of the PDP to contest the Federal House of Representatives seat of his constituency, Ikom/Boki, he called on the ruling party to interrogate his inconsistencies.
The statement reads in part: We are not interested in playing the politics of ethnocentric agitation. While others are preaching ethnicity, we are preaching unity and oneness, hence our philosophy of back-to-us.
“Thus, our pride that we conducted the most transparent, free and fair primaries in our history unlike the APC that unilaterally forced other aspirants to step down for the anointed candidates of the party which has led to series of mitigations.”
According to PDP spokesman, APC has no locus standi to preach morality when the governorship and southern senatorial candidates to one local government area (Odukpani), as well as the
incumbent minister of state for Power and Governor Ayade, all from Obudu, with the deputy governorship candidate from Ogoja the same north, thereby leaving the central senatorial zone empty.
Calling on the ruling APC to prepare and meet them in the field, he said: “We are confident that the good people of Cross River state are eagerly waiting to vote APC out and reclaim their dear state.”