Judex Okoro, Calabar
Hundreds of youths in Cross River have protested against an alleged move by political godfathers to impose candidates in the upcoming local government elections.
The Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission (CROSIEC) has tentatively fixed February 22, 2020 for council elections.
This has led to a beehive of activities at the 18 local governments and 196 wards of the state.
But suspecting foul play in the build up to the elections, youths from Boki Local Government took to the streets of Calabar on Wednesday.
The youths also said they were opposed to the recycling of politicians from Boki who have been in power since 1999.
Speaking with reporters, a youth leaders and chairmanship aspirant in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Kidze Leo, said:
“We are saying no to imposition of one person against the opinion of many people. There have been a lot of killings in Boki, which leaders have not come out to react to. They are only interested in their political ambition.
“Someone who has been nominated and confirmed as commissioner at that level will go as low as causing confusion. It is a big disappointment. I am a businessman and politician, an aspirant (chairmanship) for that matter. If I don’t come out to speak, who will talk for millions of these people? We have come to join forces to produce a vibrant chairman during the election.
“The leaders causing confusion have been in power for a very long time. They don’t want anybody to rise to their level or even above them. They are intimidated by young people coming up in politics. When they see a rising star they gang up and bring you down.
“They brainwash the other youths who are hungry, who cannot fend for themselves and use them against the other fellow youths. But this time, the majority of the people who want to see this transformation are on this side. So, we will definitely conquer.”
Another chairmanship aspirant also in PDP platform, Jonathan Osang, said: “They should allow us to go freely into the election. The problem of Boki is not the youths. The problem of Boki is the leaders. They have been in power since 1999 to date.
“They were there when they were youths. Now they don’t want the youths to grow. We have a digital governor. We need a digital youth as chairman. The problem of Boki can never finish if we don’t have a youth as chairman.
“We are very angry because the people that died during the recent crisis are our brothers, they are our friends. They were our relatives.”
Responding, the Permanent Secretary in charge of security in the Governor’s office, Sir Alfred Mboto, promised to take their complaints to the Governor.