Dump Zoning Now – Cross River APC Stakeholders Warn Gov Ayade

  • Knock southern counterparts as lukewarm, political liabilities

BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s victory in the just-concluded Akpabuyo state Constituency bye-election in Cross River has thrown up accusations and counter-accusations among stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State ahead of the 2023 governorship election.

Suddenly, new political permutations and manipulations have taken the centre stage with many stakeholders demanding immediate rethink and considerations on which Senatorial zone should grab the Party’s gubernatorial ticket and take over after the eight years administration of incumbent Governor Ben Ayade come May 29, 2023.

Rising from a meeting in Ikom Local Government Area at the weekend, APC stakeholders frowned at the lukewarm attitude of their colleagues from the southern senatorial district that enabled the opposition PDP to snatch victory at the polls against all odds.

Accusing them of being non-committal in promoting the fortunes of APC during the bye-election, the stakeholders said the loss has sent a clear message to the party that sentiments and mundane considerations must be avoided going into the next general elections if the ruling APC seeks to carry the day.

Feelers from the meeting indicated that some party’s big wigs like governorship aspirants in the 2019 elections, Senator Owan Eno, Pastor Usani Usani, and businessman Chris Agara have teamed up in mounting pressure on Governor Ayade to have a rethink on his stand concerning zoning in the Party.

According to insider sources at the meeting, the three APC heavyweights, who hail from the Central Senatorial District and are also nursing gubernatorial ambitions, believe the current reality demands that it is time the governor jettisons his stand on zoning as conceding the party’s ticket to the South would only amount to nailing the coffin of the party in Cross River.

The sources, who refused to have their names in print, maintained that the stakeholders’ stand is based on the fact that the gale of defections from APC to PDP is higher in the south than in both the Central and Northern senatorial districts, a development that portends imminent danger as already demonstrated in the outcome of the Akpabuyo state Constituency bye-election.

It was further gathered that should APC turn a blind eye to the glaring realities on the ground by going ahead to entrust its governorship ticket to an aspirant from the south, it would only result in a self-inflicted injury, as there are adequate ominous signs that danger lies ahead for the ruling party.

“The analogy of monkey dey work and Baboon dey chop would not be allowed to play out in APC as the people of both the Central and Northern senatorial districts cannot afford to work for a southern senatorial candidate only for his kinsmen to do the proverbial ostrich dance at the end of the day”, one of the sources said.

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