Cross River APC chiefs reject zoning arrangement, declare support for PDP guber candidate
Fresh crisis is brewing in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River State as some elders of the party have rejected the party’s zoning arrangement, saying it is skewed to favour one of the ethnic groups.
The people of Biase and Akamkpa councils of the Southern Senatorial District of the state claim the party’s zoning arrangement does not favour them in any way as the governorship and senatorial positions have all been zoned to the Efik in Odukpani Council, describing it as not acceptable because the Efik, over the years, had produced senators in Southern Senatorial district and had, in 1999, also produced the governor in the person of Mr. Donald Duke.
The leader of the forum, Etubom Archibong Ironbar, said the back-to-south agenda was a plan to synergise with their brothers in Central and North to ensure that r zoning in the state remains fair to all.
“We have a vision to bring the governorship to the south; so we fell back to the candidate of the APC. We did our best to make sure all parties had a southern candidate, so we are throwing our weight behind him and we will stand by him to the end,” he said.
But, a chieftain of APC from Biase, Chief Sam Bassey, in an interview with newsmen in Calabar, yesterday, said due to injustice, he and his supporters would be voting for the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Sandy Onor, who is from Eteng Council in Cross River Central Senatorial District.
Bassey, who had contested Southern Senatorial District seat and lost, said: “In terms of back to South, in the southern senatorial district, we have the Efik, Akamkpa and Biase. From 1999, when we started this democratic dispensation, the first governor, Donald Duke is Efik. Also in that dispensation, Senator Florence Ita Giwa is Efik.
After Ita-Giwa, you have Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, who is Efik. After him, you have Senator Bassey Edet Otu and after him, Senator Gershom Bassey, who are Efik and now, we have another Efik son, Asuquo Ekpenyong jnr. on the platform of APC and Ekpo Okon on the platform of PDP, also Efik. So what is the position of the Biase and Akamkpa people in the southern senatorial district?
“These are the sentiments but the question is, in the southern senatorial district, is it only the Efik, who is here? Are the people of Akamkpa and Biase not from the Southern Senatorial District.