Cross River South stakeholders give Ayade condition for re-election
Despite the ongoing endorsements of Governor Ben Ayade for re-election, there are indications that politicians in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State may have placed some hurdles ahead of the 2019 election.
Loyalists of the state Peoples Democratic Party and other stakeholders from the Southern Senatorial District had on January 31 in Calabar endorsed Governor Ayade for re-election in the 2019 election.
The stakeholders, including members of the state House of Assembly in the seven local governments in the district, hinged the endorsement of Ayade on his achievements in areas of political appointees, among others.
However, in a letter dated January 23, 2018 from Senator Gershom Bassey to the state Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu, the attention of the governor has been drawn to addressing critical issues that were raised during an interactive session with the people of the southern senatorial district.
In the letter, which was sighted by our correspondent, Senator Gershom Bassey, had subtly noted, “Kindly assure our people that I have personally drawn the attention of His Excellency, the Governor, to a lot of the issues raised by them during my interactive sessions with the people of the southern senatorial district.
“The Governor has promised to address same. I am confident that where the issues that bother our people are looked into and addressed, we will have no difficulty getting their support.”
But a top party stalwart, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said areas that Senator Gershom Bassey did make public were more critical.
The party source, who was privy to the critical issues, said that projects that were for instance listed as the governor’s achievements since assumption of office had still not gone beyond the conceptual level.
He listed the proposed superhighway and deep seaports as well as the recent move to make single lane Calabar-Odukpani road to a dual carriage way as projects that had yet to kick off in concrete terms.
He also said that in terms of political appointees, the bulk of those appointed from the southern senatorial district were not being paid the same salary as those from the northern senatorial district.
The source noted that as the district with the highest number of eligible voters, there was the need to mend fences as the All Progressives Congress, despite its infighting in the state, was fast making entry into the political space.
“Governor Ayade should not undermine the simplicity and friendly status of the people of the southern senatorial district. He should tread cautiously in order to avoid misfiring given the erupting political warning signals.
“In recent times, Governor Ayade has been partially selective in the empowerment of political supporters due to misguided threats and body language from some quarters.”