From Judex Okoro, Calabar
As the race for the governorship election gathers momentum, Cross River People’s Democratic Party (PDP) southern senatorial district stakeholders have called for a consensus candidate that has acceptability and can win the election for the party in 2023.
The stakeholders insist on zoning the governorship back to the south in accordance with the Calabar Declaration 2021 aimed at fostering the unity of the state through the continued enforcement of the spirit of the Calabar -Ogoja Accord (1980) on power rotation.
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The stakeholders arrived at the decision following a one day summit for governorship aspirants from the district which was facilitated by Sen Bassey Ewa Henshaw, a former senator representing Cross River Southern district, with seven aspirants in attendance.
The summit with the theme “Resetting Cross River for Recovery and Growth – with focus on the state’s economy, leadership, politics, community values and security” had in attendance all the governorship aspirants including Daniel Asuquo, Gershom Bassey, Ima Nsa-Adegoke, Mkpang Coco Bassey, Efiok Cobham, Arthur Jarvis and Nkoyo Toyo.
According to Henshaw, Calabar Declaration 2021 is a multi-partisan framework for the future relationship between the three senatorial districts of the state as regards the rotation of the governorship seat.
The stakeholders in an eight-point communique made available to reporters in Calabar and signed by Sen Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Obongawan Barbara Etim James, High Chief Archibong Omon, Dr Joe Edet, Dr Maurice Ekong, and Mr Mba Ukweni, SAN
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‘That the summit calls on all the aspirants from the southern senatorial district to come together to rally round one strong and acceptable candidate who has acceptance across the entire state and can win the governorship for the PDP.
‘That the constitution of the People’s Democratic Party supports the principle of zoning, hence, Cross River State cannot, but do the same.
‘That all aspirants should pay close attention to all the identified issues bedevilling the state like poor economic status, community and related security and how to address them.
‘That the summit revealed that, from the quality of presentation by the aspirants, the stakeholders of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State are satisfied and confident that the southern Senatorial District has many qualified people who can vie for the position of the governor.’
During the summit the aspirants interfaced with participants and answered questions on how they intended to move the state forward when elected.