Governor Ayade Receives Massive Endorsement from Cross River State Northern and Southern Elders Forum – Ahead of 2019 Gubernatorial Election.
On Saturday, the 10th of November 2018, leaders from the Northern and Southern Senatorial District of Cross River state, met at the residence of Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong to deliberate on issues relating to the 2019 Gubernatorial Election in Cross River State as it concerns zoning.
The meeting which lasted for over 4 hours came to agreement between elders and leaders of the two regions, stating out policies that will help for peaceful political co-existence in the state.
Leaders and elders from the North had already met at Asdam Hotels in Calabar on the same day before proceeding to meet with their Southern counterpart. At the Northern Elders meeting, which was convened by Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo, the elders noted that before Political Parties did their primaries, the Forum had advised parties on the need to produce governorship candidates from the North on the grounds of equity and fairness.
Gen. Ukpo stated that the forum will meet with other zones on the need to maintain the current zoning formula in the state that has encouraged political stabilization and peace in the State. The former military governor of Rivers State said.
“We have been watching the turn-up of events, and we felt it was time for us to come together again to hold another meeting to review and see how we can move forward. At the meeting in Ogoja, we decided that we were going to nominate a subcommittee of the whole to engage with both the central and the southern senatorial district, in other to solicit their support.
So those that are present here today constitute that committee that is going to be engaging with other senatorial districts to appeal to them, this time to appeal to the electorates no more to the parties, to go along with the zoning and rotation principle that we have so far adhered to in Cross River State”.
The forum further solicits the support of the electorates, not the parties anymore because the parties have finished their primaries, that is where there would have influenced zoning the position to the North. But since they did not do that, we are now saying directly to the electorates through the Elders forum of the various Senatorial districts that all vote should be in favour of the Northen candidate, which in this case happens to be Governor Ben Ayade”
The meeting of the leaders, elders and opinion molders from the two Senatorial Districts was set to fashion out terms of engagement and future alliances. It moved from the understanding that the development of the state is a function of its peaceful coexistence.
Such coexistence is further enhanced by a sense of equity, fairness, justice and inclusion. Consequently, the meeting addressed a number of issues and agreed to continue with future consultation as a means of reinforcing cooperation and understanding.
The meeting had in attendance Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo, Chief Asuquo Ekpeyong Chief Linus Okom, Chief J. I. Igbe, Hon. Eta Mbora, Barr. Idih Yakubu, Chief Charles Abuo, Barr. Marc Enahme, Mrs. Theresa Ezama, Barr. Leonard Anyogo (Secretary of the Forum) and other notable elders from the Northern and Southern Senatorial Districts of Cross River State.
A former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Kanu G. Agabi (SAN) also sent a message of solidarity to the Elders.
“This is a communique issued at the joint meeting of the Northern and Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State held today the 10th day of November 2018.
- That the principle of rotation and zoning of the governorship seat should be maintained and sustained among the three senatorial districts of the state in all future elections.
- That such rotation and zoning consist of allowing each senatorial district complete its eight years of two terms as this was the case in the Southern and Central Senatorial Districts of the State. Upon completion of the second term of the Northern Senatorial District which will be in 2023, the rotation/zoning shall recommence in the Southern Senatorial District and followed in that sequence as earlier instituted.
- There is need for further engagements starting with a meeting between the North and Central Senatorial District, this will be followed by a tripartite meeting of all the elders, leaders, opinion molders and stakeholders of the three senatorial districts of the state to consolidate this arrangements and make them broadly acceptable to the people of the state, as a means of ensuring peaceful political coexistence and stability”.
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