Cross River 2023 Zoning Governorship: The Arrogance Of A Chief Executive

Cross River 2023 Zoning Governorship:..
The Arrogance Of A Chief Executive..

The Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade, has at various occasions recently been unequivocal about his desire to ensure his successor comes from the southern senatorial district.

With the next elections in 2023 appearing as a speck on the political horizon, Ayade has indeed vowed to do everything within his power to bring this to fruition.

In one of the instances when the governor pushed his position, during a phone-in programme on a private radio station, in Calabar, he stated that equity and fairness demands that the next governor of Cross River should come from the south.

He had said, “2023 is the turn of the south, and that was the commitment I gave. I will use every fibre in me to ensure the next governor comes from the southern senatorial district.”

According to him, having insisted on sticking with the political zoning arrangement in the state, in the run up to his re-election, it was incumbent on him to ensure the south takes its turn to produce the governor in 2023.

It is evident that a major plank on which this argument leans is the fact that since the beginning of the fourth republic each of the three senatorial zones of the state up till date has produced a governor that each served two terms.

Cross River 2023

Cross River 2023

Donald Duke from the south served from 1999 to 2007. Liyel Imoke from the central senatorial district took over the mantle of leadership until 2015 when Ayade, from the northern part of the state, collected the baton and is fast approaching the finish line in 2023.

However, with all due respect and while acknowledging the muscle the governor has given to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state following his defection from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), he has no such right to unilaterally decide who the next governor would be or which part of the state such a person should come from.

His position does not hold water as everybody has the right to participate so long as they are qualified.

It is pertinent to clear up a point that even though each of the three senatorial districts in the state has produced a governor uptil this moment, there was no time it was handed to them in reverence of any zoning arrangement.

A cursory look at recent history would show that Duke, Imoke and even Ayade himself battled it out with contestants from other zones to clinch their seats.

Hence, everybody interested in the top job in the state, should go into the field and test their popularity among the people which is in the spirit of true democratic ideals. So the governor’s position that power must go to the south in the next election is not tenable.

Prof Ayade should also take note that the promotion of such rotational policy to produce the governor was an arrangement of the PDP. It must not be copied and pasted in the APC.

Already, his pronouncement is stirring a lot of dust and creating disaffection within the party, especially among the old members.

This clearly is not a good sign as the party cannot afford to approach 2023 with any kind of rancour if it intends to retain power.

Therefore, in the interest of democracy, the governor should jettison the idea of foisting anyone on the state based a perceived zoning arrangement and let the best person for the job step for it.

Ultimately, the entire people of the state must decide who their next leader would be irrespective of which part of the state he or she comes from. .


Cross River 2023

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