Thursday, 21 October 2021

South South Zonal States Support the creation of a special revenue status for C'River


The Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission recently commenced zonal hearings across the country in line with its constitutional mandate to "review revenue allocation formula and principles from time to time to conform with changing realities." 

The focus of the current hearings, as provided by the Commission, is on vertical allocation which focuses on the revenue sharing formula strictly between the 3 tiers of the executive, namely, Federal, State, & Local Government authorities. The current formula allocates approximately 52.68% of revenues to the Federal Government, 26.72% to the states, and 20.60% to Local Government councils.

Prior to the commencement of the South South Zonal hearings, the six states of the zone made a decision to present a joint communique to address the situation as it concerns the zone. Ahead of the presentation of the joint resolution, His Excellency Senator Professor Ben Ayade established a committee to elucidate the position of Cross River State, with a proposition to the other zonal states for the inclusion of a special status for the State. The crux for the demand of this special status for the State is the ceding of its oil wells to Cameroun, a decision that was made without the input or consent of the citizens of the State. 

The mandate for negotiating and lobbying for the position of Cross River State among the states of the Zone fell to the State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr who after a series of engagements and lobbying convinced the other 5 states of the S/S zone to support the CRS position. 

At the zonal hearing, the position presented by the South South zone included a review of the vertical allocation formula to 35% for the Federal Government, 42% to the States, & 23% to the Local Government Councils; and the creation of a special status for Cross River State with the establishment of 1.5% of the Federation Account allocated to Cross River monthly.

Speaking on the proposed special status, Mr Asuquo Ekpenyong Jr stated that "The implementation of a special status of 1.5% funding from the Federation accounts for Cross River State is hardly enough, but will be the commencement on the long road to adequately compensate the good people of Cross River State for the injustice meted out by previous administrations in the ceding of Bakassi.

The loss of littoral status and consequent loss of 13% derivation earning status was an insult on an injury that should have been resisted vehemently by previous administrations. The Senator Professor Ben Ayade administration is resolute in its determination to ensure that justice is not just done but seen to be manifestly done as far as this issue is concerned."

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Orok Duke's Trainee Wins Gold Medal for C'River Amidst Bad Blood From Govt

RT. HON OROK OTU DUKE'S Table Tennis trainee, Idorenyin Udoka has won the gold medal for Cross River State at National youth games under 15 category in Illorin, kwara state. Recall that she was recently awarded, the "Axari Hotel Ambassador",when she emerged as the National Junior Champion in the girls category,earlier this year.

This comes against the backdrop of several administrative witchhunting, Jealousy and antagonism by the Sports Commission, where Governor Ayade has denied his involvement in the entire imbroglio.

You could recall that the state Table Tennis complex was sealed two weeks to the Olympics games and Gewo games. This act was linked to Chief Duke's refusal to defect to APC.

The height of the misdemeanors was the Abuja Table Tennis Elections drama as one Ekanem Ekpenyong surfaced with a letters stopping Orok Duke's accreditation to stand elections as he claimed the instruction was from the governor. The governor had hitherto denied links to such act.

However, Orok as the proprietor of Canaan City Table Tennis club is building and Olympic standard training facilities after the government administrative bottleneck.

Regrettably the state has lost many athletes to other countries and state that were groomed by Orok Duke after all hanky-Panky politics that have rubbed on with their fortune.

Nevertheless, Chief Duke remitted money to the CRS TT team, moved them from the Ilorin Camp to a befitting Hotel and supported them to win the Gold medal in the female category for CRS.

According to Duke, "what is going on, is a little irritation and shall pass away too. I have managed to groom and consolidate table tennis for over 33 years now and no disruption from ignorant people will be allowed to reverse that achievement. Governments have come and gone and the Table Tennis game has continued to thrive. We are to insist and ensure that this trend continues, regardless."

Cross Riverians are indeed grateful for this latest feat welding Miss Idorenyin Udoaka.

Francis Etang.
Biase Plantation
Km 78, Cal/Ikom

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Finally 2face Baby Mama Pero Breaks Silence over Annie's accusation

2Face Idibia's baby mama Pero speaks on her involvement in his rumoured marriage crisis

Pero Adeniyi, one of 2Face Idibia's baby mamas and the alleged third party in his marriage has for the first time given her side of the story.

The United States of America mother of three in an exclusive chat with Stella Dimoko Korkus' Blog, SDK, said the last time she saw the music star was about four months ago.

"I had not even spoken to him for about four months before I was woken up with calls to go and see I am trending online because Annie mentioned that he had run off to stay with me in America,"she said.

"We don't really talk and we are not friends. It is because of this same reason that I have stayed away from him."

She also went on to clear the air about a viral video where two ladies referred to her as the music star's first wife.

"Those two Ladies in the video, one of them is Tuface's cousin and they know the truth…they wonder why I have been on my lane and I keep getting dragged into Annie's marital drama,"she said.

"They are the only ones who can explain why they said what they said in the video. I am at peace with everyone. I have three kids for their brother so visiting me when i am in the Country should not be an issue or make headlines."

I cannot answer why they made the video and posted it. I was upset at first but then I had to let go, I am a happy person and have no time to waste on anger of any kind."

When asked why Annie mentioned her name in the now-famous leaked audio recording, Pero expressed shock at the movie star's decision.

"Help me ask Her why she dragged me into her marital drama when she knows well that i do not have contact with her husband? she knows,"she said.

"Why am I her easy target to gain sympathy online? why try to make me responsible if your marriage is failing? I dare her to bring out any evidence of me and Tuface together as a couple? There is even no relationship at all."

Annie's marriage to the music icon has made the headlines for weeks now.

In September, the actress called out her husband over his 'suspicious' relationship with Pero.
She also accused his family of not loving and caring about her since their marriage.

A few weeks later a leaked audio taping of the movie star surfaced where she threatened fire and brimstone.
2Face later released a statement asking the public to back off his marital issues.

Friday, 15 October 2021

Anambra Govt Launch Website to carter for needs of PLWD

Ukpa Ewa | 14 Oct. 2021

AWKA: As part of its commitment to not only run an all inclusive government but ensure those living with disabilities are adequately provided for, the Anambra State government has launched a website to Carter for the needs of people living with disabilities in the state. 

The website which is domesticated with the Office of the Governor on Disability Matters (OGDM), was widely built with many content and navigation made visible to screen readers with haptic sensors with features such as : live documentary, achievement of the OGDM office, disability rights law, blog session, gallery, user registration portal, department session among others. The site is also designed with white fonts on dark background for easy visibility for low visually impaired people. 

Addressing Journalist in Awka, the Special Adviser on Disability Matters Barr. Chuks Ezewuzie said the website was the first of its kind set up to get information about activities of the present administration for the disability community.

He acknowledged that Information Communication Technology (ICT) was the future world as any office not connected to the internet was an office left behind as the world was evolving on a fast pace.

Barr. Exewuzie however called on Ministries, Departments and  Agencies     (MDA'S) to establish their presence on-line for wider reach to sustain Governor Governor Willie Obiano vision.

In his remarks, the head of ICT Office of the Governor on Disability Matters and ODGM Website developer Mr. Ugonna Bonaventure Umeokwonna, visually impaired described the website platform as a heavy site built with optimised accessibility for persons with disability in mind.

Ugonna Umeokwonna further urged people to visit the website for information and activities about disability community.

In attendance was the Special Assistant (SA) to the Governor on Sign Language Communication Mr. Collins Joseph and Executive Assistant (EA) to the Governor on disability services Mr. Ugochukwu Okeke. 

Pass Anti- open grazing Law - PDP group calls out Cross River Assembly

A group known as the PDP Renaissance group has called on the Cross River State House of Assembly to as a matter of urgency pass the Anti-Open Grazing law, noting with dismay that as at Today, Cross River State is still amongst the remaining three states in the Southern region of the country whose Houses of Assembly are yet to deliberate or pass the Anti-Open Grazing Law. 

The group who made this known in a communique released at the end of an extraordinary meeting held in Calabar on the 14th of October 2021berated the state house of Assembly for the delay in banning open grazing in the state, stating that fourteen out of Seventeen traditional APC states have already implemented the decision of the Southern Governors Forum to ban open grazing in their domains. It wondered why Cross River is silent, while the plague of Killer Herdsmen draws close to the state's borders. 

It therefore, called on the Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly and the entire 25 legislative members to as a matter of urgent public interest consider and pass the Anti-Open grazing law as recommended by the Southern Governors Forum. 

The communique reads in part:

"...The group also notes with utter dismay, that as at Today, Cross River is still amongst the remaining three Southern states, whose Houses of Assembly are yet to consider or pass the Anti-Open grazing law.

Fourteen States (Traditional APC states inclusive) out of Seventeen Southern States have already implemented the decision of The Southern Governors Forum on the ban on open grazing in their domains, yet Cross River is silent, while the plague of Killer Herdsmen draws close to our borders.

The Group therefore calls on the Cross River House of Assembly to as a matter of urgency, Join the Committee of other Southern states to Domesticate the Anti- Open grazing Law in the interest of regional security."

Recall that recently the social media was littered with videos, pictures and several contents of Cross Riverians of Ikom extraction who were beaten by men of the Nigerian Army for allegedly trying to defend their crops from destruction by cattle.

The communique which has about 8 points also looked at sundry issues bordering governance, politics and the recent Paris trip embarked upon by the governor, some members of the state executive council, House of Assembly and the 18 Local Government Area chairmen reads in full below:


Rising from an extraordinary meeting of the group held on October 14th 2021 in Calabar,Cross River State to examine the State of State and the high level mis- governance being perpetrated in the State, we the members of the PDP Renaissance group, after an exhaustive session came up with the following observations:

1- That the group condemns the deliberate attempt by Cross River State Governor, to continually starve Senior citizens, who spent a greater part of their productive lives in service of the state, only to be subjected to all manner of inhuman treatment through the non- payment of pensions and gratuity to deserving Statesmen. We are also most disturbed over the None implementation of the yearly increment of salaries of civil servants through steps, as there exists a new modus of Selective payments of gratuities since 2014.

The None implementation of promotion even after issuing letters of same to workers and the Unilateral deductions from workers salaries in the name of compulsory payment for laptop computers and other forms Sharp practices in the once reformed civil service is also worrisome.
The Group therefore calls on Government to ensure speedy resolution of all pending issues with Organized labor to avoid total collapse of the state structures.

2-That the group frowns at the continued absence of Cross River State Governor BEN Ayade from the committee of The Southern Governor's Forum which has no doubt alienated the State from the various Regional integration processes and interests,especially as it concerns the very teething issues of VAT control, The Southern Agenda to produce The next President come 2023 and the Anti-open grazing Law, culminating into the rising fear of insecurity of Cross Riverians.
The Governor should be reminded, that by simple geography, Cross River is and will remain a veritable part of Southern Nigeria,and therefore calls on Governor Ayade to retrace His steps, by reintegrating Cross River in solidarity with other Southern States in the common interest of the State and the Region in general.

3-The group also notes with utter dismay,that as at Today, Cross River is still amongst the remaining three Southern states, whose Houses of Assembly are yet to consider or pass the Anti-Open grazing law.

Fourteen States (Traditional APC states inclusive) out of Seventeen Southern States have already implemented the decision of The Southern Governors Forum on the ban on open grazing in their domains, yet Cross River is silent, while the plague of Killer Herdsmen draws close to our borders.

The Group therefore calls on the Cross River House of Assembly to as a matter of urgency, Join the Committee of other Southern states to Domesticate the Anti- Open grazing Law in the interest of regional security.

4-The group further notes,The grand plan by the Cross River State Government, to sell over forty Government-owned assets including the Cross River garment factory, the cocoa processing plant and others,to its cronies and proxies in the name of privatization.
The Governor should know, that we have copious evidence of this purported plan, especially as it concerns the ownership of the ongoing Obudu International hospital, the Canadian school, the teachers Continued training Institute in Biase, which were built with tax payers money and the clandestine attempt to convert the people's assets to personal properties.
The group therefore, places a ' caveat emptor' on vulnerable,unsuspecting members of the public and conies alike, to steer clear from any transaction with Criss River State Government regarding the sale of its assets as any one or group of individuals will be doing so at their own peril.

5-The PDP Renaissance group also calls on the State Governor, to task Himself on alternative ways of generating revenue for the State,rather than embarking on some futile overseas trips that have no direct bearing on the economy of the state,as Cross River CAN NOT be seen to stand in isolation in the current debate, championed by mostly Southern Governors,on who should control value Added Tax otherwise known as VAT.

7-The Group terms as unfortunate, the desperate attempt by Government to silence the voice of opposition in the State,as seen in the stoppage of Statutory allowances of members of the PDP in The Cross River House of Assembly and The pension allowances of Former Governor's and their Deputies in The PDP coupled with the continued security threats to members of the opposition Party.
We hereby wish to bring to note, that we shall employ all legitimate means to ensure the safety and security of our members and indeed all Cross Riverians as relevant security agencies have been duly Notified.

8-While we await the determination of the court on the issues bordering on the legality of defection of The Governor and some members of the Cross River House of Assembly to the APC, we call on our teaming supporters across the state, to remain calm in the face of all the provocations by Government and it's cohorts,as we assure them that "The Egyptians you see today, we shall see them no more" come 2023.

Long live the PDP Renaissance Group!
Long live The People's Democratic Party!!
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Thursday, 14 October 2021

President Mohammadu Buhari, Hon.Minister Godswill Akpabio and Pastor Efiong Akwa: The Trinity That rescued N.D.D.C


The much heralded Forensic Audit'' of the Niger Delta Development Commission, has come and gone and we look forward to a better formatted future for the generality of the Niger-Delta citizens. It is ''Eureka'' to all of us

I deliberately, used the word, ''Trinity'', because it best captures the egg or apple metaphor that succinctly explains the extant scenario. Trinity, is essentially a state of being three or a set of three. This group of three, may also, be called, ''Triad, Trine or Trio.'' I will try to discuss the recent success within and outside the pale of Christian orthodoxy and dogma. The Spiritual essence of the NDDC can be underlined and justified by monotheism and polytheism. Even the African cosmology accepts and appreciates; an understanding that Africans worship one Supreme Being and venerate ancestors as intermediaries to the one Supreme Being, without clear roles being ascribed to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit (Jele S. Manganyi, Johan Buitendag,2013). In this context, we should lay credence and emphasis on the Three Protagonists, whose determination, gumption and dynamism steered the NDDC ship towards the Success River.

The Honourable Minister for Niger-Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had sought to drain the murky swamp of sleaze he discovered in NDDC, President Buhari had benevolently acceded and granted a carte blanche access and an ally cum competent professional, was found in the person of Pastor Efiong Akwa(and his dynamic team) – they were three, who made a success of the task. That is my Trinity – Mr President, The Hon. Minister and The Interim Administrator.

When Senator Akpabio set out to make a success of this particular assignment, he was aware that failure would not only tarnish his enviable record in public service, but would further delay and frustrate the hopes and wishes of the people of our region; and dash the desire of Mr President to turn around our dwindling fortunes and bequeath a ''tabula rasa'' (clean slate) to our people to rewrite their story. A story of hope, peace and wealth.

It is usually admonished that a leader, ''has to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.'' In delivering this assignment, the Trinity had to endure taunts, travel to the swamps and through the creeks (amid the sharks and crocodiles) and engage all the stakeholders to achieve success. Archimedes had said: '' Give me a fulcrum, and I shall move the world. Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.'' And that has always been the Hon. Minister's mantra.

Rosalynn Carter, reiterates further, that: ''A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be.'' Now that we have arrived at the new dawn, despite the initial expression of apathy, expression of misgivings and general reticence. And we thank the Almighty God for His Abiding Grace.

Thank you President Mohammadu Buhari, for giving Senator Akpabio and Pastor Efiong Akwa the opportunity to continue to serve Nigeria. Like Oliver Twist, ''we want some more.'' As we in the Niger-Delta region are wont to adopt, ''Eureka'' as a refrain, we may be begging him, ceteris paribus, to move on to a higher assignment. The future is bright.

'' The whistling of the night wind,
Heralded the onset of an uncommon glow,
Like the fire flies of moons ago,
The shooting star never returns home.''(Dances on the Plains,2014)

Rt. Hon (Chief) Orok Otu Duke (JP)
(Niger Delta Delegate to the 2014 CONFAB, Abuja)
(2 Term Deputy Speaker/4th Term Member, CRHA)

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Sports Admin Election: C'River lost 36 out of 36 Sports, Duke Fingers Govt, says Ready for Showdown

The immediate past Chairman of Cross River State Sports Commission and Chair of Canaan Table Tennis Association, Chief Orok Otu Duke, has alleged that government of Cross River State must be held responsible for the state's inability to secure any seat at the recently concluded Sporting Federations Election. 

Duke disclosed this on Friday in Calabar the state capital at the Arrival Wing of the Margaret Ekpo International Airport during an interview with newsmen where he further alleged that members of the State Sport Commission are bent on destroying sport.

'So, all of a sudden we saw a commissioner in the venue with a letter from the Governor, purportedly there to make sure I don't represent Cross River state, that they would rather score 36:0 than me being there. Then we asked, 'Why are you here with a letter?'

'Yes, for 33 years I have been chairman of Table Tennis, 3 days before then, Ekanem Ekpenyong was sworn in as a chairman of Basketball. He surfaced with a letter… of cause you know me, I stepped aside and called the governor, I said, 'Your Excellency, I have seen you said they should stop me…? He said I know nothing about it, I am not that petty.'

'But since the Governor formally told me he had no hand in it. That means there's a group of misnomers calling themselves, administrators who are here, riding roughshod on the sports', he added.

While reacting to Ekanem Ekpenyong's position that Duke did not follow the due process of being nominated by the State Government, Duke throwing more light by making reference to the constitution said, 'There is no place there the government is indicated because we are now like Football Association, government cannot touch us. Government cannot take part in any sport federation that has a constitution. That's how ignorant the people... they know nothing about sports.

'Okay, now 36 out of 36 they have lost, is that progress? What is happening to Cross River state?
C'River 2023: The Calabar/Ogoja Accord of 1980 and Matters Arising



A Southern Senatorial District Agenda through the eye of Calabar/Agoja 1980 Accord

It is no longer news that Cross River State is heading to 2023 general elections with different agitations and political arguments. Agitations rising from where the gubernatorial candidate should come from and who that or those candidates should or must be.

For his article let me focus on the first point of the agitation, which is where the gubernatorial candidate should or must come from.

1. The state has witnessed relative political peace since the inception of democracy in the country

 During the 1979 democratic era, the state thought it was the right time to set a path that will ensure fairness, equity and even development for all political interests within the state.

These led to political leaders and elders' decisions to produce a trans-generational accord that can accommodate future interest and geo-political interest that may be birthed in the near and far future.

The accord was to ensure that every political interest is protected irrespective of party platforms. It was also highlighted in the accord, that no senatorial district is to hold a consecutive position between an incumbent and immediate past political tenor.
The accord did guarantee that at all times, the state must ensure that there must be even development between all interests and equal representation by all; as seen in the federal government's federal character doctrine.

2. Rotation of power back to the South Agitation.

Rising from the principle of fairness as enshrined in the accord which is the precursor to our democratic process, those with the argument that power must not come to the south after sixteen years of waiting on the sideline, should grant us a commitment that they will equally support a candidate from the Northern senatorial district come 2023. It is only then will those of us from the Southern senatorial district drop our back to the south legitimate agitations.

3. We have a legitimate agitation not because it is our turn to lead

Our agitation is legitimate because it is the only fair and equitable thing to do; which our Governor in his pre and post-election back in 2019 acknowledged the fact that the only fair thing to do come 2023 is for power to return to the Southern senatorial district.

4. Sowing disunity in the Southern Senatorial District.

Those crying that the southern senatorial district is experiencing some form of infighting and lack of unity are merely "giving a dog a bad name and hang it" the truth Is; this is a far cry from the reality of the on the ground.
Kin political observers will educate everyone that the southern senatorial district remains the most peaceful senatorial district in Cross River State.
From green lands of Biase to the creeks of Bakassi; there are no single record of war or any form of disputes for over six hundred years.

The Efik, qua and Efut have lived together in peace, love and harmony. To even further shame those preaching disunity amongst the southern senatorial district, you can hardly find a true Efik man or woman who is not either related to Efut and Qua by bloodline or marriage.
So therefore, for us from the South, elections do not divide us, it rather brings us together.

5. The question of who becomes Governor from the southern senatorial district.

The Southern senatorial district is blessed with both leaders who were born to lead and those who were taught to lead. We have never been bereft of quality leaders. the 2023 general election will be a critical election for the state. Hence the need for a leader who is proof-ready to advance the course of the state.
An ideal southern candidate must first have the ability to further strengthen the bond of love and unity between all ethnic groups domicile in the senatorial district. He or she must galvanize the strengths of the Efik, Qua and Efut. 

Below are the true copies of the Calabar – Ogoja Accord. 

Victor Ekpo
A Public Affairs Analyst
& Founder  SAM

Friday, 8 October 2021

Trouble C'River APC as Party Bigwigs Threaten to Defect to PDP

There are serious indications that all is not well with the ruling All Progressives Congress in Cross River State as there's a grave revelation that top party men are said to be at the verge of leaving the party. The Daily News learnt. 

A source close to the story has it that the stakeholders are not happy with the choice of zoning the party's state chairmanship position to Yala Local Government Area as it became obvious that the governor was bent on making his hatchet man, Alphonsus Eba a Party State Chairman at all cost. The zoning of the Chairmanship slot to Yala is against the popular opinion of Ogoja. 

It was revealed that stakeholders had unanimously agreed that the office be zoned to Ogoja for obvious reasons of power and political balance since Yala who shares the same Federal Constituency with Ogoja has more government presence than Ogoja in terms of human capacity (appointment and elective offices). "House of Representatives may likely go to Yala, Chairman of SUBEB is also from Yala, Chairman of Internal Revenue Services is an Yala man, the state Auditor General and even the 
VC of  UNICROSS are all from Yala." Our source informed. 

"The person who has been prepared for that office since 2020, in fact it was one of the conditions for his defection, he is the current Senior Special Adviser, Political Affairs, Chief Peter Ojie. He has been the longest serving party official in Nigeria, he has been Deputy Chairman of PDP in Cross River State for 12 years and acting Chairman at a point before he was finally made a Commissioner by Sen. Liyel Imoke. 

He has experience, very organized, composed, he was able to mange the recent ward and chapter congresses with minimal crisis.

Everything was set to ensure he is made the party Chairman. All the elite in the likes of Eyo Etim Nyong, Alex Egbona, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Ita-Giwa, Maurice Effiwat said they are all comfortable with him due to his capacity." The source continued

But to the surprise and dismay of everybody the governor turned his back on stakeholders to chat a new course alien to stakeholders.

This development has brought in a serious crack in the APC as party bigwigs in the likes of Owan Enoh, Alex Egbona, Usani Usani, Eyo Etim Nyong, Victor Ndoma-Egba, Ita-Giwa, Maurice Effiwat etc are at the verge of leaving the party. An insider gist has it that they have given the governor an ultimatum of 5 days to reverse his decision or they abandon the party for him.

According to the story, "...Stakeholders had agreed to give the governor the freehand to nominate the party's Chairman while the remaining state officers will be shared amongst stakeholders, but they never in their wildest dream believed Ayade will think of bringing in Alphonsus Eba, not after all that happened in PDP with the same Eba....

...Remember it was because of this same Eba that Ayade left PDP, he scattered everything for Ayade and now that APC wants to help stabilise him, Okadigbo don go touch that stone again and over night, Ayade changed his mind towards his direction.

...they are some things we can't report, but truth is that many people have left the party, as I speak to you now Ogoja is empty. Alex is seriously being begged to stay in the party, imagine the governor handing over the party's structure in Abi to Betta Edu as against Alex Egbona. Who is Betta compared to Alex? If John Gaul couldn't win Alex is it Betta that will win him? This man is putting us all in a mess." The source concluded.

In a recent development, leadership of the party in the state had issued a statement disassociating itself from the micro zoning of offices to LGA. According to the statement signed by the acting Publicity Secretary, Pastor Bassey Ita, the state chairman, Matthew Mbu Jr didn't authorize the micro zoning as such stakeholders should remain calm and disregard the said proposed zoning.

The letter reads in part: "In the light of the development,the State Caretaker Committee wishes to dissociate from the exercise.

"The report of the Zoning Committee recently submitted to the party is still being reviewed by the leadership and will soon come up with a ratified arrangement on the exercise.

"The leadership has a well intended plan to sustain the existing stable climate within the party by involving all interests in the party administration and will therefore not compromise this position.

"Stakeholders are to therefore disregard whatever is done in the guise of zoning to local government chapters which is without due authorization by the leadership."
PDP C'River Congress, Why Every Voter Should be Worried


It is no longer news that the People's Democratic Party just concluded their state congress; setting the roadmap for the party's readiness for the forthcoming general elections.

Of course, there were identifiable portholes in processes of the said congress; typically congresses in a political setting is to elect leaders to filled political offices as recognized by the said party's constitution.
Congress offers political parties the opportunity of institutionalizing democracy within the party system.
The aftermath of the People's Democratic Party just concluded congress is indicative of a greater departure from the true democratic tenets.

Congresses also offer political parties the opportunity to demonstrate to the general public their readiness and willingness to abide by the principles of true democracy.

Keen observers will agree that the PDP congress was just a mere charade.
A charade show put together by godfathers just to unveil their puppets.
How can a party promise automatic tickets to all candidates seeking to occupy positions in the party, giving out direct threats to any perceived stubborn members; media reports have it that even the elected state chairman of the party, two weeks to the congress called and accused a fellow aspirant to the office of the state chairman; as being too stubborn. Of course; the said aspirant's stepping down came just after the rebuke with further promise of juicy contracts.

One cannot forget in a hurry how the elected chairman of the PDP, who just returned to the party; after he failed to secure automatic ticket for the post of the state chairman of the strongest and biggest political party in the state.
Let's we forget, the current state chairman of the People's Democratic Party left another political party in the state, just because other members aspiring to the same office he was interested in; refused to step down for him to be the sole candidate.
Can the process that birthed the chairman of the party be termed as a Democratic process?

Can the people of Cross River State trust the People's Democratic Party with their votes come 2023? It is a general opinion within political circles that the party has lost its glory in the state. The general public now sees the PDP as a gathering of hungry political godfathers; only interested in sharing the Commonwealth of the state between themselves, whilst building up castles for their generations.
The people are sick and tired of having old wine in old bottles.

Cross Riverians deserves a new political paradigm shift, that can ensure a better life for the generality of citizens.
Cross River State, as a state cannot afford to play bad politics again, the state must realign to the center.
Our glorious days came when we were better aligned with the center. The failure of the People's Democratic Party in the state is of epic proportions, sixteen years of growth in just one sector of the state's economy. Where do we go from here as a people and as a state?

The answer lies in what we do now; as we approach the 2023 general elections.

Anselm Agbo, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja