Tuesday, 28 January 2020

C'River PDP rolling out the Zamfara Template?

By Simon Utsu 

In the last few days, the polity in Cross River has been unnecessarily charged up, no thanks to the underhand shenanigans(tautology for the sake of emphasis) of its Chief executive, Governor Ben Ayade. By handpicking LG chairmanship candidates without reaching out to critical stakeholders (legislators, party big wigs, the people etc) across the 18 LGAs or recourse to the electoral rule books, the controversial Governor has all but sunk a dagger into the heart of the party; a big fight back is in the offing. 

In all the LGAs, the most unpopular candidates were handpicked without primaries - only on the presumed conditions that they would bow to the whims and fancies of the Governor or were very loyal to him in the past. In Calabar South LGA, one Mensah has been allegedly handpicked ahead of the more popular and exposed Francis Ekeng. Some other sources are saying one Esther Bassey, a domestic aide to the Governor's wife was the choice for Calabar south. Esther or Mensah (who is of Ghanaian origin) were picked without recourse to the PDP's zoning formular, without due consultations with the people or stakeholders and most importantly, without primaries conducted. In Bakassi, a non Cross Riverian with a penchant for thuggery and who is notoriously dishonest, is said to be the preferred candidate. 

I was made to understand that this same ruse played out in ALL the Local Government Areas of the state.

Yours faithfully can authoritatively tell you that once the outcome of the above charade is officially made public, top members of the party (who by the way are in the majority) will head to the courts to challenge the outrageous illegality. And this would likely lead to the PDP not fielding any candidate like in Zamfara last year, giving the APC the much needed leeway to cruise to victory unopposed. 

Looking at this from another perspective, rumors are rife that the loquacious leader, may have concluded plans to dump the PDP anytime soon. The rumour was reinforced yesterday when he was caught on camera beaming from ear to ear endlessly after he came out of a closed door meeting with President Buhari. If true, then the handpicking and imposition of unpopular candidates could just be his way of destabilising the party and leaving it in tatters before he makes the switch. Any which way; head or tail, Governor Benedict Ayade is going to be the biggest loser.