Saturday, 1 February 2020

More trouble for Ayade and PDP as stakeholders in Bakassi rejects Chairmanship candidate

Governor Ben Ayade 

All seems not to be well in Bakassi local government area of Cross River State as the recently affirmed consensus Chairmanship candidate for Bakassi local government area, Iyadim Amboni
Iyadim is said not to be the voice and will of the people. Aggrieved stakeholders have called on the party to put an end to what they describe as the Era of "Monkey work baboon chop." There are strong allegations that Iyadim Iyadim the anointed candidate is being rewarded for antiparty activities, as stories has it that he had in the recently held general elections worked against the party in Bakassi. 

After the recently conducted PDP confirmation of consensus candidates across the 18 LG in preparation for the March 28th local government elections in Cross River State, many Cross Riverians and members of the PDP seem displeased with the outcome of the entire process as party men in nearly all the 18 local government areas in the state are frustrated and complaining because according to them, many of the most qualified candidates were marginalized out of the process.

Typical example of such local governments areas calling for a proper, free and fair process are Abi, Yala, Odukpani, Calabar South, Obubra, Etung and Bakassi local government areas. Although there might be no strong agitations from other local government areas, but there is the general believe that the party didn't choose the right candidates for the elections. 

TDN sampled opinions of some stakeholders and party faithfuls in Bakassi and the revelations was shocking. Most of the stakeholders refused to say anything but only said the process is not satisfactory and crowned with marginalization, while others who opened up pleaded not to be mentioned.

This may not be unconnected with the popular statement that the party is Supreme so they may be afraid of going against the wish of the party. 

Background summary of Bakassi Politics

Bakassi as a Local Government and based on the MOU entered into by stakeholders is divided into two main political blocs - the riverine and the mainland - with ten political wards. 

Our findings revealed that due to the ceding away of parts of Bakassi and the sitting of the Local Government Area in Ikang, stakeholders in Bakassi had drafted a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU on how political positions especially elected offices should be shared between the two blocs. According to sources the MoU stated that the office of the Local Government Chairman should rotate between the mainland and the riverine blocs. 

When asked, what the MoU said about the House of Assembly seat, a stakeholder who pleaded anonymity said he remembered in a particular stakeholders meeting where the governor of Cross River State, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade had compared the political situation of Bakassi to that of Obudu where he said, "the House of Assembly and the Chairman will come from the same bloc since it is their turn". His Excellency's statement was based on the fact that the second term bids of the House of Assembly members was a directive from the National Working Committee of the party.

Grievances and Position

The findings by TDN also revealed that members of the party from the mainland are aggrieved and not satisfied with the  choice of Iyadim as the party's flag bearer, for obvious reasons as gathered by our reporter. 

1. The selection of a candidate from the Riverine area goes against the content of the MoU as agreed by the Bakassi people, as the MOU specifically sanctions rotation of chairmanship position between the two political blocs – Mainland and Riverine and the immediate past Council Chairman of bakassi, Hon. Edisua Usang Iso is of the riverine. So the next chairman should of necessity come from the mainland bloc.

2. It is noteworthy that only one ward in Bakassi has continued to produce both the elected and the appointed in the Local Government. The current PDP Chapter Chairman in Bakassi, Gerald Esin is from Akwa Ward, the same ward has produced a two term Commissioner in the person of Saviour Nyong, the State  Security Adviser, SSA (South) to the Governor, Ani Esin is from Akwa, the DG Investment Promotion, Rosemary Tutu Ekeng is also from Akwa and now the anointed chairmanship candidate of the party, Iyadim Iyadim is also from Akwa. Before now, this same Akwa Ward had produced two Chairmen of Council. 

3. Another source told TDN that he was surprised that the same Iyadim who was said to have worked against the party in the recently held general elections is now being compensated for anti-party activities. The source is quoted to have said, "In the last gubernatorial polls, His Excellency had declared "Operation Show Your Votes". He stated strongly that only those who worked for the victory of the party in their various locations would be rewarded. Despite this directive of His Excellency, Iyadim and his group who were hell bent on disgracing the party in Bakassi because they hated the House of Assembly candidate, have been handsomely rewarded by the present government". He said. 

"This fraudulent art deliberately employed to frustrate the party was salvaged by the Ikang people. In other words, the Ikang bloc was solely behind the success of the party in Bakassi Local Government. All these were reported and confirmed by the party hierarchy in the state. It is however very surprising and appalling that Iyadim who, prior to the said elections, was appointed the Chairman of Security Committee for Bakassi and who, by the party strategy, was to take the lead in ensuring the party's success in Bakassi rather worked against the party. It is, to say the least, very unfortunate that it is this same person that the party is fronting as its chairmanship candidate. Who knows what he will do this time? It tends to connote that the party is rewarding or encouraging anti-party activities.

Confirming the position of other sources,  a former councillor from one of the wards in the mainland bloc added that, "to make matter worst, the Iyadim group went ahead to choose a vice chairmanship candidate, Mrs Lawrencia Ita for the Ikang bloc. This is not only an affront but an insult on the sensibility of the Ikang people. There may be need to straighten records here. Mrs Lawrencia Ita is not known politically in Bakassi. Even if she was a politician from Bakassi LGA, what was the votes she got for the party in the last elections.

The former lawmaker maintained that politics itself is a game of number and the Mainland (Ikang) bloc has the voting strength as far as Bakassi politics is concerned. We fear that if the rotation principle as enshrined in the MOU is not maintained, the Ikang people may be forced to believe that this injustice is orchestrated against the party's victory. Succinctly put, it is the turn of the mainland bloc to produce the Chairman of Bakassi".

According to him, they are appealing to the leadership of the party to look into the matter and reconsider their stands and ensure the marginalization is corrected, though he stated that they are still and will remain loyal members of the party despite their grievances. 

"Therefore, we strongly appeal to the party leadership to please do the needful without delay and in the best interest of the party. We dare to conclude that anything contrary to our genuine demand will certainly not be in the interest of the party. We hope the party will accept in good faith whatever will be the consequences of its decision. 
We wish to state categorically that as loyal party men and women, our feelings have been injured. This notwithstanding, our loyalty to His Excellency and indeed our party leadership remains intact and without doubt." He concluded.