Wednesday, 25 May 2022

I Am The Most Electible Of All PDP Aspirants Gershon Bassey Boast Ahead Of Party Primaries

Sen. Geshom Bassey


 Hanna Ijege | 24th March 2022



The Senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District in the red chambers of the National Assembly, Sen. Gershom Bassey has said that he is the most electable of all aspirants in the People's Democratic Party.


Speaking a few days to the gubernatorial primary elections of his party in Calabar, Bassey told Newsmen that he has what it takes to defeat any candidate produced by the All Progressives Congress in the State, he added that having defeated Sen. Prince Otu twice in the field during his senatorial race, it was only normal to defeat him again in the guber race. 


Bassey said amongst all the aspirants in his party he is the only one who has contested against Prince Otu, the APC consensus candidate and has defeated him twice. Stating that he is more popular among the people than Otu and should be given the party's mandate.


Bassey added that he is the only aspirant in his party with statewide acceptability, boasting that the Central senatorial district is behind his aspiration and the Northern district is ready to accept him, therefore he stands a better chance in the field.


"It is clear that I am the most electable candidate of all the people that have come out. Of course, you know that the consensus candidate of the APC is Senator Prince Bassey Otu, my friend. But we also know that the only person that has contested an election with Prince Otu is me and we know the record. Therefore, I am the most electable of all the aspirants in PDP and if PDP wants to win the election in 2023 and wants to execute the agenda, they have for Cross Riverians, then they have to go for the most suitable candidate and that is me. 


So, it is really up to my delegates, it is up to my peers to also come to that determination but I think they have come to that determination so we will see it in the field on Wednesday or Thursday. 



The veteran politician popularly called "The Eagle" said when elected governor of the state there are five key areas he will tackle and security and economic development are top his priority, stating that tourism, healthcare, and governance will all fall in place if the first two are addressed.


In his words: "I have pulled out a five-point agenda and it starts with security. For me, the two key issues today are Security and the Economy. 


Every other thing that we will be talking about, whether we are talking about tourism, healthcare, governance, and all those things tilts into security and economy, in fact, particularly security. If this place is safe, you know today we have rampant kidnapping, recently Cross River State is generally unsafe. 


If we can restore the safety that we had in the Liyel Imoke years, in the Donald Duke years then you would begin to see investment coming in and you will begin to create jobs, better healthcare, improvement in education, environmental sanitation and all that. In essence, we must create an enabling environment for foreign, external and even internal investors. 


The supply and availability of pipe-borne water to Cross Riverians is one of the key things to the economy and development. Water, Roads, sanitation etc are things that create an enabling environment. Like in the Water Board, we have a structure there which we built when we were there, that can give all the water we need in Calabar and Odukpani. We have other systems in Akamkpa, Ugep, Obudu and Ikom. These systems can give you all the water you need. I think it is just a question of proper management of these facilities and you will have water. 


The other day I was reading an article because somebody was trying to run us down, we had to go and dig up what the World Bank and the African Development Bank (ADP) were saying about our Water Board project back in 2011 and so on. They called us "A Benchmark for PPP project in Nigeria" because it was Public-Private Partnership, so we have the formula or the code for making the Water Board work again and we will reveal the code when we get to the office by the grace of God. 


In 1999 there was a protest vote against the injustice by the APP to Eyo Etim Nyong and this led to a protest vote. Do foresee a similar thing this time around if the PDP gives the governorship ticket to the Central senatorial?


This thing is not about Gershom, it is not all about me, it's about winning the 2023 election and the truth is that when you sit down and do the political analysis, it is very clear that if we want to win the 2023 election we must go with the candidate that can win the election. In 1999 for instance, there was an injustice done to Eyo Etim Nyong. Also at our party, there was a tug of war between the Donald group and the Kanu Agabi group, I think that scenario is not what is happening now. 


But there is a danger that if we do not follow the rotation of power amongst the various senatorial districts, that is if PDP leaves the Southern senatorial district and goes to another senatorial district, there could be a backlash because the yearning for power is in the South having waited for 16 years. I think we are growing beyond that. In the South, we have about nine aspirants and still have to pick someone that can win the election. If you zone it to the South, the person will be running against a Southern person from the APC,  so your scenario of the 1999 thing will not apply. In those circumstances, you still have to win the election. You must have someone that can deliver in the South and also have someone that can deliver in the Central and in the North…If you get the governorship wrong, you get a lot of things wrong."