Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State, Senator John Owan Enoh has said his campaign will be issue-based and that the governorship election in the state would be a keen contest between the candidates.
This is coming just as the chairman of the NDDC, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba has stated that the emergence of Senator John Owan Enoh was divine.
Owan Enoh spoke in Calabar on Saturday during the inauguration of two governorship campaign offices.
“Our campaign is going to be an issue-based campaign. We are going to expose Cross Riverians and the electorate to the bad this administration has represented and for every of that bad we are going to provide an alternative.
“We think things should be better. The slogan of our campaign is better days are possible again. That is because we have had better days in the past and that this is not what Cross River is and we will make Cross Riverians to appreciate and understand that fact.
“We've just started the campaign by inaugurating these offices. A stakeholders' meeting to set the ball rolling follows. I am very glad that we have started this. The death of our chairman slowed us down a bit. In fairness to him, we have to give him honour.
“We have started today and activities are going to be non-stop and Cross Riverians are going to be given an alternative platform that APC is prepared to respond to the nonsense that the state has witnessed in the last three and half years,” he said.
Responding to a question on the claim by Governor Ben Ayade that his re-election was a foregone conclusion because opposition was non -existent in the state, the governorship candidate said there would be keen contest for all elective positions in the state.
“The governor has no reason to campaign because he has nothing to show for his three and half years in office,” he said.
According to him, “the APC has a candidate for every constituency in Cross River State. That will be the first time this would happen since 1999. In 2019, there will be election in Cross River State. We have started a movement to reclaim Cross River State. APC is the only platform that can deliver change. Better days are possible again.
“Everybody is waiting for the state to be rescued from the bad governance we have witnessed in the last three and half years in the state. I am more than prepared to respond to what Cross Riverians are yearning for.”
On whether he was not worried about the factions in the party, he said “We have only one candidate for every election; one candidate for governorship, three senatorial candidates, eight House of Reps candidates and 25 House Assembly candidates.”
Also speaking, the party's candidate for the Central Senatorial District in the 2019 election and chairman of NDDC , Senator Victor Ndoma Egba, apologised for what he described as the string of losses the state had suffered since 1999 when PDP began to govern the state until when he left the party and joined APC. Some of the losses he listed include the loss of Bakassi to Cameroon, the loss of 76 oil wells to Akwa Ibom, the loss of the hosting right of the national sports festival among others.
On what APC had brought to the state, he said “In spite of the 28,000 votes given to President Muhammadu Buhari by the state during the presidential election in 2015, he has appointed several indigenes of the state into key positions.”
He also said “Owan Enoh's governorship race was God's own project because God's hand is in it.”
He called on all APC members in the state to be united in ensuring all APC candidates for the various elective positions were elected in 2019.
Ndoma Egba also condemned the allegations that youths in the state were being armed to cause mayhem during the forthcoming election.
“It will be sad if our youths are being militarised. Those arming them, I hope they are also arming their children. If they are not arming their children but they are arming other people's children, that is very unfair. And election shouldn't be warfare. It is a contest and we have to ensure we go into the election in peace,” he said.
National Vice Chairman, south south of the party, Hilliard Etta, said members of the party who were parading themselves as candidates of the party risked being arrested by law enforcement agents since their action amounted to impersonation.
“There is impersonation across board. This must be resisted. We are going to take it up with the law enforcement agencies. However, the reconciliation committee will be here in Cross River so those who are aggrieved should avail themselves of the opportunity to air their grievances,” he said.