Cross River State assembly is poised for major intrigues as the race for principal officers has begun, after victories at the polls.
Between May 1999 till date, Cross River House of Assembly had seven different persons piloting the affairs of the 25 member state assembly. The PDP took all the seats during the election.
With the exit of its current speaker, Mr John Gaul who aspired but failed to get a seat in the National Assembly, it paves way for a new helmsman to run its affairs as the battle to replace the outgoing speaker thickens.
A look at its composition shows new entrants into the legislative house across Cross River North and Central Senatorial Districts. Apart from Ikom and Obudu state constituencies where its members died before the 2019 polls, Yala II and Obanliku1 and Abi State constituencies fielded new candidates who emerged victorious at the March 9th polls.
In the 8thState Assembly, its speaker emerged from the Cross River Central. According to Elder Ntufam John Okon its former chairman, the party is known for equity, justice and fairness.
The race would nonetheless be narrowed to the Central Senatorial District where ranking members whose return tickets were affirmed during the 9th March polls.
Key figures likely to emerge are Hon. Eteng Williams from Yakurr I constituency, Okpechi F. G from Obubra I constituency, Hilary Bisong and a female legislator, Dr. Itam Abang from Boki I and II state constituencies respectively.
Abang throws up the possibility of the assembly birthing its first female speaker. In her first foray into the legislative business, she has been vocal in articulating pro people's bills. It may jolt her for a historic feat whenever the 9th state assembly is inaugurated.
Lobbyists have begun a search for an accord across all divides to find a melting point or forge alliances capable of propelling egg heads in the mould of ranking members to stir the 9th assembly affairs.
Interestingly, lobbying often oils the wheels of any legislative mechanism for personal or aggregated benefit of the house. Experience and ability to stand tall in the face of the intimidating disposition of the executive towards CRHA may be one of the determining factors in choosing a speaker for the House.