Speculations are becoming stronger, that Senator John Owan Enoh currently representing the Cross River Central Senatorial District is beginning to yield to pressures to join the gubernatorial race.
Will he? Will he not? Should he? Should he not join?
Our correspondent, David Odey went into the streets of Calabar to seek the opinion of the people and these were their views:
John Owan Enoh is from the Central Senatorial District and with the dispensation of things in Cross River state, there has been this accord that says when the south take their turn, the central follows and then the north take their turn. The north are taking their turn now. This is their first term in office and it is remaining four years for them to complete their turn. But with the situation of things based on performance, we may not want to look at that arrangement again because there are a lot of things that were expected to take place that are not forthcoming. And if there is any good candidate from any of the senatorial districts, who will bail Cross River state out of the mess, I think we have to toe the line and support the person. John Owan Enoh, right from the university, he has been a lecturer, and a very good one, then he moved to the House of Reps where he represented his people very effectively. And from there he moved to the Senate where he is now. He is performing his duties well in the senate. And he later defected from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) before the recent mass defection from APC to the PDP. But even at that his tenure at the National Assembly has been a very good and effective representation. He has the capacity, the quality to be the governor of the state. So, I don't doubt his capability of leading the state. The only sentiment that will come in is the zoning arrangement between northern, central and southern senatorial districts. But I don't want to look at that. Anywhere a good candidate comes from, we have to give him the support.
The Reverend Amos Ogba:
I believe everything works well for those who believe in God. Owan Enoh, I don't know him very, very well. But in as much as he is an individual, if he believes in the Lord Almighty, there are chances he will scale through. The scripture says not by power, not by might but by the spirit, says the Lord that this mountain will be moved. If God has chosen him, then he will win. But if he has chosen himself, nothing will make him win. However, if APC nominates him as their candidate, as I said earlier, anything can happen if God is on your side, we will be able to vote for him.
The south have ruled for eight years, I am not saying that the present governor is the best. No human being is the best. However, he has not even tried as I expected him to try. But you look at it from this very perspective, southern senatorial zone have ruled for eight years. The central have also ruled for eight years. Now it is the turn of the north and you want them to rule for only one term. Is it proper? This can cause confusion and chaos in the society. So, if they really want somebody to govern Cross River, let them look from the northern senatorial zone.
Elder Solomon Okon:
I don't know what to say for now, because I am hearing that for the first time. I have always known him as a senator. Talking about his ambition for governorship, well I will like to look at it once again and try to evaluate what he has achieved earlier as senator. When we finish with that I can now air my opinion whether he should go for governor or not. When you talk about capacity, capacity is relative. When you talk about capacity politically, it depends on what you have done in the past. Like I have said, maybe the people in the central senatorial district are in a better position to speak more about Owan Enoh, what he has done in his constituency, because for me I don't have an idea of what he has achieved as a senator. That is why I don't have any opinion now about whether he has the capacity to lead the state as governor.
Owan Enoh is in a position to contest the governorship seat. He has every right as a citizen of Cross River state to aspire to that position. But I doubt his chances, because the crisis rocking his party is alarming. I should as well ask him to call on the National Working Committee of his party to resolve the crisis in the party so that he can have an easy ride. He has the capacity to govern. He has touched many people's lives through his empowerment scheme. What he has done in the House of Reps and currently in the Senate can guarantee him a ticket to become governor. To some extent, the present governor has tried by paying salaries regularly. But there is the need for a new governor in 2019. It is all about politics.
Chief Ernest Irek
We have very credible people from the central. John Owan Enoh is a senator representing the central. Nobody can say he is not doing well. That alone is a plus for him.
Elder Maurice Effiwatt
If he wants to contest, he is free. Remember the last time you interviewed me, I said as far as I am concerned, not that I don't respect zoning, not that zoning is not good. It is good and it should be encouraged as much as possible because that is the only way power can rotate equitably. That is how we can achieve fairness and justice in the political engineering. But, merit cannot be sacrificed on the altar of zoning. I am one of the few who believe that above all, we should be looking at merit. The governor of Cross River state can come from anywhere. That does not exclude the north. The next governor of Cross River state in 2019 can come from the south, can come from the central, can come from the north. That has always been my belief and I still believe in that. So, if by tomorrow, Senator John Owan Enoh puts himself forward as an aspirant, then it will be left for the stakeholders and those of us who are eligible to vote in the primaries to decide by weighing him against other aspirants.