Godwin AJOM, Calabar
The Cross River Southern Senatorial District candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ntufam Ekpo Okon has urged the people of the senatorial district to worry more about the person that will better govern Bayelsa State, rather than dissipate energy on zoning issues.
Ekpo said in an interview in Calabar that his people needed to arm themselves with their voter’s card and be ready to vote with their conscience when the time comes.
“How we will get it right is for us to vote our conscience. It is because of what we have experienced, that people now think, I want my own brother to be president, it has become such that you cannot get anything unless it is your own turn, and it is unfortunate.
“Go to the local government, people are talking about ‘our turn’, when it comes to chairmanship in the states, people are talking about ‘our turn’ for governorship, in Nigeria, it is ‘our turn’, and it is a shame.
“Nobody is looking at the quality that is being presented as long as it is your person and your turn, it doesn’t matter whether he has something to offer or not. I told somebody something; my state here, I feel very ashamed. I have been part of the political arrangements where there are commissions that handle public service structures in Cross River, the civil service commission, the local government service commission and the universal primary education board.
“What we used to know here is ; we have three senatorial districts, you will find a situation where the chairman of the civil service commission will come from one senatorial district and the other two commissions will be headed by qualified individuals from the two other senatorial districts.
“During the time of Donald Duke, Chief Brown Ekpong from the north was the chairman of the civil service commission, Dr. Sandy Onor from the central was the chairman local government service commission and Mrs Margaret Ntui from the south was the chairman of SUBEB. But today, we have a governor who will localize it and think that is a way of showing how much you care for your people.
“So the Local Government service commission chairman comes from Ogoja, the SUBEB chairman comes from Yala and then the local government service commission chairman comes from Obudu, it is a shame. Those are the things that bring the agitations of ‘we need our own turn’. That is nepotism.
“Corruption goes beyond stealing money. When you exhibit nepotism, it is corruption and that is the failure of President Buhari., who will decide to appoint all security architecture leaders from the north and then at the end of the day, this is what we have. We have never had insecurity at this level.”
The former PDP candidate also spoke on his role during the just concluded primary election of the party, saying he never campaigned for the governorship candidate inside the hall, as he was not a delegate and never gained access to the venue of the election.
“I was never a delegate, so I didn’t enter the hall. Those who voted in hat hall were delegates and I believe that every delegate who entered the hall, may have had a reason to vote for whoever they voted for.
According to Ekpo, it was practically impossible for the southern senatorial district to win in the primaries considering the number of aspirants they presented at the primaries.
“But judging from what outplayed and the number of candidates that the South had, I don’t see any reason why anyone would have thought that the south with so many candidates would win Sandy Onor, who stood as the only candidate from the central in the primaries”, he said.