Unless the unexpected happens, Senator Sandy Onor looks good to pick the ticket of the PDP for the governorship election in Cross River State. Onor currently represents Cross River Central senatorial district in the National Assembly.
Director-General of the Caterpillar Movement, which is the campaign organisation of the senator, Joe Bisong has already given the assurances that Onor will pick the party’s ticket during the primary election which holds this week.
The DG said none of the aspirants have worked as hard as Onor, with so much following from all the three senatorial districts. According to him, the Onor team was very close to victory.
TNN made efforts to undertake an independent assessment of how the voting pattern will look like when the delegates file out on Thursday to elect the party’s candidate.
In the northern senatorial district for instance, findings showed that Onor had a stronger support base than the others and may have up to 80 per cent of the delegates’ votes.
Those who spoke with TNN attributed Onor’s strength to the popularity of Senator Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, believed to be very strong in that part of the state. Onor and Jarigbe jointly fought hard to dethrone Dr Steve Odey as senator from the senatorial district, despite the support he enjoyed from the state governor, Prof Ben Ayade, who is also from that area.
When their attention was drawn to the loss the PDP suffered during the just concluded bye election into the Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency which the APC candidate, Jude Ngaji won, they said it was actually the PDP that won in the field, before the figures were changed, hence the decision of the party to approach the election tribunal.
In the central senatorial district where Onor comes from, those who spoke with TNN from that area said Onor was good to go in Etung, Obubra, Ikom and Boki, especially considering the number of delegates that are believed to be on the side of the senator.
For Abi and Yakurr Local Governments, it was not clear how much impact Onor would make, considering the influence of Senator Liyel Imoke who and Bassey Ewa, a former House of Representaitves member who is aspiring for the senate seat.
Imoke, a former governor is from Abi Local Government while Ewa is from Yakurr Local Government. Two of them are in the camp of Senator Gershom Bassey who is also aspiring for the governorship ticket of the PDP.
In the southern senatorial district, it is expected that Bassey and Daniel Asuquo, also a governorship aspirant from that senatorial district, would be dragging the delegates’ votes. Onor, according to findings, seem to have a good following in Akpabuyo and Calabar South largely because of his past support for Akpabuyo people during the recent bye election.
And in Calabar South, Onor is also said to be very strong because of the influence of Essien Ayi, the man who has got an almost permanent seat in the House of Representatives and believed to enjoy so much loyalty of the people where he once served as their local government chairman.