Even though the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is yet to fix a date for its primary election, a former governor of the state, Senator Liyel Imoke has expressed the concern that if stakeholders do not handle the situation well, the party may face an implosion.
At the moment, no fewer than three major contenders have indicated the interest to contest the 2023 governorship election in the state. Among them are two serving senators- Prof Sandy Onor, Gershom Bassey and a member of the House of Representatives, Daniel Asuquo.
Ironically, the trio were together when they fought the sitting governor, Prof Ben Ayade and eventually forced him out of the party. Together, they have been building the party after Ayade defected and joined the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Both Bassey and Asuquo are from the southern senatorial district, while Onor is from the central senatorial district. At the moment, there is a raging debate on which of the two senatorial districts should produce the next governor.
On Sunday, Asuquo flagged off his consultation of major stakeholders in the PDP, with a visit to the former governor, where he declared his intention to contest the election and also sought the blessing of the man he said gave him a second chance to live, after his rough encounter with Donald Duke.
While receiving Asuquo in his Calabar home, Imoke described Asuquo as a courageous and visionary politician who was well equipped to govern the state. He said in his dealings with Asuquo, he had never been disappointed.
But he was quick to add that it was necessary for all the aspirants to go about their consultations with decorum, so that the party could still remain intact before, during and after the primary election, where a candidate would emerge to battle whoever the APC would bring out. The PDP is currently an opposition party in the state.
Asuquo had spoken of his determination to follow the footsteps of Imoke if he emerged governor, by ensuring that the revenue profile of the state was buoyed up, and the rural communities developed through a deliberate effort.