Godwin AJOM, Calabar
A fierce political battle between Senator Bassey Otu and Chief Chris Agara is in the offing, as the APC makes final preparations for its governorship election scheduled to hold on Thursday, May 26.
At the moment, Otu is the endorsed aspirant of the party, having emerged as the consensus choice by other aspirants, especially those from the southern senatorial district.
Agara, from the central senatorial district, has since rejected the choice of Otu as consensus candidate of the party. He has vowed to fight it out and has secured the assurances of some of the delegates ahead of the primary.
Already, Senator John Owan Enoh, the 2019 governorship candidate of the party has thrown in the towel and declared support for Otu. He said he took the decision in the interest of the party.
Chairman of the party, Mr Alphonsus Eba has already promised that there would be a level playing field for all the contenders. Eba told TNN in an interview in Calabar that the party was getting ready for the primary election and would stand by anybody that emerges victorious.
But TNN learnt that there have been considerations and consultations on the possibility of nominating Owan Enoh as the party’s deputy governorship candidate. Owan Enoh is considered as a good pair with Otu.
The thinking in the APC circles is that given the popularity of Otu in the south and an equal popularity of Owan Enoh in the central zone, with the combined effect of the influence of the governor, Prof Ben Ayade who is from the north, the APC would be able to secure victory at the general election.
It was not clear as at the time of this report, if the idea has been sold to Owan Enoh or whether he has accepted to run with Otu.
But top leaders in the APC in Calabar told TNN that Otu was as good as the party’s candidate. He has already been endorsed by the governor, the party exco and most of the stakeholders.
While Agara has been firing from all cylinders, telling the party and his supporters that he was not willing and ready to accept the consensus idea, Owan Enoh chose to be diplomatic in his approach. He acted like a politician and has not been confrontational.
Electrifying Reception for, Celebrations Over Out’s Emergence
Last week, Otu returned to Calabar to a rousing reception at the airport. It was his first visit to Calabar after he was adopted as the party’s consensus candidate and later on bought, submitted his forms and was screened by the party, in Abuja.
Even Otu himself may have been shocked of reception that was organised in his honour. As he addressed the people, he made some key promises to the people, even as he said he would be holding the ticket of the party in trust for all the other aspirants who stepped down for him.
Otu’s speech can be summarised this way:
*. Many Cross Riverians will be empowered as contractors at the national level to compete with other Nigerians
* Cross River will be developed as an evacuation corridor on air, land and sea to boost tourism, commerce and enterprise in the state.
* Governor Ayade’s foundation in industrialization will be deepened and fully harnessed through governance and projects continuity rather than a break for new projects.
· Human capital development will be the chief economic driver for the state’s evolution.
* Agroeconomy will be the mainstay of the development index with crops, minerals and plantations at economy of scale and comparative advantage in every community.
* Revisiting the Bakassi, 76 oil wells and the Green tree agreement matters to correct the current irregularities and suffering of Cross Riverians with heavy debt burden.
* With peace achieved through justice and equity, communal crises will cease and the state will develop faster. The South deserves a chance at power by equation.
* Our economic blueprint will make CRS the Europe of Africa”
* I have never defrauded anyone or any establishment nor appeared in any court on account of character deficit. Security agents are on track of mischief makers circulating falsehoods against my person.
* I will modify “the food on the table template” by adding jobs, productivity and hope to maximize beneficiaries’s potentials and sustain the social welfare fabric of the state to avoid relapse into criminalities and insecurities.
*Money should provide livelihood for people in and out of election seasons, not used as a tool to trap the destinies of the delegates in short term lucre.
* Over 2billion dollars worth of aquatic resources currently taken out of Bakassi would have stabilized CRS’s economy.
* No referendum was conducted to decide the fate of the people of Bakassi. This condition precedent must be looked into in challenging global conscience with the consequences of ceding Bakassi.
* As a student Union leader in Isong’s regime, I pioneered bursary in Unical and the culture has remained decades after”.
* CRS needs socketing to the centre to move in federal presence such as the ongoing federal roads construction and repairs, railway linkages which are capable of turning the economy around.
* I have come prepared, tested and trusted in very sensitive national agencies, assignments and interventions.
Some of my legislative innovations are very very critical to the Nigerian nation in banking, gas and oil as well as local contents matrix which has put economic control in the hands of many Nigerians.
* I’m holding the mandate in trust for my co-aspirants. We are all victorious. Everyone will have a place in my Government when elected”.
* I trust absolutely in God as the One who gives power to anyone He chooses. I believe in the ethical politics of Gov Ayade as a Man whose word is his bond and who has stabilized CRS political power equation through equity by standing by the back to South essence”
* My greatest governance philosophy is inclusiveness of all the genders, ages and classes in decision making and leadership at various levels.