The governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke and the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party PDP, in the State yesterday in Calabar selected the party’s flag bearers for the September 21, 2013 LG polls in six local governments.
The candidates were selected from the three names that had been earlier shortlisted per each council by the chapter caucuses and submitted to the party secretariat in Calabar.
In an ongoing screening exercise at the government house in Calabar, a four man panel comprising the State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, the State Chairman of PDP, Ntufam John Okon, the Deputy State Chairman of PDP, Mr. Fidel Egoro and the State Secretary of the Party, Mr. Godwin Eta are appraising the suitability of each of the three candidates submitted to party and deciding on the final flag bearer for each of the local governments.
In Ogoja local government area, Ms Rita Ayim, who is said to have the backing of Mrs Obioma Imoke who is insisting that the Affirmative Action should be observed in the selection process by producing at least one female flag bearer in each of the three senatorial districts was selected by the panel as the party’s flag bearer ahead of Ifop Adoga and John Inaku.
A former Community Relations Officer CRO, Mr. Augustine Oyi was selected for Bekwara Local Government while in Obanlikwu local government, the selection panel decided on Gabriel Ashua as the party’s flag bearer for the chairmanship post.
In Obudu , the governor and members of the panel were said to have settled for Emmanuel Ugbe, elder brother to Patrick Ugbe, Commissioner for Youths and Sports who is considered a compromise candidate that does not belong to any of the warring PDP camps in the local government.
The other two aspirants, Ken Akla, immediate past Council Secretary and Larry Agim are said to belong to the warring camps of former political soul mates Professor Ben Ayade, the Senator representing the Northern Senatorial District and Barrister Venatius Ikem, the former commissioner for Works respectively.
In Boki, after all the spirited fight and political intrigues among the political leaders like Otu Jake Enyia, Atta Ochinke , Mark Obi and a horde of others, Abubakar Ewa who won at the collegiate ballot by the chapter caucus and Elders’ Forum was also the choice of the selection panel.
And in Ikom, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba’s candidate for the post, Ayiba Ojong, a member of the state executive of the party, was favored by the panel ahead of council secretary Okuni Atime though some members of the party in the chapter say the Senate Leader wanted Ojong against the wish of the majority of the party faithfuls.
The selection exercise is expected to continue with other local government councils today and end tomorrow.
The governor and leadership of the party in the state are said to have invented this peculiar way of producing the party flag bearers for the September LG polls in a bid to avoid a replication of the violence and mayhem that characterized the party’s primaries in 2007.
The party’s caucuses along with the Elders’ Forum were directed by the governor to work together and pick those to bear the party’s flag for the post of chairmen and councilors for the eighteen council areas and one hundred and ninety six wards respectively.
The caucuses shortlisted three names each for the councils from where the selection panel is now deciding on the final choice of candidates for the polls in September.
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