Gershom Bassey And The Cross River Project BY OBONO OBLA

In Breaking News, Columnists, National News, Opinion, Politics, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

This group is already canvassing for support for Mr. Gershom on social media
This group is already canvassing for support for Mr. Gershom on social media

There is apparently a crack in the Cross River State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP over the part of the State the governorship candidate in the 2015 general election of the Party should come from.

In December, 2013, the Causus of the Party after a meeting in the Government House, Calabar resolved unanimously that the governorship candidate of the Party in the State for the 2015 general election should be restricted to the Northern Senatorial District of the State.

However from the happening and feelers it seem one of the purported “three wise men of Cross River State politics, Gershom Bassey has vowed to contest the Party Primary Election later in the Year.

In December 2013, Gershom Bassey who is the Chairman of the Cross River Water Board Limited, hosted a huge party for his supporters in his palatial mansion in the posh neighborhood of Asari Eso, Calabar.

Political pundits think that Governor Liyel Imoke may not be really inclined to allowing a candidate from the Northern Senatorial District to be the Party’s flag bearer for next year election and this is why his friend, Gershom Bassey was allowed to nominate all the Chairmen and councillorship candidates of the Party in the Southern Senatorial District of the State for the last Local Government election.

The Southern Senatorial District of the State is made up of Six Local Government Areas namely Akamkpa, Akpabuyo, Biase,Calabar Municipality, Calabar South and Odukpani. Former Governor Donald Duke who emerged as Governor of the State in 1999 following the end of decades of military rule is from the Southern Senatorial District. Duke was Governor from 1999 -2007.

There is indication that Gershom Bassey has broken ranks in the PDP and is hell bent on pushing forward his candidacy for the governorship election in the State under the PDP with his award of a contract for the printing of posters to a reputable multinational company.

Some of his supporters have also printed vehicle stickers and other mementoes. Today I saw the campaign sticker of Gershom Bassey in the vehicle of one of his supporters along Marian Road, Calabar. There is an indication that Governor Imoke handing over to Gershom Bassey the entire Party machinery in the Southern Senatorial District is a pointer to the fact he has a soft spot for him despite his posturing and public declaration that he is in favor of a candidate from his Party.

This factor may have been responsible for the confidence being exuded by the camp of Gershom Bassey. Another indication of the tacit support for Gershom Bassey by the powers that be in the State and the leadership of the Party, is the fact that the Cross River Water Board Limited has been under the absolute control and management of Mr. Bassey since 1999.

He was appointed Chairman in 1999 by former Governor Duke. Critics are of the view point that the fact that Gershom Bassey has been Chairman of Cross River Water Board since 1999 is also a pointer to the fact that the powers that be in the State wants to patronize him so that he will be able to accumulate a huge war chest in order for him fight for governorship seat of the State.

Another pointer to the fact that Gershom Bassey is the darling of Governor Imoke is that he has been sitting in the State Executive Council since Governor Imoke took the helm of affairs in 2007 despite the fact that he is not a Commissioner or a Special Adviser to qualify him to sit in Council.

Those familiar with the political behavior of the State are of the opinion that Gershom Bassey if he eventually emerges as the governorship candidate of the State will be a hard sell to the electorate in view of the fact he is considered a very snobbish and more importantly he is seen as lacking administrative acumen and charisma to pilot the affairs of the State.

Also the failure of the Cross River Water Board Limited under him to render account of the millions of dollars it has obtained from the African Development Bank as facility for development of Greater Cross River Water scheme is another drawback for one of the wise men of Cross River politics in attaining his political ambition.

The Cross River Water Board Limited which Gershom Bassey runs like his personal estate since 1999 is notorious for administrative ineptitude and mismanagement. The question is: If Gershom Bassey cannot run a place like the Cross River State Water Board Limited; will he have the capacity to run a fractious State like the Cross River?

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