by crossriverwatch admin
In apparent shocker to potential governorship aspirants waiting to be ‘anointed’, Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke has declared that he would not pronounce anybody as his successor ahead of 2015.
Governor Imoke made the declaration when he hosted the state’s Elders’ Consultative Forum at Government House Calabar.
The governor said he was particularly disturbed by pressure by some people urging him to anoint his successor. He said had never been part of a process that foisted candidates on the people, even as he described such arrangement as undemocratic.
According to him the people should own the process that throws up people for elective positions.
“I have seen publications where people say let the governor announce his candidate. For me, that is not democracy and it is not the right kind of politics. I believe strongly that even that process of producing the governor should be one that all of us own or can lay claim to. We should allow candidates who will say that they have met with the senatorial zones, elders, the caucuses and groups and we have discussed, and then the people will assess them based on their credentials, capacity and vision.”
Governor Imoke who stressed that the governorship of the state was too much of a risk to be personalised, warned that there would be no room for political jobbers to transform themselves into the voice of the people.
“But when people stand up and say ‘I want to be governor by hook or by crook’, we get worried and ask what is all that for? What is the motive? Is it a private or collective agenda and how do we sustain this in a very challenging environment?
“It is too much of a risk for us to personalize the governorship; there is too much at stake. The whole process needs to be managed, which is why I say let us not over heat the polity which tends to cause unnecessary distractions. In the end, it will throw up all sorts of characters, with all due respect to my political friends.”
On zoning the 2015 governorship to the Northern Senatorial Zone of the state, governor Imoke said the decision was taken as part of the stabilizing factors in the state, insisting that It would have been most unfortunate, if as a people “we will not accommodate ourselves with regard to the office of the governor of Cross River State.”
The governor frowned on what he said was obtained in the past: “I always stress that one of the things I found totally unbecoming of us as a people was that there used to be a saying that certain types of people could not be governor. For instance, when I came into politics, there was a saying that an Efik could not be a governor, and a lot of us have so soon forgotten that. It was on the lips of everyone then. That was what challenged me.
“How was it possible that a man or woman born in Cross River State, grew up in Cross River and has Cross River State blood could not be governor and could not hold any office in the land? That could not possibly be us. That was why I fought very strongly with a lot opposition to make sure that anyone could be a governor in Cross River State. And it is that same spirit that has guided us to say next time, let us all work together to make sure that one of us from Northern Cross River is going to be governor come 2015. If we can do that, we will build the kind of unity and bond that all of us collectively can be proud of and take ownership of as our state and our future.”
Responding on behalf of the Elders, Col. Pam Ogar (rtd), commended Governor Imoke for the economic transformation of the state as well as putting Cross River on the world’s tourism map.
The forum was later taken on an inspection tour of the International Convention Centre under construction.
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