by crossriverwatch admin
Ahead of 2015 elections, Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has re-affirmed his earlier commitment to zone the governorship to Northern Senatorial Zone of the state.
Addressing leaders from the zone comprising Bekwarra, Obanlikwu, Obudu, Ogoja, and Yala Council Areas, under the auspices of Northern Forum in Calabar, Imoke pointed out that zoning the governorship there was not only justifiable, but an exercise that would continuously unite the state.
His words: “For me, it is not something that I can negotiate. And it is not something that we can negotiate. Rather, it is something that my party and I are strongly committed to. Based on the commitment we have put in the development of the state and the peace we all enjoyed, it is only proper that the third zone that makes up the state is also allowed the opportunity to rule the state in 2015.
Continuing, Governor Imoke said: “In this same Cross River State, under this present democratic dispensation, the Southern and Central Senatorial Districts have produced a governor each, so I cannot go back to say there was no zoning for the first two, therefore, there should be no zoning for the third. It will be most unfair.”
While reassuring sceptics who still doubt his commitment to ensure that power shifts to the Northern Senatorial District of the state in 2015, Governor Imoke emphasised: “I have stated this repeatedly in several fora, even though people still doubt because they think they can enjoy political advantage of creating an otherwise impression. This is the time for us at the party level to look at zoning in our collective interest.
“And zoning will work if we can produce a governor from the northern senatorial district that is acceptable to all of us and key into the vision of transforming the state. In that way, it will work and sustain us as a people.”
The governor urged the leaders from the zone to disabuse their minds of unfounded theory that seemingly places the north at extreme disadvantage position, adding that every politics or perception about the north of not being good enough to rule the state is just a theory and not reality.
While urging the zone not to take his declaration or promise of governorship for granted, the governor urged the leaders from the north to reach out massively by way of consultation to the Southern and Central Senatorial Districts for their dream to come to fruition.
Leader of the forum and former deputy governor of the state, Dr. Mathias Offoboche, while lauding Imoke for what he called his magnanimity and statesmanship, said: “This particular act of zoning the next governorship to the North has entrenched the desired peace, as it has prevented us from tearing ourselves apart. Let me assure you that with the support of the Central and Southern Senatorial Zones, we will produce someone who will sustain this peace.”
He also thanked the governor for keeping faith with them, stressing that “the main legacy of your administration is the peace you have established across the state which has enabled you to actualise all the developmental projects in the state.”
Senator Ben Ayade, who represents the Northern Senatorial District at the National Assembly described Imoke as the “god of justice”, saying that the governor was one person that was ready to give his right eye to keep his promise.
“You have done justice to the people. We feel so proud that you have integrated us in this state called Cross River. You are in our eye, a god of justice, a savior and you represent the change and hope that we have been yearning for.”
Also speaking former military governor of old Rivers State, General Anthony Ukpo (rtd), commended Imoke for his courage, as according to him, “It is not easy in a political environment where there is no constitutional backing in terms of zoning for the leadership of the state to make such a far reaching commitment. We will not disappoint you.”
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