by crossriverwatch admin
The Northern Consultative Forum, a political organization comprising youths, stakeholders and leaders in the Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State has insisted that the next governor of Cross River State should come from the north for the purpose of justice and fair play.
In a meeting held on Saturday at the Ogoja Council Hall, the forum said the north with the support of other parts of the state is working towards the actualization of that goal which will translate into visible improvements in the lives of the people of the state. It also resolved to present a memo for the creation of Ogoja State for discussion at the National Conference in March.
In a speech delivered by one of the conveners, Senator Musa Adede, he affirmed that though the tribes and tongues of the people of the Northern Senatorial District differ, the people must “remain resolute in our determination to find common grounds on issues that bind us together and must rise here and say never again will our weaknesses be exploited to our common disadvantage and detriment”.
He stated that the PDP and Senator Imoke having supported the zoning of the position of governor to the north in 2015, the zone stands at the threshold of history which “we must either seize the opportunity and write our names in the sands of time or remain silent and leave our people stranded in the ocean of history”.
He emphasized that a great deal of work remains to be done as there are still hurdles to surmount even though the chance for a governor from Ogoja to emerge in 2015 is bright. “While we thank Senator Liyel Imoke our governor for this ground-breaking decision, a lot of work still needs to be done; for once it seems a straight fight amongst us, but how will it turn out after the gloves are down”.
Senator Musa Adede stated that it was for the purpose of ensuring a peaceful outing in the governorship race that the meeting was convened so that they could play their part in the coming processes that will culminate in the election of a governor from the zone. “At the least count we have over 22 individuals who have indicated interest for this one position. It is my earnest prayer that we can find common ground and play the game in a brotherly manner and fashion so that after the contest, our brotherhood and our unity will remain”.
He said it is critical to avoid what may divide the people and as such the aspirants, supporters, and leaders must learn to be fair and honest sportsmen. “There can only be one winner, those who win must learn the fine art of statesmanship and those who don’t, succeed now, life goes on and our overriding interest and goal is to preserve our unity and bring development to our communities”.
Also speaking Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo said the meeting was convened to address the issue of governor of the state in 2015 which has been zoned to the north and to reach a common ground on issues that concern the district that should be presented during the National Dialogue for discussion particularly the creation of Ogoja State which is one of the provinces that has remained without a state.
Re-enforcing the speculation that the Northern Elders Forum which is led by Dr. Mathias Offorboche is aligning with the rumoured preferred candidate of Governor Imoke, Mr. Fidelis Ugbo, General Ukpo called on leaders of the zone not to shy away from participating in meetings that would bring about the good of the land of Ogoja for fear of victimization. “Some people are not here out of fear that they may be sanctioned if they attended the meeting but I came through Calabar and saw the governor – he gave me the two cars that brought me here and he did not say do not attend that meeting”.
He said the Consultative Forum would meet with the Elders Forum led by Dr Matthais Offorboche so that the time lines for credible aspirants that are genuinely interested not just in the development of Ogoja but Cross River State as a whole would emerge.
Mr Venatius Ikem, in his speech re-iterated the fact that beyond the voicing of platitudes, the position of governor of the state in 2015 naturally is for the northern district and that the paramount issue is for the people to be given a free hand to work with other zones and elect a governor of their choice.
He called on the people of the northern senatorial district to be courageous enough to face the fight because if that is not done, nobody should be blamed if the position eludes the zone again. “We must take active steps to ensure that we elect a governor with the interest of our people at heart and beyond that be free to elect a person we want”.
He said many people shy away from taking active part in politics saying it is a dirty game but politics remains the only area where one can affect people the most and called on every leader in the north to identify with the cause for a governor from the north.
The meeting was attended by Senator Musa Adede, Brigadier General Anthony Ukpo Rtd, Mr David Ashang, Mrs Mary Theresa Ikwen, Augustine Nawa, Mr Declan Ogar, Major Obi Odu, Mr. Venatius Ikem, Mr Inaku, and hundreds of youths.
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