By Archibong Jeremiah
Youths and Women including widows who are sympathizers of the Senator representing Cross River South Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Prince Bassey Otu have described the victory of Mr. Gershom Bassey over Otu in the last Tuesday rescheduled Cross River Southern Senatorial primary as “Broad Day Robbery”.
The supporters made this declaration when they blocked vehicular traffic on the busy Murtala Muhammed Highway, Calabar to peacefully protest results of the disputed election which saw the incumbent Senator been defeated by the former chairman of the Cross State Water Board Limited, Chief Gershom Bassey, who is widely identified as a bosom friend of the state Governor, Liyel Imoke.
The protesters in their numbers flagged off their peaceful demonstration from the U.J. Esuene stadium, venue of the senatorial primary election, chanting pro- Otu slogans and lampooning governor Liyel Imoke and the government of Cross River State for masterminding the defeat of a popular candidate by adopting back hand tactics and coercing of voters by intimidation using security agents.
The protesters carried placards, some of which read, ‘We will resist any attempt to foist an unpopular candidate on us’, ‘PDP stands to loose the election in the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River if it does not retrace its steps’, ‘We call on the national secretariat of the party to cancel the exercise and re-conduct it properly’.
They walked from the stadium to the PDP state secretariat on the Highway then to MCC Road after the popular WAPI junction in the state capital and terminated their walk at the Senators campaign office at the Cross River State Housing Estate in Calabar where they bared their minds on the election which they described as a charade.
A woman leader who spoke on behalf of Women Awake in Cross River State, Mrs. Bassey Henshaw stated that: “We want Prince, Our Hope, father and helper. Imoke should explain how they came about the fake delegates. Prince Otu is husband to the widows, father to the fatherless, a man devoid of tribalism in service delivery, Without Prince Otu there will be no Senator in Cross River South for PDP.”
A youth leader and PDP member, Mr. Ene Inyang said, “We are not satisfied with the process leading to the conduct of the primary in Southern Cross River State, for it was not transparent enough as the government cornered everything, they used security apparatus to intimidate delegates. Delegates lists were changed; those they suspected will not vote for the anointed were dropped at the venue.”
The National President of Bakassi Students World Wide, Nkese Ita predicted that “PDP will lose the 2015 elections in Cross River South if it opts to field an unpopular candidate such as Chief Gershom Bassey. How can the declared winner for instance not be able to celebrate victory even at the venue but instead the looser was carried shoulder high out of the venue.”
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