By Our Editorial Team
The rescheduled General Elections are fixed for March 28th and April 11, 2015 throughout the country. The Presidential and National Assembly elections are billed to come up first on 28th of this month.
In Cross River state, the various candidates who are flying the flags of their respective political parties in the National assembly, Governorship and the State House of Assembly are currently carrying out vigorous campaigns and rallies to all nooks and crannies of the state in a bid to convincing the electorates to vote for them and their parties.
Though some of the campaigns and rallies have experienced the prevention of some candidates from entering into certain areas for rallies and even led to lose of human lives and kidnapping, besides the employment of uncivilized methods and character assassination to pull down opponents, no doubt politics is obviously in the air.
However, what is indisputably lucid at present is that from the southern, through the central to the northern parts of the state, the various contestants are visibly doing their last minute fine-tuning on the strategies, political maneuvering and intrigues they intend to employ to gain advantage over their opponents, except the Peoples Democratic Party Senatorial candidate for the Northern Senatorial District of the state, Hon. Rose Oko.
Right from the period when the various party primaries were conducted the first time, cancelled and re-conducted till date, the Yala born politician currently representing Ogoja/Yala Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives has been embarrassingly and conspicuously absent from all political campaigns and rallies of PDP except her posters placed on campaign buses, bill boards and other public places.
We in the CrossRiverWatch team are worried that barely nine days to the Presidential and the National Assembly elections, the PDP flag bearer’s where about is not known to the electorates who are expected to cast their votes and place their mandate on the Yala Amazon.
More worrisome is the fact that the leadership of the PDP in the state have embarrassingly maintained sealed lips on the issue putting the people in the dark as well as helping to fuel rumors from the public as regards the state of health of Hon. Rose Oko.
The leadership of PDP in Cross River State should come out openly and tell the people of the state what is happening to the party’s senatorial flag bearer. The silence of the party in the state at this time is not golden. Cross Riverians especially of northern senatorial district extraction have the right to be informed about the where about of Hon. Oko, one of the senatorial candidates from the district.
CrossRiverWatch and Cross Riverians from the said area in particular want the PDP leadership in the state to give answers to the following questions: Where is Hon. Rose Oko that the party’s primaries were conducted in her absence and the party flag given to her in proxy? Why has she remained out of circulations since then? Why has the party maintained sealed lips over the where about of Hon. Rose Oko? If Hon. Rose Oko is not back till the day of election, what will the PDP do and will the party still expect the people to vote for a candidate they have not seen right from the party’s primaries, campaigns and to the elections?.
PDP Cross River should be aware that at both chambers of the National Assembly, Cross River has by our rating enjoyed fairly well and effective representation by way of contributions and inputs to debates in the Red Chambers and the Blue Chambers.
At the Senate level, it is an indisputably fact that the current Senate Leader, and Senator representing the central senatorial district, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN) sponsored the highest number of bills in the hallowed chambers, and followed by a first timer in the Senate, Senator Ben Ayade, both of whom unfortunately are not returning to the Red Chambers after the election.
Again even the Senator representing the southern senatorial district, Senator Prince Bassey Otu’s return to the Senate is still hanging as only the March 28 elections will determine whether or not he will go back.
If Senator Otu fails to go back then the reality would be that all the three senators from the state will be first timers, hence the state will need more than mere representatives to have meaningful push and voice in the upper chambers.
Having this in mind, it would be sheer suicidal to send people who will not be able to measure up to the standard their predecessors had set, it even makes it worse to have a representative who may almost always be absent from the senate sittings and deliberations.
We therefore call on the leadership of PDP in the State to boldly come out and tell the people of Cross River and those from the northern senatorial district in particular if there was no other candidate besides Hon. Rose Oko whom they know from day one was sick, and why they choose to treat the people as if they were fools.
It is an immutable fact that all mortals must suffer one ailment or the other. The elements that keep us healthy or otherwise are completely out of our control but we view every occasion of illness as part of natures call to rest and recuperation. A sick person is called to rest and recuperate, not called to work, particularly, a tedious job like that of a senator.
Cross River North had produced a vibrant voice and contributor in the Senate who is now the PDP gubernatorial flag bearer in the April 11, 2015 governorship election and the people expect nothing less from whosoever will take over from him.
Our collective interests at all levels including the national are paramount as against the political interest of an individual or a group of individuals. That is what we are saying, and it is the mind of our people, mostly of Cross River north extraction.
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