Former Senate Leader and senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Cross River state, Senator Ndoma Egba has said that the PDP government short changed the state in the 16 years it governed the country, depriving it of 76 oil well and the Bakassi peninsula.
Senator Ndoma Egba also said that for the south east to be in a position to produce the President of the country in 2013, they will have no choice than to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari, saying any other candidate cannot guarantee an Igbo Presidency in the near future.
Speaking to newsmen at his Apo, Abuja office, the former lawmaker who is seeking a return to the Senate after a short absence said even though his state gave the President what he described as paltry 28,000 votes, they have benefited tremendously from the APC government.
The former Senator said the State governor who has always boasted of his closeness with the President should reciprocate the President’s good gesture to him and the state by mobilizing votes for him in the Presidential election.
He also said the sentiments that played out in the 2015 elections in the south south are no longer there since former President Jonathan or any body for the zone is seeking election as President.
“Yes, it was a traditional PDP ares because at a time, we had our son who was contesting the Presidency. There was that underlining sentiment that our son was contesting. But today, we don’t have that situation and we don’t have anybody who is contesting from that zone” he said.
“The two major candidates are from the same region and from the same religion. So, that sentiment will not be there. Take the example of Cross River state. In 2015, President Buhari got a paltry 28,000 votes and inspite of the low level of support, see what he has done for Cross River”.
“Cross River remain the only state that he has visited twice. The state is well represented in government. We have the Chief Justice of Nigeria even though he is not a politician. You can’t run away from the fact that he became Chief Justice under President Buhari, but anything could have happened.
“The Head of Service of the Federation is from Cross River state, the Auditor General of the Federation is from that state, the Minister of the Niger Delta, the Chairman, NDDC, the Special Adviser on Prosecution are all from that state in addition to Chairmen of boards, all for a paltry 28,000.
“What was the record under PDP? The best we ever had as a state under the PDP was when we had Kanu Agabi as Minister and Senator Liyel Imoke as Special Adviser. These are arguments that will be taken to the field in Cross River. It will be the height of ingratitude for any Cross Riverian not to vote for President Buhari and it will be uncharitable ingratitude.
“Recently I had an interview with a radio station and I challenged the public. Any tarred road that was constructed in the last two years in Cross River, 90 percent of the chances is that it was tarred by the NDDC or the Ministry of the Niger Delta.
Any renovation of any school in the last two years, the chances are that it was done by either the NDDC or the Ministry of the Niger Delta.
“So, we have benefited a lot from this government. We also have our argument. What was the experience under the PDP government. It was one loss or the other for us as a state.
“It was under the PDP that we lost Bakassi and also lost 76 oil wells. It was under the PDP that we lost the hosting right of the National Sport Festival. Cross River at a time was paradise game under Donald Duke when we had the Cattle Ranch and the Mountain Range. But it was still under the PDP that the paradise was lost.
“These and many more are the arguments that we are going to confront the people with. The sentiments that our son is contesting is no longer there. We are now dealing with verifiable records which we are going to be dealing with and the records favour the President unequivocally and the APC.”
On the agitation for a south east Presidency come 2023, he said “For the south east, let me hazard what may happen and I think they will go with President Buhari.
“They are hoping to produce a President in 2023 and that opportunity can only come through a President Buhari because by the application of the law, come 2023, Buhari will become illegible to contest because he must end his tenure and that is when the south east can have their turn.
“Any other person that comes, forget whatever promises they make. The moment they seat on that chair, they must take their constitutional two full terms. So, any other person will delay the chances for the south east. That is why I think the south east will go with President Buhari.
“It is not automatic though. We are talking about the opportunity and it is for the south east to go and organize themselves and ready itself for that opportunity.
“Will they have an opportunity in 2023 through President Buhari? The answer is yes, the opportunity will be there and you need to put your house in order. Will it be possible with other person in 2023 considering the fact that the person would have a constitutional two term. The answer is no.”
Culled from The Nation Newspaper
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