From Judex Okoro, Calabar

Cross River central PDP stakeholders have thrown their weight behind Sen Gershom Bassey governorship, insisting that there is zoning in the state.

The stakeholders from Ikom, Boki, Etung, Obubra, Abi and Yakurr Local government areas and some traditional rulers endorsed Bassey governorship ambition in different consultative forums held across the zone.

The race for Cross River Government House has continued to gather momentum as about four persons including Sen Sandy Onor (central), Sir Authur Jarvis Archibong and Rt Hon Daniel Asuquo (all South) with zoning dominating that the discuss of the campaign.

While Sen Onor has argued that there has never been zoning in the state as per se, Bassey has stated unequivocally that there has been zoning since 1999.

Speaking during one of the consultative forums at Ikom, the stakeholder revealed that they had previously unanimously met with the leaders of the central and Governor Ben Ayade when he was still in PDP to decide the existing zoning of governorship to be returned to the south.

Restating the need for zoning, paramount ruler of Ikom Local Government Area, Ntol Peter Njul Eku, said: “At this point no individual within or outside community can change the sacrosanct resolution of the traditional custodians which is in tangent with the government, party elites and the entire state as Senator Gershom Bassey would be supported and voted in as Governor of Cross River State come 2023”.

Also supporting back-to-south zoning arrangement, the former representative of Abi/Yakurr federal constituency in the National Assembly, Rt. Hon Bassey Ewa, said he has been part of the past two administrations of rhe state which did remarkably well with giant strides, arguing that #Back-to-South agenda and Senator Gershom Bassey for Governor is a must project.”

On his part, Barr Attah Ochinke, a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, said Ikom people stood by the past two administrations which Sen. Gershom was part of the planning and delivery of governance and as well encouraged the #BacktoSouth Agenda.

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Ochinke who is the current Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Cross River State as well as a founding member of the PDP, maitained that there has been a zoning arrangement in PDP ab initio in the state.

In his speech, the member Representing Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Ntol, Chris Agibe, said: “PDP laid a successful democratic administration for Cross River State since 1999 to 2015 when a mistake of the present administration was made.

“We call on angels to solicit for his victory and all the local Government areas of Cross River State would endorse and vote him as the Executive Governor of Cross River State, come 2023.

While receiving Senator Bassey in Etung, the PDP Youth Leader, Comrade Assam Mbe, said, the youths of Etung are all out to support Sen. Bassey to become governor in Cross River State and appealed that the youths of Etung and their community should be captured in his development blueprint when he becomes Governor of the state in

At Yakuurr, His Majesty, King Obol Ofem Ubangha, the Obol Lopon Of Ugep and Paramount of Yakurr local government area, eulogiesd the achievements of Sen Bassey and called on the people to support his ambition.

Receiving the Senator and his entourage, the Paramount Ruler of Abi, His Royal Highness, Ovai Edward Osim, also declared total support of your aspiration and ambition and added that no man shall stop you as God will grant you success.”

While commending the giant stride of the Senator, the Director-General, Sen. Gershom Bassey Campaign Organization in the central part of the state, Hon. Eko Ato, pledged his complete support to the Senator, assuring him that Abi LGA will give him all the supports he needs.

“Abi Local Government caucus will support Sen Gershom Bassey’s ambition with a heart of gratitude to win 2023 governorship election in the state because he is our son”.