C’River North Bye-election: Why Yala should produce Senator — Peters

Expresses support for Ogoja’s senatorial position in 2023
Debunks alleged Gov Ayade’s senatorial ambition

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
Ahead of the Cross River North senatorial bye-election, a stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, High Chief Higgins Peters, Monday, made it clear why the party’s flag-bearer should emerge from Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State, which is to complete the remaining two years of the second tenure that late Senator Rose Oko, did not complete following her demise.
Peters made his position known based on the spirit of fairness and inclusion in line with equity and mutual respect, which he maintained that “anybody in Yala that would go to the senate in this 2020 to replace our sister Rose, would know clearly that he or she is going for only two years”.
He said: “There must not be any rancor within the polity as they are contesting. Two, the party is supreme and at the party there is leadership. Once the leadership of the party says it’s a particular person all of them are encouraged to support that person.
“And in my position today, why I stepped into this arena, is for the interest of our people first of all, before the interest of Cross River State. The interest of our people being that Yala, Northern Cross River before the larger Cross River.
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“And we must make sure that whatever election that would be conducted in our place particularly, we must have peace. People must embrace peace and people must respect party order and hierarchy and party supremacy.
“My position also is that Yala Local Government must keep the Senatorial ticket in Yala. The ticket must remain in Yala Local Government and anybody in Yala that would go to the senate in this 2020 to replace our sister Rose, would know clearly that he or she is going for only two years, which is the remaining period.”
Peter who acknowledged the fact that the senatorial position for some years now has been occupied by Yala local government should shift to Ogoja local government said just for two years the candidate that would bear the party’s flag will be in that office than in 2023 Ogoja Local Government Area would represent the senatorial district, hence there is no need to throw up any form of controversy that would affect the party, people and peace in the senatorial district.
“We as a North, we are going to rally ourselves to make sure that in 2023 we are going to vote and work vehemently for Ogoja Local Government to be in the Senate. We are just completing our tenure, Ogoja was the mother Local Government of all the northern senatorial district all the way to Abakaliki.
“Today Abakaliki is a state capital. Today, Abakaliki has produced governors and senators. Abakaliki has produced a deputy governor. Yala speaking particularly has been more favoured. We have had the senate seat for about four times. While the whole of the northern senatorial district has had it four times. Bekwarra once, Chief Kanu Agabi was just three months but he was elected in any case. Joseph Wayas was there, he was elected, Musa Adede was there and Ben Ayade was there. If you put it together, it is four times. Yala speaking has had it four times.
“So it behooves on us for equity and fairness that in 2023, Ogoja Local Government must produce the next senator for the northern senatorial district. That is my position. And if you want to look at it logically too, for this same spirit of equity, I was thinking like I just said now, that our brothers that are non-Yala speaking, should be given the opportunity of representing us in the Senate for the first time, at least for equity sake too.
“I believe for equity sake the five local government in the northern senatorial district has all had the opportunity to be in the Senate except one and that particular one was the mother or is the mother of the whole five local government, which is Ogoja Local Government, and in the spirit of equity, fairness, and justice that we in the north consider Ogoja seriously for Senate in 2023. That is my position. And that is the position I intend to canvass in 2023.
“If Yala speaking had it four times, if anybody must not suppose to say this, probably that supposed to be me because I serve a practical interest of the Yala people but I cannot serve the interest of Yala people without equity. You a leader have many choices.
“And one of the most difficult things in leadership that you would know about a leader is sacrifice. The most difficult thing people cannot do is sacrifice. We the Yala speaking, because of our population, we are now looked as the leaders in Yala Local Government so we should equally have the spirit of sacrifice.
He also added that “I am not sidelining anybody’s ambition but this is my opinion until the party says otherwise. The party is supreme. The leader of the party in the state is the governor.”
However, the PDP stalwart used the opportunity to make things clear about the alleged senatorial ambition of Governor Ben Ayade who is also the leader of the party in the State, which according to him (Peters) there is no senatorial ambition by the Governor as being speculated and rumoured.
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His words: “You see the governor has never told me or anyone that he intends to run for Senate in 2023. And if I want to give you privileged information, his ambition in 2023 is even higher than being a senator. That is what we in Cross River should even think and work for.
“But it would become clear when the time comes. We don’t know which one is higher than a senator, but we are very sure his ambition in 2023 is higher than being a senator. And I don’t need to seek anybody’s opinion to equally give my own opinion or thought. I am not an appendage of anybody.
“And like I said it should be on the record, the governor has not told me and he has not told anybody that I know that he says he wants to run for Senate in 2023. I am not wishing away anybody’s ambition not from Ogoja in 2023 but I am saying, out of fairness and equity Ogoja should be given the ticket in 2023.”
He also stated that “And it should be on record that me, High Chief Higgins Oko Peters does not, have not in any form intended to run for Senate in 2020 or in 2023 or any other position in that matter.”
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