By Endurance Onun:
There are reports in some quarters that some political elites of the Northern Senatorial District dearly desire the next Governorship contest come 2023 to be left floating to allow for participation from all three (3) districts of the state.
As though that is not enough, these reports have gone further to mention two former governorship aspirants; Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbor, current Bekwarra/Obanliku/Obudu Federal Constituency representative and Barr. Venatius Ikem, ex-National Publicity Secretary of PDP as two likely interests to be projected.
It is against this backdrop that Cross River Daily, yesterday, hooked-up with Rt. Hon. Legor Idagbor at the Margaret Ekpo Int’l Airport, Calabar to register his take on the issue.
Legor, who was recently appointed Chairman, House Committee on Local Content and also participated fully in the Tuesday’s Green Carnival of Gov. Ayade, seized the chat to disclose how Cross Riverians could benefit from his appointment and also the need to embrace the State Governor’s Green Carnival policy.
On 2023 issues, the Rt. Hon. Member is of the view that the time was not ripe for any projection, pointedly noting that the incumbent governor is yet to settle down for his second term administration.
“First of all, I think it is a bit too early to go into what will happen in 2023. His Excellency who is the leader of our party in state has not even settled down to make his appointments, left alone begin to project for 2023. So, I would rather that we tread cautiously and allow the governor settle. The ban on political agitations has not been lifted, probably, until sometime around 2021/22,” Legor said.
On whether the current zoning style should be allowed to rotate or a new style should be designed, Hon. Legor said:
“In Cross River State, we have a tradition of rotation of power and that was the only way Northern Cross River was able to benefit from the governorship that Ben Ayade enjoys today, because, if there was no rotation of power, we in the North do not have the numbers to ensure that the governoship stays in the North. If you look at the voting strength of the North, the South and the Central, you will see that we in the North are a little disadvantaged.
“But because of this rotation tradition that was instilled by the immediate past governor of Cross River State, H.E Sen. Liyel Imoke, we (the party) moved the governoship to the South even when people felt the South did not have any body to be governor. Donald Duke emerged as a governor from the South, midwifed by Sen. Liyel Imoke.
“Then the governoship moved to the Central, Sen. Liyel became the governor himself and the North supported that bid. Today, we (the North) are blessed to have a Digital Governor in person of Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade from the North.
“I believe that we in North will follow that tradition with the support of His Excellency to send the governoship back to the South.
“It is only fair that regardless of what people say; with respect to our (Northern) leaders who have permutated that the governoship can start from the North; with due respect to them; but I think that at the end of the day, we will follow the tradition and the governoship will come to the South. For many Cross Riverians like myself and a lot of us of like minds, we know that the next governor of Cross River State after Prof. Ben Ayade will come from the Southern Senatorial District,” he concludes.
Away from 2023, Hon. Idagbor said that he was going to try his best to ensuring that Cross Riverians, not only his constituents benefits from his appointment as Chairman House Committee on Local Content.
“The committee is a very good one that can benefit not only my constituents but the entire Cross Riverians because the mandate of the committee is to oversee every industry in Nigeria and ensure that they abide by the Local Content Law of Nigeria which specify that there should be employment quota for Nigerians and that where there is need to bring in (foreign) expertise because Nigerians are not skilled enough to fill such positions, they should endeavor to train Nigerians so that subsequently, Nigerians will be qualified to fill those positions.
“So, there will be training opportunities, there will be employment opportunities for Nigerians and of course, I will try my best to ensure that Cross Riverians benefits maximally from these opportunities”.
On the Green Carnival, the Rt. Honourable commended the governor on the initiative, recalling that there were criticism when the latter embarked on his Super Highway project, especially along the lines that the state’s Forest Reserve was going to be destroyed by the cutting down of trees. He opined that the planting of one million trees was enough to combat such criticism. Hence, the need for Cross Riverians, to not only support His Excellency on this particular policy but on every of his policies.