While political strategies in the run-in to the 2015 polls are being fine tuned in the state, www.calitown.com sources within the PDP say the latest re-constitution of the party’s caucuses in CR’s 18 LGAs is by far “the clearest indication yet that Gov. Imoke is readying his key men for the top job”. Basically, that reconstitution is believed to have been “designed to take down the political influence of a few persons at the grassroots and evidence abounds”, as a source puts it.
In Ikom LGA for instance, “where Nigeria’s Senate Majority Leader comes from, Chris Agibe, instead of Victor Ndoma-Egba, is the caucus leader and sincerely we know this two do not get along. How do you make a man as nationally influential as Ndoma-Egba to take instructions from Agibe”, the source asks. Continuing, “in Etung LGA, isn’t it laughable that Ebuta Ayuk who was in an opposition party and recently joined the party is made caucus leader over and above the likes of Sandy Onoh?”. The latter situation can be excused considering that Onoh and Imoke’s political relationship turned sour when the former threw his weight behind the candidature of Goddy Jedy Agba and has since taken up the position of Director-General of Agba’s campaign organization.
The story is no different in Odukpani where Prince Bassey Otu, a serving senator was overlooked and the leadership of the caucus handed over to Asuquo Ekpenyong. Otu, presently seeking re-election into Nigeria’s upper legislative chambers is believed to have decided on thwarting plans in place to stop him. At his State Housing Estate constituency office, hordes of persons can be spotted there at any time because of what another source describes as “Otu’s ability to spend, and spend, and spend”. It is however very difficult to obtain absolute guarantees in politics, whether you spend or not.
Obudu’s case is akin to Ikom’s. “Emphatically, Ben Ayade is not the leader of the PDP caucus in the area, Peter Oti is”. Oti, described by a source as “the first Cross Riverian with an Accounting PhD to become a Chartered Accountant”, is slowly standing up and getting noticed. Ayade, touted in several online platforms as a candidate for CR’s top job, has said little, but will work under Oti, even though those close to him have confided in www.calitown.com that he has sights set on being governor.
The caucus leadership in Yakurr LGA has been handed to Bassey Ewa who is presently in the House of Reps. Ewa’s biggest problem now is getting back to the House a third time or remaining politically relevant if his re-election bid fails. His grip on the LGA use to be suffocatingly firm until he broke ranks with a certain Ubi Itam Ettah. Ettah who was chairman of the LGA for six years is thought to be leading a splinter group that is aligning with all things that are not politically Ewa. Ettah is said to be insisting that Ewa must do two things; as a source puts it, “chronicle his achievements as House of Reps member like his colleague in Akamkpa, Daniel Asuquo has done, and then let Abi LGA take a shot at the position he presently holds”, that may be what Ewa does not want to hear.
Clement Oshaka, who heads the Cross River State Geographical Information Agency, CRGIA, our source says is leader of the party’s caucus in Bekwarra. While there is claim in certain quarters that he is not very politically grounded, “those who have elected to use him, have a purpose for him. If anyone does not see why they put him there, those who put him there will make that open to use when he carries out their bidding to a logical conclusion and l hope we will not be too dazed then”, www.calitown.com heard.
There are three distinct groups in Abi LGA; Agbo, Bahumono and Itigidi. Itigidi has Gov Imoke, Agbo has the council chairman, a House of Assembly man and as well as the Chief of Staff to Imoke. Bahumono’s desire to take a shot at the House of Assembly seat is borne out of her believe that “we deserve to take active part in politics and be represented in the political equations that are worked out in respect of our LGA”. It is a submission which clearly represents a seething desire to have a bite at the political cherry.
Biase’s tussle is intense but has been logically explained by our source. Hear him, “since 1999, Biase West has produced members representing Biase in the CRS House of Assembly while Biase East has produced the chairman of council. Now, after the last council polls, Biase West produced the council chairman and we are maintaining that Biase East must produce the House of Assembly member”. If is argument is plausible, it can either be resolved by the players or left to the electorate.
Within this period, the 18 chapter chairmen of the party got a car gift; a Ford Ranger each from the CR state government. It however left a sour taste in the mouth of other members of the chapter exco. We hear something is in the pipeline for them, especially when you consider that they have what most of our politicians are looking for now; a delegate’s vote. What we cannot however say is when their own manna will fall.
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