Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr.
In the All Progressives Congress, APC, there is no clear cut front liner yet but that can change within the next few months.
Governor Ayade has always favoured Chris Agara who is his close friend and ally. A pleasant and likable man. His plans for the state have not really been defined but his personality suggests that he could be a unifying factor. Definitely not as divisive and indecisive as his friend. He comes from the central region and that may work against him in the interim but the constitution allows him to run.
Ben Akak is an unknown quantity. He has tried, within a short while to entrench himself. That I am even mentioning his name points to some measure of success. His major weakness is that he hasn’t held political office before and doesn’t have a track record. The word on the street is that they don’t know what to make of him. He is a dark horse.
Prince Bassey Otu is the most likable and electable of all the contestants within the party. He does have a weakness though. He has been mostly quiet since he left the national assembly. And the manner of his defeat to Gershom Bassey left a sour taste in the mouth.
The people like him still and would gravitate towards him. If he had the support of the party, including the tottering Emperor of Peregrino house, the PDP would have their fight cut out for them.
Asuquo Ekpenyong Jnr is the one person who keeps me in perpetual bewilderment. He has been competent and diligent as Commissioner. Quietly done his job, avoiding controversy in the process. His major strengths are, youthfulness, competence, assuredness, innovation and his ability to remain unflappable as seen during the ENDSARS riots.
His weaknesses are his father, who, people feel has control over him (I don’t see it) Donald Duke his father-in-law and Governor Ayade, an Albatross. If he is smart, he could turn most, if not all his weaknesses to strengths. The jury is still out on him but crossing him out would be a mistake. Especially if a consensus candidate is needed. Remember the story of Governor Otedola of Lagos. It is on the laps of the gods.
Daniel Effiong Asuquo
Sandy Ojang Onor
Arthur Jarvis is a dark horse. He got into the race pretty late and would need a miracle to take the party ticket. Yet, he is the prototype of the kind of person the state needs. An entrepreneur, educationist, likable, corruption and controversy free.
He seems like the type who would hit the ground running. He doesn’t have main stream party support and would need all the support he can get to win.
Daniel Asuquo is a Fox. Like a cat, he has nine lives. If it was down to just politicking alone he would be the front runner. He has grass roots appeal and is reasonably young. He is close to the people in the mould of Essien Ayi and could be called a quintessential politician. He is battle scarred but isn’t afraid to stick his foot in like a battle ready defensive midfielder in football.
It would be interesting if he emerged as the party flag bearer. He would be easy to sell to the electorate. Former council Chairman and present member of the national assembly, he knows how to get the job done.
Sandy Onor is a collosus. Anyone who is afraid of him is right to do so. His recent track record is a testament to that. He became Senator against a sitting governor’s wishes. Even though the said governor is inept at best. He supported Jarigbe’s aspirations against the said governor and again they trounced him. He is very formidable and seems to have serious backing from a certain regional power broker from a state called called River with an s. He is astute and capable. They call his movement the caterpillar movement and like a caterpillar, he has trampled on the whole central Cross River, taking no prisoners. It is left to be seen if this caterpillar has enough fuel to climb the hill up to Peregrino house. Time would tell but those placing their wager on him can sleep a little more easily. Politics is unpredictable though, anything can go south in a day.
All I hear is that he doesn’t go home. Is aloof and hard to reach. Yet he keeps winning. How he does it belies belief. Still he does it. Does he have one more victory in him? The streets don’t like him and if he has a PR team he needs to overhaul it. It’s either that or he doesn’t give a hoot what anyone thinks. He speaks with a lot of confidence though, and that may be on account of the fact that he knows what we do not know. Kind of like the scenario where the dead know what the living would die to know.
I would rule him out at my peril. He always has a come back. If he won this time, it would be the greatest of all victories but stranger things have happened and this is Nigeria.
Ben Ayade came to meet a mess. He will leave a bigger one for the incoming Governor. Yet that is no excuse for a poor performance. If you can’t stand the fire don’t go close to the furnace.
These three were called the three wise men circa 20 years ago. They decided our futures to varying degrees of success. It’s time for another set of visionaries. It is imperative not to let them decide this time.
Donald fought Liyel yet Liyel still became Governor. Liyel brought Ayade (regardless of his denials) and Ayade was so bad that he had to run him out of the party. The damage Will take decades to fix. Gershom is the third leg of this set of triplets. It is time to birth new blood. May they enjoy peaceful retirement.
I have never been a proponent of zoning as I believe it robs the electorate of competent hands but Nigeria is a peculiar state and politicians neve ever respect their agreements. I would rather see the best man win!
My support? Is on the laps of the gods.
Bassey wrote in from Abuja.
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