Cross River State Commissioner for Information, Akin A. Ricketts, says state governor, Liyel Imoke is presently focused on ensuring a peaceful, transparent, and credible transition programme in the State come 2015. Additionally, Imoke is fully on top of the process leading up to the general elections, including providing a level playing ground for all contenders to every political office in the ongoing transition programme, in order to ensure that only the best would emerge to lead Cross River State to the next level beyond 2015.
Ricketts who stated this during an interview with newsmen in his office in Calabar recently, maintained that as a sitting governor, who has spent so much time, energy, and significant part of his life in ensuring the overall wellbeing of the people, he would not allow anything to go wrong at every point, emphasizing that “the governor’s position is to ensure that, due process is followed and the right things are done at all times”.
He further stated that, “He is not supporting or against any aspirant, there is no particular individual in the mind of His Excellency … in politics, as I have come to understand, you say one thing and it is misconstrued, you say another, it is misinterpreted, but let us just tarry a while, let us be calm. I just wish people will not heat-up the polity… If God says “John” for instance, is going to be the governor of this state, no individual on earth can change that, Governor Imoke stands and is always on the side of transparency and equity, working for the general good of Cross Riverians”, Ricketts enthused.
The commissioner re-echoed Imoke’s earlier position that he would not leave the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being insinuated in some quarters; describing the governor as the author of PDP in Cross River State and no infraction or disagreement over mere substitution of Ward Congress delegate list by some family members, who want the party to listen to their own aspirations, would make him leave to another party.
On the recent name calling and bad-mouthing of Governor Imoke by his ally, former Governor Donald Duke, at a political rally by one of the governorship aspirants, the Information Commissioner said it was sad that the relationship between these two long-standing friends could deteriorate to such a level, noting that it was not a healthy development especially as it was coming from a statesman like Duke who led the state for eight years. He maintained that Governor Imoke as a gentle man, astute politician and renowned administrator, would not have any time to join issues or indulge in such frivolities, stressing that as human beings, they may differ at some point, politically or otherwise.
Cross Riverians were advised to have faith in the transition process, adding that everybody has the right to indulge, associate or exercise his or her franchise and Governor Imoke would not coerce anybody to support any candidate in the process. He emphasized that people should not make a mountain out of a molehill, warning that Government would not tolerate any action or inaction intended to heat up the polity in the State.
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