PDP, Gershom Bassey And CR’s North

By Okoi Obono-Obla
By Okoi Obono-Obla

I had written earlier that there is a subtle leadership crisis rocking the Cross River Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, concerning which part of the State should produce its Governorship Candidate for the 2015 elections. Until this moment nobody has refuted my story or the permutations in the story. The PDP’s silence has been studied just like Governor Imoke has not said anything.

Gershom Bassey whom I allege is a key figure in the crisis has not said anything either. It is certainly true that I hit the nail with precision! In logic, when someone alleges something against you, you have an obligation to say something to refute what that person has said otherwise if you keep quiet it will be taken that you have accepted or acquiesced to what he alleged against you. The truth of the matter is that Gershom Bassey has broken ranks with the leadership of the PDP in the State concerning the area that should produce the candidate of the Party for the next election. Gershom Bassey has told Governor Imoke point blank that he will seek the nomination of the PDP as the candidate for governorship of the Party. Gershom Bassey is insisting because, in 1999, himself, former Governor Donald Duke and Governor Imoke mutually agreed that each of them would be Governor of the State for eight years. Donald Duke was Governor from 1999-2007; Governor Imoke from 2007-2015 and Gershom Bassey from 2015-2023. The ‘three wise men’ of Cross River State agreed that they will lead the State for 24 years! So Gershom Bassey is not morally wrong to seek to run for governorship of the State. Nobody should condemn him. He is manifesting the intention of the troika that seeks to control the vortex of political power in the State for 24 years!

My heart goes out to the hapless people of the Northern Senatorial District of the State who are apparently at the receiving end of a deadly political chess game played out by these ruthless and manipulative political chess Players who will stop at nothing to achieve their political goals and ambitions. It is obvious Governor Imoke has a soft spot for Gershom Bassey; he is his friend and the duo has come a long time. Governor Imoke knows that what Gershom Bassey is doing is in accordance with what was mutually agreed on 15 years back. Governor Imoke meanwhile keeps on assuring the North that he is with them, when actually he is not. Imoke is in a quagmire. He is torn between friendship and doing justice and equity to the people of the North. He has encouraged four persons from the North to seek nomination in the Party as Candidates for Governor. Pundits dismissed this as playing to the gallery. Recall that Imoke has barely 18 months to run out his second term in office; he is more or less a lame duck at this level.

I foresee a rebellion in his Party if he tries to push hard for a Northern Candidate. The hawks led by Gershom Bassey are preparing for a show down with the Governor in the event he insists on doing the right thing. One of them is an aide from Obudu. However, Governor Imoke knows very well that none of these people will match Gershom Bassey who has been tactically handed the entire party machinery in the Southern Senatorial District of the State with seven local government areas. While Gershom Bassey has his structures intact, his opponents from the North are divided and in a horrible state of disarray. Gershom Bassey boasts of a huge war chest that will be deployed to woo delegates to his side. In case you do not know, his company recently won a billion naira contract to build the Ikom Water Project for the Cross River Water State Board Limited. Undoubtedly in the Primary Election to nominate the candidate for the Party, Gershom Bassey will surely take aspirants from the North to the cleaners. The members of the Party from the North will be torn between four aspirants. They will surely divide their votes. However Gershom Bassey will have votes from the South intact, in his kitty, to have an edge. The battle ground will be the Central Senatorial District of the State made up of Six Local Government Areas, which will decidedly be the deciding factor. The Central Senatorial District will surely be more sympathetic to the case of the North but its support is not a sure bet. Money will play a big role in deciding whether the Central will stick with the North or go with Gershom Bassey. Gershom Bassey is reputed to have a huge war chest that he will readily and overwhelmingly deploy to ward off the political onslaught of gladiators from the North in the battle to decide where the Central goes. Politicians believe in the politics of cash and carry. They do not believe in any principles or noble ideals. All they believe in is money and cutting of deals to feather their interest. We should be left in no doubt that money would be used to curry political favours and support. Appointments will be used. I know a member of the House of Representatives that is angling to be the deputy governor candidate to Gershom Bassey from the Central Senatorial District. So I foresee Gershom Bassey having an edge in the PDP Primary Election except the North puts it house in order, something I do not see happening.

There is so much vested interest covertly at work to ensure that the North remains perpetually divided. I know some people are trying to exploit the subtle political rivalry between Ogoja/Yala and Bekwarra/Obudu/Obanliku. The alternative is for the North to move enmasse to the All Progressives Congress. But the North is unfortunately not playing smart politics. There are almost 11 Aspirants from the North clamouring for a single ticket in the PDP. One will have thought that they will use the binoculars to look very well in order to make appropriate and wise political decisions to see that their future is not with the PDP but with APC.

Let him that has ears hear that ‘wisdom is profitable for the wise’!


**  The views expressed are entirely those of the author and not of www.calitown.com


© 2014, Admin. All rights reserved.


  1. What is wrong with Geshom wanting to become governor in 2015, he is certainly the best candidate and the most preferred. An where there was an agreement then it must be honoured. I am fully behind Geshom for 2015.

  2. I have read this article and i am left wondering what vision the author has for Cross River State. Absent in this write is a competing vision for Cross River State and how the candidates articulate them. All i see time and time again is Northern Senatorial district reference. In the future for write ups like this, the author who sounds like he is familiar with the possible candidates should tell us about their competencies.Frankly in 2014/15 as voter i am more interested in compentence and vision not ethnic origin.

    1. It is very arrogant for three people to sit down, allegedly, and decide to foist themselves on a people for almost two and a half decades! Why this single fact does not rankle with you is beyond me.

  3. It is a matter of competency to consolidate on the gains of democracy propelled by Donald Duke, buttressed and diversified by Liyel Imoke, and not the tri – agreement nor northern enclave of the state. After all, in politics agreement are constantly meant to be broken to pacify the ordeal of the moment (Nichollo M. ). Let the Northern part of the state have it.

  4. The north has a formidable candidate in Mr Goddy Agba.This article is grossly incomplete and biased.With Mr Agba In d equation the result would b different. Wrong Analysis.

  5. Obla couldn’t have been more correct. Without sacrificing competence for zoning, on the part of the PDP,the ball is in the hands of northern cross river people in the party, and as for the APC, they do not need a fortune teller to advise them to select a credible and acceptable candidate from cross river north. If APC do the right thing at the right time, The rest as they say will be history.

  6. How wise are the thee wise men to imagine that one ambit of a political wing be left out because of greed. A legal or non legal contract can be terminated by one partner not to talk of a political agreement. It can’t work. The decision of Loyal to zone the governshipe candidate to the northern Senatorial destrict is what is term wise. We have three Senatorial destructs in the State. The South have taken. The Centract is about to complete it’s turn while the north will take it’s turn come 2015. I wish Gesh best of luck.

  7. Ecls 9:11 I returned and saw under the sun that— The race is not to the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all.

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