Gentlemen of the Press
Some six months ago, I made an appearance in this auditorium, where I shared my thoughts with you on my plans and programmes for the new Cross River State of my dream. At that time, I was doing my consultations with party men and women and indeed all Cross Riverians. Considering how important you are to me and to the Cross River project, I also consulted and informed you of my desire to contest for the seat of governor of this state, for the good of all the people. I was just an aspirant then and I sought everybody’s support, including yours, to enable me win our party’s ticket as precursor to winning the general election.
I have returned today to say thank you, my friends and partners in the media, for the role you played individually and collectively. Recall that during my last interaction with you, I had promised that I will be having this interface with you from time to time. I am a man of my words, hence this second coming. I will keep coming and will ensure a blossoming relationship with the media because I cannot fulfil my dreams for this state without you.
I have also come so that I can, for the umpteenth time, thank all members of the PDP for trusting in and supporting me to emerge the flagbearer of the Party, ahead of the general election which comes up next year.
Almost immediately after the primary election, I had acknowledged the mentorship of our leaders and their efforts towards the successful and peaceful conduct of the election. I will do it again today, in your presence. I cannot get tired of thanking our former governors – Mr Donald Duke and Senator Liyel Imoke for their fatherly roles in midwifing the processes that led to the historic primary election. And again, for generously displaying the spirit of sportsmanship, I must continue to hail all the contenders in that election, especially the major players – Senator Gershom Bassey and Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo. They will always be remembered on the right side of history.
A few days ago, I received my certificate of return as the gubernatorial candidate from the leadership of our party, the PDP. It was a very humbling experience for me, knowing what it means for our state at this critical time in our political life. I have chosen to dedicate the certificate to God, all PDP leaders in and outside our state and all members of our party from the three senatorial districts of this state.
With the certificate of return now safely with us, preparations for the general election have got to the next level. I am aware that the people of Cross River State are very anxious to see the birth of the new Cross River State that we promised. All I can say is that we are very close to our Eldorado. Darkness will soon give way to light and our people will smile again.
I will need the support of all citizens and residents for us to achieve this. It starts from the determination of our people to register as voters and making sure their PVC is with them. As a Cross Riverian therefore, I am begging you, go and get your PVC. That is the only weapon that you have. When you get it, please keep it safely. You will need it on election day, not as a bargaining power for N1000 naira or some cups of rice from those desperate power seekers, but for you to be able to reclaim this state from people who have no value for your life; the same people who are now making moves to borrow another N35 billion, with only a few months left to the end of their administration.
As at March this year, the debt profile of this state stood at $279 million, according to the Debt Management Office. Yet, the out-going government is thinking of conniving with the state House of assembly to borrow this whooping sum, just to put the final nail on the coffin, before they leave the stage. There cannot be another way to show how wicked and inconsiderate a government can be towards her people. We must not allow this to happen, because the incoming government will be inheriting a mountain of debts to grapple with.
In any case, in the eyes of the law, there is no House of Assembly in Cross River State and anything that carries the imprimatur of this Assembly is null] and void ab initio. This should therefore serve aS warning to all financial institutions in and outside Nigeria, not to grant any loan,in whatever form, to the current government of Cross River State, as they will be doing so at a very high risk. Until the courts pronounce otherwise, the House of Assembly as currently constituted, cannot enact legally binding resolutions and laws.
This takes me to the issue of the laughable plans by the government of Prof. Ben Ayade to conduct local government elections in this state, only a few days to the day he will hand over power as governor. This cannot also stand because in law, you cannot build something on nothing. In the eyes of the law, the state House of Assembly is in abeyance and therefore cannot confirm the governor’s appointees into the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission. So, members of the commission as announced by the governor and supposedly confirmed are a product of illegality; hence they lack the legal powers to handle that all important state assignment.
We are committed to the task of reclaiming this state and we will do so through every legal means.
Until we meet again as partners in progress, I implore you, gentlemen of the press, not to be silent over the evil plots of this present government against our state and its people. I urge you to stand up to be counted as worthy stakeholders as we work hard towards recovering all that the locust had taken away from our state.
I thank you for your kind attention.
Senator Sandy Ojang Onor,
PDP Governorship Candidate
June 11, 2022.
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