My attention has been drawn to videos on social media of our Former Governor, my dear friend and constituent, HE Donald Duke, in which a courtesy visit was paid to him at his residence. He specifically talked, amongst other things, about the issue of zoning. I must comment on the issue of zoning and clarify the position of the people of the South.
In the People’s Democratic Party, which is the party to which I belong, and even in the All Progressives Congress, it is very clear that the people of the south have insisted on zoning and the need to zone the Governorship position to the Southern Senatorial District in the upcoming election cycle. The reasons for this are not far-fetched:
The Constitution of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), explicitly stipulates the Parties position on the principles of rotation and zoning in Party activities and political candidacy. Section 7(3)(C) of the PDP Constitution, mandates that in the pursuit of its aims and objectives, the Party shall adhere to rotation and zoning policies in Public elective offices in pursuance of the principle of equity, justice and fairness. Therefore, the significance and recognition of these principles by the PDP cannot be overemphasised. Moreover, the applicability of these principles in the Cross River State PDP Governorship candidacy selection process, are embedded in the Party’s Constitution.
Secondly, the people of the Southern Senatorial District have solidly stood behind the power rotation principle. After Donald Duke’s tenure in 2007, they wholeheartedly supported a candidate from the Central Senatorial District. They did this in my party, by not presenting any candidate from the South in that election. Furthermore, they voted massively for the PDP candidate from the Central Senatorial District.
Of course, power shifted to Central and Liyel Imoke became our Governor.
Thereafter, the people of the South stood solidly behind the North and the zoning principle that was applied in the PDP. The South did not present a candidate in 2015. They supported the North.
There were potential candidates from the South who could have created a contest in the field in 2015, but the people of the South decided to go with the zoning principle and supported the North on grounds of equity and fairness.
In 2023, we believe that now is the turn of the South, under the same rotation principle.
As the incumbent Senator representing the Southern Senatorial District, I currently hold the mandate to speak for the people of the South.
My constituents in the Southern Senatorial District categorically and without equivocation, expect that power will come to the south in 2023, based on the rotation principle.
In my party specifically, the PDP, we expect that the Governorship will be ZONED to the South in 2023.
The reason for this is very clear. In 2015, when my brother, Donald Duke, was not in the party, there was a caucus meeting which zoned this Governorship to the Northern Senatorial District, with the understanding that after the North, rotation would continue with the South.
The vast majority of Cross Riverians agree with this rotation and agree that it is the turn of the South.
As is now common knowledge, I am contesting the 2023 elections and I have said repeatedly that my candidature does not depend on zoning. I will contest the election for Governorship with or without zoning, confident that I have the capacity to win and win for the PDP.
However, my focus today is to set the record straight.
1. THERE IS ZONING IN CROSS RIVER STATE PDP
2. THERE IS ROTATION OF POWER IN CROSS RIVER STATE
3. IT IS THE TURN OF THE SOUTHERN SENATORIAL DISTRICT TO PRODUCE THE NEXT GOVERNOR, COME 2023.
4. AND FINALLY THAT THE SOUTH IS READY.
SENATOR GERSHOM BASSEY