Jude Okoro, Calabar
Members of the House of Representatives from Cross River State have backed Governor Ben Ayade’s second term bid, saying that they would resist any attempt to dislodge the incumbent in the 2019 general elections.
Hon. Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe and Hon Daniel Asuquo, representing Yala/Ogoja and Akamkpa/Biase federal constituencies, described as ‘unfair’ efforts by the governor’s opponents to send Ayade packing after only four years in office.
Speaking, Hon. Jarigbe said any attempt to dislodge Governor Ayade from Government House would be severely resisted, arguing that the principle of fairness means the governor be allowed to complete his eight years just as his predecessors, former governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.
On the ongoing disaffection in the party against automatic tickets for serving members of the National Assembly, the lawmaker said, “In our party constitution, there is something like consensus and people now take it out of context and said it is automatic ticket.
“There is no automatic ticket for anybody. Primaries for House of Representatives is on September 30 and we expect that those who want to express themselves beyond what the party has said in terms of consensus should come to the field and express themselves.”
On his part, Hon. Daniel Asuquo observed that giving serving members ‘right of first refusal’ should not be seen as a crime.
On the governor’s second term bid, Asuquo said: “It would be improper for the Ayade not to complete his second term especially as power should ordinarily return to the South in 2023 in which he intends to take a shot at the plum job.
“Automatic ticket is not a demonstration of fear and it is not true that some important members of the party could defect to the opposition.
“The issue of defection is neither here nor there because as a party we are on the opposition. We had already defected to remain in opposition since 2015 and struggling to come out of that defection to change the government at the centre.
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“Authentic family members who know that it is good to build what they benefited from do not behave like people who preach on the pulpit and break the pulpit so that nobody stands there to preach again. Here in Cross River State, of what effect are those defections? Nothing!
“So for us, it is an ongoing thing and we are also reconciling , we are entreating our fellow aspirant to remain, but for those who believe they are bigger than the constitution and the party, so be it.
“And I tell you the truth, check your numbers, where they defect to might even be worse with them as politicians,” he stated.
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