Cross River PDP Holds Peaceful Primaries


CALABAR, July 12, (THEWILL) - The People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in Cross River State has concluded primaries for the selection of candidates to represent the party at the forthcoming Local Government elections.

The primaries for the selection of councillorship candidates were held last weekend while that for Chairmanship candidates were held on Thursday July 08. The nomination process was transparent, free of the rancor, bitterness and violence that always characterized the exercise in the past, thus vindicating Governor Liyel Imoke’s preaching of the engagement of internal democracy in the party.

As the leader of the party in the State, he enabled the provision of a level playing field that led to the emergence of popular nominees in accordance with the wishes of a broad base of supporters. Imoke had earlier set up party caucuses in the different Local Government Areas that saw to the smooth process in each of the areas.

Some of the candidates that emerged include, Emmanuel Ikwen for Obudu, Mr. Gabriel Ugor – Yala, Pastor Chris Obasse – Obubra, Francis Ettah – Abi, Hon. Ekeng Henshaw – Calabar South, Dr. Ekpo Ekpo Bassey – Bakassi and Hon. Etta Mbora – Calabar Municipality.

Building on the standard he set in 2007, when he became the first Governor in the country to conduct democratic elections at the local level, Senator Imoke had a Town Hall meeting on May 29, Democracy Day, to a broad spectrum of stakeholders in the political process that he stood ready to ensure the application of the tenets of democracy in the conduct of elections into Local Councils in the State. The primaries presented the Governor an opportunity to keep to his word, and build public confidence in the democratic process.

Partly in response to political reforms at the national level, and partly as a result of personal initiatives borne out of strong democratic convictions, Governor Imoke has been anxious and determined to institute a democratic culture in the State that is in consonance with democratic practices and tenets in developed countries.

Cross River State has one of the best organized local government administrations in the country. The Governor has given a free hand to the council chairmen allowing them to exercise a great deal of discretion in the conduct of the affairs of their respective councils. The government also frequently enters into partnership with the local councils to intervene in strategic areas of the State’s economy. This intervention has boosted the economy of the rural areas in very significant ways.

If the election is conducted on schedule next month in the presence of election monitors as the Governor assures, Cross River State would have instituted an open, stable transparent, regular and periodic democratic culture at the third tier of governance.