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2011: POWER MUST CHANGE HANDS

By NBF News

2011: Power must change hands -Senatorial aspirant vows

From BONIFACE NZAMA, Calabar
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Chief Monique Ogon, the only woman who has so far indicated interest to run in 2011 National Assembly elections in Cross River State, has taken a bold step, saying 'power must change hands as far as Cross River Central Senatorial seat is concerned.'

Chief Ogon, who spoke with Daily Sun, said she was only praying that the leadership of the PDP and the state government should allow the party's primaries and the general elections to be free and fair, as she was determined to unseat the incumbent senator for the Central Senatorial District, Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN).

The PDP woman aspirant said her National Assembly ambition was based on the need to break the jinx in the Cross River Central Senatorial district, which the senatorial seat was said to have been dominated by men, since inception of the political bloc.

The only woman who has indicated interest to run in the senatorial election, she said her ambition was in line with provisions of the Nigerian Constitution and United Nations Organization (UNO) Declaration on the rights of women that 40 per cent of the total seats in any state should be given to women.

The woman, based her argument on constitutional issues, saying she was convinced that Cross River North and Central senatorial seats would be dominated by men in 2011, alleging the women folk who were agitating for 40 per cent of the three seats for the state in the upper legislative chambers, had resolved not to field candidates in the two senatorial districts.

In her words, 'I have an unwavering ambition to represent Cross River Senatorial District in the Senate in 2011 and I want to say that nobody should try to intimidate me on the basis that I am a woman.'

Rather, she said, 'people should jettison their gender biases and see reason why they should support my candidature.'

Commenting on the third term ambition of the incumbent senator for the district who is currently serving his second term, she said of the Deputy Senate Leader: 'Senator Ndoma-Egba should rather contest for something else, we cannot allow the senatorial seat to be domiciled in one local government area.'

Mrs. Ogon explained why she wanted to emerge in 2011 as the senator for the area and maintained that the issue of third term was totally alien to the people of the state, urging the incumbent senator to commence preparation to relinquish the seat.

'I am saying strongly that Senator Ndoma-Egba has been there for two terms. So let it shift in 2011 so that development will spread to other Local Government Areas of the Senatorial district', she said, alleging since 2003 when the incumbent was elected into senate, Boki, her Local Government area has not benefitted much in terms constituency projects, federal appointments and other democratic benefits accruable to the senatorial district from the National Assembly.

The woman, who said she was constrained to talk to our correspondent concerning her 2011 senatorial ambition, said she was unhappy that her opponents in the race and their supporters were allegedly 'misinforming members of the public that I have withdrawn my ambition'.

'I am fully in the race, and as a leading aspirant for the seat, I want to tell my supporters to disregard the remour making the rounds that I have withdrawn.'