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By NBF News
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As politicians in Cross River State jostle for who picks the various parties' ticket for the April 14, 2012 governorship election, the Special Assistant on Media and Chief Press Secretary to Governor Liyel Imoke, Mr. Omini Oden, has stated that the present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration welcomes opposition with open arms as no democracy survives without opposition.

Speaking during a courtesy call paid on him in his office by a socio-political group under the aegis of Central Identity Youths Forum (CIYF), Omini said, 'we need opposition as a government to succeed, provided it is played according to the rules of the game, provided it is not opposition of the pockets, mischief and calumny.'

The special assistant gave kudos to the governor saying, 'Imoke is one person that has been giving opposition parties in the state a level playing ground and today, even in PDP, people are coming up to contest the party ticket for the 2012 governorship elections with him without any pockets of violence across the state.'

But he warned that people should not take the governor's simplicity and humane disposition for granted as the administration would not tolerate anybody engaging in campaigns of calumny against the government, advising political actors to rather play politics based on issues as they went about their campaigns in the state in accordance with the Electoral Act.

Oden disclosed that Imoke was not upset that his friend, former Nigerian ambassador to Mali, Chief Soni Abang, was contesting the PDP primaries with him slated for January 23, 2012.

He noted that in the last couple of years the the present administration had succeeded in reducing the rural/urban drift through the massive urban programme including access roads to various communities across the state, providing electricity to the rural communities as well as water and other social infrastructure in various places.

In his earlier remarks, Chairman of CIYF and Personal Assistant to Governor Liyel Imoke on Students Affairs, Mr. Hilary Bisong, advocated the creation of a platform where youths of the three senatorial districts would fertilize ideas and key into the programme of the state government.

He hinted that the group was into entrepreneurship, community service, leadership education for the people of the Central Zone and had concluded arrangements to show love and celebrate their son, Governor Imoke on New Year day at his home town, Itigidi in Abi Local Government Area of the state.