…Says competence won’t be sacrificed on the altar of the Zoning formula
By Ike Uchechukwu Calabar
A socio-Cultural group, Cross River Southern Senatorial District Assembly, CRSSDA, has asserted that the zoning formula has brought peace and political stability to the polity of the state since 1999.
CRSSDA which threw its weight behind the zoning formula adopted in 1999 also disclosed that competence would not be sacrificed on the altar of the gentleman zoning agreement which has created harmony in the three Senatorial districts of the state.
They made this known while interacting with newsmen at the weekend in Calabar stressing that competence won’t be compromised for zoning.
The Chief of Party, CRSSDA, Mr John Offiong told newsmen that they would not also accept or tolerate any external force with intentions to foist a governor on them come 2023 adding that enough was enough with external interference in Cross River politics.
His words:” No Senatorial District have the monopoly of competency as the South also has eminently qualified leaders to lead the state. The south won’t compromise competency on the altar of zoning.
“Although we are a socio-cultural group, and remain nonpartisan because we don’t enjoy the backings of any of the existing political parties or government but we stand for the socio-economic development of the state and Southern Senatorial District in particular.
“We have a responsibility to first ensure that the South is united to speak with one voice to make a resounding statement towards the projection of the Southern Agenda come 2023.
“This group is not a political group, in the sense that we have no affiliation with any of the existing political parties in the country. Our major goal, for now, is to unite the people of the Southern Senatorial District.
“We are the voice of the Southern Senatorial District. CRSSDA will be stronger even after elections and will never fizzle out after elections because it has come to stay as a voice for the development of the South. As long as the Southern Senatorial District remains, this group will continue to exist”, Offiong said.
“The practice of the egalitarian politics has helped the state reach out to every ward, local government areas zones, including the even distribution of power and dividends of democracy,” he said.
Speaking further, they called on Cross Riverians to support the South just as the South supported other districts to get their various 8 years.
Offiong noted that scuttling the system now will only lead to anarchy or an elitist style of politics where only the strong can attain political office leaving the weak at the mercy of the strong.
Another member of CRSSDA, Hon Bassey Edem said the quality of leaders from the Southern Senatorial District was not in doubt at all stressing that no part of the state has a Monopoly of competent hands.
Edem said “Talking about competency and zoning, we must first understand that no Senatorial District in Cross River State has the monopoly of competent hands, and for us, in Southern Senatorial District Assembly we are not ready to sacrifice competency for zoning.
“We shouldn’t forget that as a state zoning has given us peace and political stability. Even those against zoning know the truth. They all know the zone where the next Governor will come from. People will always say what benefits them but we all know the truth.
“There was a reason for zoning to be entrenched in our micropolitics because we foresaw all these kind of things. Zoning has brought us a kind of peace in the state, in our minds we all know which district should produce the next Governor so why do we want to scuttle that?
” Rather let’s hold on to that. what I expect those opposing zoning to say is that the south should look for a competent hand for the office of governor and not oppose the south from producing the next governor.
“The truth is competency can’t be sacrificed on the altar of zoning, as there’s no Senatorial District with the monopoly of competency. We from the south will put our best foot out, just as we did in 1999 through governor Donald Duke.
“We will look at their manifestos coupled with other criteria and produce the best and ensure that the manifesto is implemented to the latter,” Offiong said.