Gershom Bassey, representing the southern senatorial district of Cross River, says it is the zone’s turn to produce the governor in 2023.
He stated this on Tuesday, warning that only the truth can save the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River.
Mr Bassey made the call during a rally at the PDP secretariat in Calabar to celebrate Christmas and carry out consultations before deciding if he would declare to run for governorship in 2023.
The senator, who came in the company of 188 support groups, noted that the party must stand on the truth, which was agreed in 2015 by the party’s stakeholders.
“In 2015, as a party, we said it was the turn of the Northern Senatorial District, and we zoned the governorship to the north,” noted Mr Bassey. “This was because, in 1999, Mr Donald Duke from the Southern Senatorial District became the governor and after eight years in 2007, PDP zoned the governorship to the Central Senatorial District.”
He added, “This arrangement brought Sen. Liyel Imoke to be the governor for eight years. Now, after all the zones have led for eight years, it is the turn of the south. This is the truth, and the party should abide by it.”
Responding, Venatius Ikem, PDP chair in Cross River, said he did not doubt that the party’s executive would stand by the truth in choosing a candidate for the 2023 gubernatorial election.
Mr Ikem also stated that the party would provide a level-playing ground for all the aspirants for the 2023 elections.
“As the chairman, I love to stand by the truth, and I have no doubt about the history of the party and the decisions it reached,” explained Mr Ikem. “The party executive will do the needful to ensure that power in the state returns to the PDP in 2023 as I will never do anything to undermine the candidature of any member of the party.”
The zoning issue has been controversial in the state after all three senatorial districts had produced a governor between 1999 and 2021.