C/River 2023 governorship: “Delegates will zone votes to South, even when PDP hasn’t zoned – Sen. Gershom Bassey
By Nsa Gill
Twenty-four hours to the delegates’ election for the governorship primaries of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP in Cross River State, a frontline aspirant for the position, Senator Gershom Bassey has spoken of the high chance he has to emerge the party flag bearer.
Speaking at his governorship campaign office in Calabar on Tuesday, Senator Bassey said the clamor in the state for the governorship ticket of the PDP to be zone to the southern senatorial district is still very much alive.
“What we have said is that, since there has been no zoning for now, of course, we have a few more hours or a few more days to go before the primaries. We believe that if there’s no zoning, it means the delegates themselves will have to do the zoning. We in the South believe that the delegates of the People Democratic Party will cast their votes in such a way that will affirm the back to South agenda.”
Emphasizing his chances to pick his party’s governorship ticket, Senator Bassey admitted that there are many quality aspirants for the same position but he is the most electable and best suited to win the general elections and reclaimed the State for the PDP.
His words, “It is clear that I’m the most electable candidate of all the people that have come out. Of course, you know that the consensus candidate of the APC is Senator Prince Bassey Otu my friend. But we also know that the only person that has contested an election with Prince Otu is me and we know the record.”
“Therefore, I’m the most electable of all the aspirants in PDP and if PDP really wants to win the election in 2023 and want to execute the agenda they have for Cross Riverians, then they have to go for the most suitable candidate and that is me.”
He reiterated that “it’s really up to my delegates, it’s up to my peers to also come to that determination but I think they’ve come to that determination so we will see it in the field on Wednesday or Thursday.”
“This thing is not about Gershom, it’s not all about me, it’s about winning the 2023 election and the truth is that when you sit down and do the political analysis, it’s very clear that if we want to win the 2023 election we must go with the candidate that can win the election.” He added.
Senator Gershom Bassey, who is known to enjoy the support of former Governor Liyel Imoke for his ambition, further noted that “in the South, we have about nine aspirants and still have to pick someone that can win the election. If you zone it to the South, the person will be running against a Southern person from the APC”.
He maintained that he would not say he is better than other aspirants, that what he says is that he is “more electable, that’s what we are talking about, electability. Better, have a different connotation, some of them have experience in certain areas of life that I don’t have any experience with. I may have more experience in politics than some of them or we may even have equal experience.”
He said, for instance, someone like Hon. Daniel Asuquo, “he was a local government chairman twenty years ago and I was not handling any elected position then. Even the likes of Senator Sandy Onor who was a chairman of a political party in 1996, I only got elected into office in 2015, but we are talking about 2023; who is more electable? That’s what we’re talking about.”
Adding that PDP offers the best chance for governance in Cross River State. He said “the track record of the PDP over twenty or twenty-two years is there for all to see. In fact, PDP is the most successful political party platform that has ever been produced in Cross River State.” He concluded by alleging that the problems the PDP had in the state came along with the current Governor when he came into the leadership of the PDP in the state “and he has carried those problems with him to the APC”.