By Richard Offiong
2023 general elections is around the corner and political parties are working hard to ensure only the best aspirants emergei6 as their flag bearer.
In Akpabuyo, Bakkasi and Calabar south federal constituency, various political parties are busy shopping for acceptable candidates from Bakassi and Akpabuyo, the two local governments who are yet to have a shot at the green chambers within the last 20 years.
Come 2023, the PDP stands a great chance of loosing the house of representatives seat which they have occupied since 2003, after a single tenure of Dr. Patrick Ene Okon of then APP.
If the PDP neglects popular opinion and hand over her party’s ticket to incumbent Essien Ayi and the ruling APC files a younger and new candidate from either of the two local government areas apart from Calabar south, then the PDP should just kiss the seat a good bye.
Statistics gathered randomly from ordinary PDP members from these three LGAs and the voting population, suggests that an average member of that federal constituency is tired of the status quo and are determined to change it. It therefore means that, if the PDP desires to keep the Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar south federal constituency seat, they must be able to file a fresh, young and intelligent candidate.
That way, the people which by nature are PDP lovers can easily have a renewed hope to buy in and show their support. Anything other than that will result to a big failure for the PDP.
For PDP to win, Emana Duke’s candidature will be a sure bet. Firstly, because at a time when the whole world is talking about breaking gender bias, it will be the first time, the federal constituency will be faced with an option of having the first female national assembly lawmaker from the region. Without doubt, if the PDP files lady Emana Duke, women across the constituency and even from opposition political party will turnout in their numbers and vote for her.
Secondly, because Emana is without doubt a national and international asset and pride for the Efik Kingdom, Cross River State and indeed Nigeria. Having been a popular national TV broadcaster of no mean repute, seeing Emana stand up on the floor of the house to speak for the people of Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar south will naturally make our people proud.
Apart from her undisputed loved for the people, her deep knowledge of the myriads of problem facing this country as well as her professional expertise in crisis management, will see us putting our best foot forward towards solving the challenging problems of Nigeria.
In the past 20 years only one local government, Calabar south, have occupied the seat, in a federal constituency that is made up 3 local government areas.
Akpabuyo has been a major player in the political process of the federal constituency and should naturally be given the opportunity to produce the next house of representatives member, especially in the wake of news coming from the APC of their intention to file a candidate from Akpabuyo.
It is instructive for all delegates from the federal constituency to be careful as they prepare to vote at the party primaries in a few days from now. They must vote for the future of their children, they must vote for effective representation and they must vote for the love of the constituency.
A vote for Emana Duke Amawhe, a true lover of her people and a committed daughter of Efik kingdom will be a pride for all of us. Lady Emana is highly cerebral, smart and exposed.
It will be a huge pride for all Cross Riverian to see Emana stand up on the floor of the house of representatives to move motion, sponsor bills and speak for her people as she has done within the last two decades or more in her professional life.
Let us restore the dignity and pride of our people by sending our best to the national assembly. This is a time for PDP leaders, delegates and members to take a decisive decision that will reshape the fate of ABC constituency.
Richard Offiong is a Cross Riverian and a public commentator. He writes from Calabar.