By Richard Edem
Leadership and capacity to deliver has never been a function of religious, ethnic or even political background. That, every Cross Riverian understands clearly.
Across the world, mordern leadership techniques will never recognize skin colour, religious or economic standing as qualification for leadership performance. And the intention here is never to advocate that either, but to highlight the need to recognize our perculiarities as a state for the sake of equity, fairness and justice.
Cross River is indeed a perculiar state, with several ethnic groups, languages and beliefs. This is what makes us as a state unique and in every sense of it, anyone or group that ignores these differences in our political equation will always fail.
It has therefore become pertinent that as a state, as we prepare for the 2023 general elections, political parties that wishes to make any meaningful impact, not only put this reality in the front burner, but ensure it is followed until it becomes a reality.
This has become very important because of rumours in certain quarters that some political parties in the state have already concluded plans to hand over their party tickets to some persons who are not from the southern region of the state.
The southern region are not lacking in anywhere. As a matter of fact, the region actually gave the state one of the best governors ever in the political history of the state. Mr. Donald Duck’s sterling record still stands out till date.
Leadership of the All Progressives Congress, People’s Democratic Party and indeed other parties in Cross River State must understand very clearly that, how a particular political party will fare in the 2023 general elections will be determined by a very tiny line of how well they manage the cord that binds us together, one of which is the issue of zoning.
It took the southern Senatorial district almost two decades to get here, and being the zone with the largest political votes, a simple swing will definitely hand victory over to the party they will support.
All over, political conversations among Cross Riverians have continued to dangle around the personalities that bears a poltical party’s flag and not necessarily about the party.
Just as it took the northern senatorial district of the state several years and the collective agreement of the entire people of the state to satisfy their quest of occupying the government house. It will be a serious political suicide not to zone the governorship ticket to the south.
With the emergence of Ben Ayade, from the northern region as governor in 2015, political imbalance in Cross River State politics effectively became dead and buried.
Never again should the critical cords that binds us together not be considered in the political equation of our dear state.
Political leaders across party lines must learn from the internal crises experienced by the two major parties in the state, the APC and the PDP, where impositions and lack of respect for zoning previously robbed them of their brightest opportunities.
Cross Riverians are smarter and even more united today in seeking equity, fairness and balanced politics and as such, any party that refuses to respect that will greatly be disappointed.
Governorship aspirants from the southern region, across party lines must unite and speak with one voice, insisting that their political parties zone governorship tickets to the southern district of the state as a matter of importance and fairness.
Political elites from the southern district must also rise against any attempt to rob the zone of it’s opportunity after almost two decades of waiting.