By Bassey Okon Jr.
The People’s Democratic Party Cross River State Chapter is on the march like all other Parties in the State in search of candidates to fly its flag in the 2023 general elections. Howbeit, this is the first time in twenty years that PDP-CRS would be seeking the governorship seat as an opposition Party. Expectedly some members of the Party have declared interest in clinching the guber ticket of the Party and are working the mills towards winning the governorship primary.
Before now permutations have revolved around the issue of zoning with protagonists and antagonists of it going to town with diverse positions concerning the matter of allowing only the Southern Senatorial District to vie for the office of Governor. It is worthy of note that three weeks to the window set by INEC for commencement of Party primaries the PDP in Cross River State is yet to officially address the issue of zoning. That perhaps may imply the ticket is opened to all comers from across the State.
A little over two weeks ago PDP-CRS was opportune to square up to the ruling Party in two bye-elections, one for a State Constituency seat and the other a Federal Constituency. These elections were a litmus test of the strength for the two Parties ahead of the 2023 elections being the first election after the defection of Governor Ben Ayade from PDP to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. The People’s Democratic Party emerged victorious at the State Constituency bye-election, defeating the APC by just a little over five hundred votes while the APC candidate won the Federal Constituency polls with a margin of about 2,200 votes.
From the foregoing it is clear the elections were marred by extreme voter apathy despite all the attention the two major parties gave towards mobilizing constituents to partake in the bye-elections. Ordinarily being an offseason contest and all the sentiments and tension it created expectations were high that voter participation would be reasonably fair. It seems assurances of high-tech driven processes for free, fair and credible elections by the electoral umpire made little meaning to our people in the affected constituencies.
What then is responsible for low turnout at our polls? My answer is simple – often time products of party primaries are personalities that do not inspire the people. This is where I want to address PDP – CRS Chapter.
The outcome of the recent bye-elections is not lost on any sensitive PDP member. There is so much work to be done and even much more in terms of cutting-edge strategies capable of delivering resounding victory to an opposition Party like PDP. Party leaders and members can’t afford to do things the usual old ways and expect to have it easy face to face with a ruling Party entrenched all over the State. That is why we must be mindful, deliberate, strategic and innovative with whom we make our Party governorship flag bearer. We MUST ensure we put our very BEST foot forward, an inspiring and competent personality embedded with a new message, a unifier across demographics, a hand that can drive quick wins within the first 100 days with potentials for creating new economies within the State via foreign collaboration, a candidate capable of driving a new narrative and leaving lasting impressions on the people of our State with hope of a better tomorrow.
A disruptive candidate is what PDP needs if we must access Government House Calabar seamlessly. Anything short of that will make the 2023 election an uphill task for us and we can’t afford any mistake with all eyes on us as the Party our people are looking up to for redemption.
YOU CAN DO IT, PDP-CRS. BE CAREFUL, WATCHFUL AND OBSERVANT, THERE’S A DISRUPTIVE ASPIRANT IN THE MIX.
That’s our surest path to success come March, 2023 and that’s how we can get in the votes for a landslide victory over other parties.
Basset Okon Jr. is a member of the PDP and Writes from Calabar.
Please note that articles published here are strictly the opinion of the writer and not the official position of The Parchment.