C’River: APC Shall Win Presidential/Gubernatorial Elections Come February 25th/March 11th, 2023 – Ndoma-Egba

BY: Vitalis Ugoh, Calabar 

Giving the hard work that the All Progressives’ Congress (APC) campaign team have put across the length and breadth of Cross River State creating awareness, there are enough convictions that the elections have been won.

Former Senate Leader Distinguished Sen Ndoma-Egba (SAN) dropped this hint while expressing confidence over election victory at the polls on Saturday 25th, 2023 general elections during an interview with newsmen.

He said “we have worked very hard and i believe that given our efforts, we deserve victory on the 25th and 11th of March, 2023 general elections”.
According to him, “there is no major party today without sin. For instance, in my party, the APC, i think our sin is the Muslim-Muslim ticket. In PDP, their sin is that it is the turn of the South. In labour party, their sin is that they are unable to find party agents to cover all the wards in the country. In NNPP, they are heard only in Kano. Even in Labour party we hear so much about in social media”.

Ndoma-Egba said “for the two weeks i was constantly in Ikom, i went out everyday but saw their posters just twice. One in Nkansele, where Chris Agara hails from and one in a place where i went to see a very prominent Igbo citizen. The Ikom people were shocked when i told them the Labour party had a candidate and the candidate was from Ikom”. 

The former Senate Leader, “the sin of the Labour party is that it is a technology based party yet to find its roots, adding that “of all the sins, i think that of the APC is the least for a number of reasons. The real driver of an election is the candidate, the running mate is supportive. So if the car does not have a flat tyre, the deputy remains supportive. Our candidate famously has a Pastor wife and she is an active member of the Nigerian Christian community, so it is just a fraction of him that can be said to be Muslim. I think the sin of the APC has been exaggerated because it is not as bad as the sin of the PDP where you have a candidate taking the turn of the South”. 

Furthermore, “back to Cross River state, maybe we can do a bit of historical. If you recall in 1999, at the the beginning of this political episode, which we hope would move from an episode to permanent democracy, the defunct APP and PDP were equally balanced”.

The APP had five members of the House of Representatives and had a Senator, the PDP had three members of the House of representatives and two Senators. In the House of representatives, it was 13 to 12, so it was neatly balanced, he noted”.

He went on to add, “the only advantage that the PDP had at that time was that we had a governor, Donald Duke. Now with the personality and weight of office, he was able to suck life out of the APP and we now assumed the notion that Cross River was a PDP state, forgetting that at the beginning, it was equally balanced”. 

Said he, “but the factor of the governor being the major determinant of our political thinking is why the APC will suck life out of the PDP, and with his mirage of appointments, people take those appointments very seriously. What has PDP got to offer? I listened to the outburst of some former governors and i think in that office, which happens to be the highest office here, there ought to be a distinction between the office and the person occupying the office but that distinction is a very fine one because the man carries the office everywhere”.

“So it is not an office that should be desicrated, moreso coming from a party that has little or no legacy. I was one of them but mercifully, they threw me out and I’m grateful to them but what is the legacy? When i was in government in the days of late Dan Archibong, i was commissioner then and I remembered an argument in the state executive Council about us taking a loan for rural electrification and the whole argument was “how can you be a government without owing?” 

He continued, “the state was the least indebted and the Federal Ministry of Finance was putting a lot of pressure on the Cross River State government to take a loan and today we are third or fourth on the list of debtors, that is our legacy. Where are our oil wells and Bakassi? They have all been lost. Everything PDP has left for us is one loss after another. Kanu Agabi became Attorney general of the Federation and that is the number one minister because that is the only ministerial position recognised by the constitution, others are at the discretion of the President, and that was when we had the highest visibility for our support.”

He noted that “after Kanu Agabi, we were downgraded to Minister for Power, Senator Liyel Imoke. When he left, we got Minister of State for Culture. Then late John Odey came, first as information and then they gave us senior minister for culture and that was all. We were just having those ministerial positions which are the entitlement of every state under the constitution and not a favour.Do not forget that when Buhari came to campaign in 2015, they refused him the use of the stadium and he had to go to a Primary School on Atu Street, Mayne Avenue”.

“This is a Fulani man who has never tied a wrapper but they tied one on him without giving him any opportunity to practice and the man was struggling to get used to the wrapper which almost made him fall but he did not, he only stumbled. The governor made a joke of him but I had to lead a delegation of prominent Cross Riverians to see him and apologize before he was sworn in, then he told us a story of his relationship with Cross River as a soldier. In spite of that humiliation, he assured us that he had put it behind him”.

“During Buhari’s time, we got Chief Justice of Nigeria, Head of Service, Chief of Naval staff, Minister of NDDC, Chairman of NDDC and Auditor-General of the Federation all at the same time. So i challenge PDP to refresh our memories. As far back as 1984 when i was commissioner for works, the bridge in Ikom was a major issue and it was restricting trades with Calabar ports because the containers’ move was limited. I went there with my engineers who did the measurements in my presence and we asked the shippers Council what the biggest size of container was. In 8 years, go to Ikom now, you will see the beautiful bridge. But today, Just 10-15 minutes from Ikom to the Cameroon border, you will see another bridge. There is also a Federal Polytechnic in Ugep and the information i have is that Specialist Hospital in Ikom will be completed this yearl”.

According to him, “In 24 years of PDP, please i would like to know what tangible legacy there is that we can point at. There are a lot of arguments in our favour and i believe we have also worked very hard to deserve it. So for me, my expectation is that on the 25th of February, we will win and we will win again on the 11th of March”.

“The 11th of March is a very straight forward thing because it is the turn of the South, there is no way the argument can be twisted. I was one of those who made the early comment that this thing had not gone round and that it could start anywhere but in sober reflection. i realised that we do not have that political sophistication for us to just start. We have not reached that point. If we use that simple, equitable, fair logic, it is the turn of the South, he stated.”

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