Why Ejagham Federation queues behind Bassey Otu, shies away from Sandy Onor

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reasons have emerged why the Ejagham race will not be blessing the political ambition of the flag-bearer of the opposition political party in Cross River state but, will rather queue behind the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC NEGROIDHAVEN can say.

On Wednesday the Ejagham Federation, which is a group of delegates comprising all Ejagham groups in Cross River, stretching from Bakassi, Akpabuyo, Calabar Municipal, Odukpani, Akamkpa, Etung, Ikom and Ogoja Local Government Areas, organised a world press conference where they articulated their reasons for queuing behind the APC Cross River gubernatorial candidate, Bassey Edet Otu, as the unchallenged candidate for the 2023 general elections in the state.

Participants yesterday at the event in Calabar

In the said press conference they did not fail to shy away from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP Cross River guber candidate, Sandy Ojang Onor and his bids to become governor of the state, despite the fact that he is Ejagham by ethnicity.

According to a release cited by our correspondent and signed by one of its illustrious sons, Hilliard Etta, where 21 observations and 3 recommendations were made, it is stated that ethnicity as a political basis to be considered for elective public office as touted by Onor is not a palatable reason. Secondly, and for them, no ethnic group in the state can successfully and singularly produce an occupant for the office of state governor; thirdly, they preferred the 3 zone arrangement for political rotation of power in the state than the ethnic card brandished by the PDP guber candidate for the obvious purposes of peace, togetherness and unity. Again, they observed that Onor’s tribal politics jeopardises the political interest of other Ejagham Candidates like Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe etc. They faulted the contradiction of PDP calling for rotation of political office at the national/federal level but, denigrating such agitation at the state level especially in Cross River. They referred to such contradictions as selfish.

Consequently, they argued that ‘it is becoming very embarrassing that the now too frequent recourse to Ejagham solidarity when seeking for the position of State Governor on the eve of every Gubernatorial election, without fulfilling necessary conditions, only for the momentum to recede to the backwaters immediately after every loss is fast diminishing the status of Ejagham as a major political block in the State.’

It is on this strength that they made the following recommendations, namely,

‘THAT the Ejagham Federation fully supports the principle of zoning and the rotation of positions at all levels, as well as the BACK TO SOUTH Movement in the election of a Candidate for Governor, which is an expression of it.

‘THAT because it is unreasonable and ultimately self-destructive for Ejagham people to go against the tide and lose out in the distribution of democratic dividends in the coming dispensation, we support totally the legitimate BACK TO SOUTH clamour by Governor Ben Ayade as well as the generality of Cross Riverians and the candidacy of Ntufam Sen. Prince Bassey Otu for election as Governor of Cross River State.

‘THAT all Ejagham sons and daughters should purge themselves of the sentiments of injustice in our desire to produce a Governor in the State, as no ethnic group is capable of that. Rather, we urge ourselves to begin by building viable bridges across the length and breadth of Ejagham Federation, awaken consciousness and enter into genuine negotiations with other ethnic groups, as a way of life rather than invoking Ejagham sentiments on the eve of every Gubernatorial election.’

Present at the occasion were numerous highly placed dignatories of Ejagham indigenisation including traditional rulers and political stalwarts.