By Nsan Ndoma-Neji, Calabar
Kingmakers in Cross River State have been charged by the Southern senatorial district stakeholders not to allow the zoning formula used by the people of the state in determining who becomes governor of the state to be interrupted in the 2023 gubernatorial elections.
Speaking on the issue, at the end of the stakeholders forum, which ended in Calabar at the weekend, co- convener of the stakeholders forum, Chief Ogban Ebock, stated that the formula had helped the state in removing the rancour said to be associated with electioneering processes, adding that should the zoning system be terminated, the process of electing who becomes governor of the state would be cumbersome.
He therefore called on Cross Riverians in the Central and North senatorial districts of the state to team up with the South and ensure that the zoning formula is uninterrupted.
He said, “The forum, therefore, calls upon and urges fellow stakeholders from Central and Northern senatorial districts of Cross River State to join hands with us in the South to ensure that the zoning arrangement continues uninterrupted, so as to ensure equality and equity in the polity of the state.”
In a communique issued at the end of stakeholders’ forum, which ended at the weekend, where issues of concern to the Southern senatorial district were ironed out and signed by the senator representing the senatorial district at the Senate, Senator Gershom Bassey, it was averred that the existing zoning arrangement for office of the governor of the state and other political offices be maintained.
He added, “And by that arrangement, the governorship of Cross River State in 2023 should be zoned to the Southern senatorial district.
The Forum further stressed that since the advent of the Fourth Republic, a system of zoning of key political offices in Cross River State, particularly, the office of the governor, has evolved and been established over time, adding that the formula has produced in succession the last three governors of the State from each of the senatorial districts and wonder why some persons want the formula to be dumped.
The Forum also urged both the state and Federal governments to urgently intervene and address the security failings, in the state, so as to restore safety of lives and property within the Southern senatorial district, which has been the most affected in Cross River State by this unfortunate situation.