Hand picking of the next generation of leaders or selectocracy in Cross River State may cause mass exodus of those who may not get a chance.
The proposed plan by Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State to hand pick candidates contesting for various elective positions in the state under the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has pitched the governor against constituents in the state.
The people expressed disappointment that Ayade’s method is self serving and might not produce generally accepted, credible and marketable candidates ahead of the elections.
In a petition addressed to state chairman of the party, Egim Enok, dated 1st September 2018, the leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, in Obubra 1 state constituency threatened to defect to other political parties if the leadership of the party goes ahead with imposition plans.
In the petition captioned, “Final communiqué reached by the leadership, party stakeholders and the entire party faithful of our great party(PDP)in Obubra 1 state constituency on the purported imposition of Friday Okpechi”, they insisted the party leaders at the state level cannot foist him on them.
A copy of the petition made available to our reporter at the weekend, reads in part,” The information is that, our Governor, Senator Ben Ayade has assured Friday Okpechi of an automatic party ticket for his second term bid.
“That rumor beclouding the constituency has it that, should the mistakes of 2015 repeat itself in 2018,the party will be left with no option but to experience a tsunami of defections which will leave the party in a precarious and irredeemable condition in the constituency “
The letter was signed by Monday Isangha, chairman,PDP Obubra Urban ward, Blessing Gideon, representing market women and 16 other political and social groups.
They all vowed to resist any attempt to impose Okpechi on them.
They said, “Giving the obvious fact that Friday Okpechi is not the acceptable candidate, and would never return as our representative and haven grossly thwarted the genuine good will of our people and having boasted loud in a constituency town hall meeting, that he owes nobody in the constituency any apology for his misconduct, he is not our candidate”
The party leaders recalled that the same imposition that brought him into power in 2015, resulted in mass defection of key stakeholders of the party to the opposition political party.
They appealed to governor and the leadership of the party in the state to allow all aspirants to participate in party primaries to enable the most popular and acceptable candidate to emerge as the party flag bearer in the 2019 general elections.