Cross River North: APC aspirants close ranks to defeat PDP
The aspirants who contested for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Senatorial ticket for Cross River North District have resolved to support the winner of the contest, Joe Agi to defeat other candidates, particularly that of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Stephen Odey.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had scheduled Cross River North Senatorial bye-election on October 31, following the death of Rose Oko who represented the constituency.
Briefing journalists at end of a meeting between Cross River APC stakeholders and the party’s National Caretaker Committee, one of the aspirants, Harris Odey said their decision to support Agi was based on an earlier agreement by all of them to support whoever emerges as a candidate.
Odey acknowledged that the other aspirants have issues with the primary election but following the decision of the party leadership to adopt Agi after reviewing the report of the primary election appeal panel, they have to abide by the party’s decision and work for its victory.
“We all have issues but at the end of the day, the party hierarchy reviews the appeal panel report and decided in favour of Barr. Joe Agi, SAN as the flag bearer. We are now supporting him to win the seat for the APC. This is the bigger picture for us. We were five contestants imminently qualified, there was going to be one winner and we all agreed that we are going to support this winner.
“We are also using this opportunity to appeal to other states that are having issues, once they have utilize the party’s machinery for reviewing appeals they need to be able to look forward to stopping the intraparty and begin to prepare for the interparty contest and if we do that our party can only become stronger”, he said.
Another aspirant, Fidel Ogoro declared that the Senate election is a ‘must-win’ for APC which has everything to win the election, saying: “it is for this reason that some of us even though we are not too pleased with the outcome of the election (primaries) decided that we have to put our differences aside and work together as a party”.
He said: “Our colleagues who are not here, whatever grievances they have they should sink them and join us to work together to deliver Joe Agi, the one that the party has given the mandate.
On his part, APC Chairman in Cross River, Mathew Mbu stressed that the party stakeholders were united to win the Cross River North bye-election which would be a prelude to the party’s take over of the State in the 2023 general election.
“APC has come of age in Cross River State. What has been keeping us from winning elections is the fact that we were not working as one. We have all realized that. The majority of real people in Cross River State are in our party. A house divided unto itself can’t stand and as a family, we realized that we must come together and nothing can stop us”, Mbu said.