By Magnus Effiong
Members representing Yala/Ogoja and Akamkpa/Biase federal constituencies in the House of Representatives, Hon Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe and Hon Daniel Asuquo have lashed out at those fighting Gov Ben Ayade’s second term bid.
In separate interviews in Calabar, Wednesday, the two lawmakers who claimed to speak the minds of their constituents described as ‘unfair’ efforts by the Governor’s opponents to send Ayade packing after only four years in office.
Speaking, Hon Jarigbe said any attempt to dislodge Gov Ben Ayade from government House would be severely resisted, arguing that the principle of fairness means the Governor be allowed to complete his eight years just as his predecessors, former governors Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke.
On the ongoing disaffection in the party against automatic tickets for serving members of the national assembly, Jarigbe said “in our party constitution, there is something like consensus and people now take it out of context and said it is automatic ticket.
“There is no automatic ticket for anybody. Primaries for House of Representatives is on the 30th of September and we expect that those who want to express themselves beyond what the party has said in terms of consensus should come to the field and express themselves.”
On his part, Hon Daniel Asuquo observed that giving serving members ‘right of first refusal’ should not be seen as a crime.
Speaking on the Governor’s second term bid, Asuquo said it would be improper for the Ayade not to complete his second term especially as power should ordinarily return to the South in 2023 in which he intends to take a shot at the plum job.
Asked to comment on whether or not dangling of automatic ticket carrot was not a demonstration of fear that such important members of the party could defect to the opposition, Asuquo said “the issue of defection is neither here nor there because as a party we are on the opposition. We had already defected to remain in opposition since 2015 and struggling to come out of that defection to change the government at the centre.
“Authentic family members who know that it is good to build what they benefitted from do not behave like people who preach on the pulpit and break the pulpit so that nobody stands there to preach again. Here in Cross River State, of what effect are those defections? Nothing!
“So for us, it is an ongoing thing and we are also reconciling , we are entreating our fellow aspirant to remain, but for those who believe they are bigger than the constitution and the party, so be it. And I tell you the truth, check your numbers, where they defect to might even be worse with them as politicians,” he stated.