As tension continues to heat up for the upcoming governorship election in Cross River State by 2023. Leaders and Stakeholders of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Cross River State have resolved to meet at the appropriate time to discuss and determine who is the likely successor of Governor Ben Ayade.
Governor Ayade had urged all those with ambitions to bury them for now, as the party would decide who will succeed him by 2023.
In Cross River State, the system of zoning, particularly for the office of the governor has evolved and been established over time; and that the zoning system has produced in succession the last three Governors of Cross River State from each of the Senatorial Districts in the State.
The zoning formula which was adopted since 1999 has brought peace and political stability to the state and has created harmony in the three Senatorial districts of the state.
Although the zoning formula seems to be working as planned, there are rumors that the 2023 governorship election in Cross River State will witness candidates from different Senatorial districts vying for the position.
In one of the APC Leaders and Stakeholders meeting, the governor had urged party leaders to go back to their wards to unite their members so as to form a formidable bond that would be insurmountable by 2023
However, the next election is just two years away and Cross Riverians are already expecting so much from the next governor that would succeed the Governor Ben Ayade, who won all his political elections under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but defected to APC to connect to the center.
It is no news that the 2023 elections in Cross River State are most anticipated and would be the toughest the state has ever experienced.
Factually, PDP would have the Senator representing Cross River Southern Senatorial District, Senator Gershom Bassey as the candidates to carry the party flag, as the political gladiator have indicated interest in vying for the governorship position.
Following this development, political analysts and commentators have pointed out that Senator Gershom Bassey could succeed the incumbent governor. He has been one of the most outstanding Senators in the state, owing to the bills he passed, empowerment exercises and lighting up Cross River South.
The Chairman of Ben Akak Foundation and Chief Executive Officer of Bengies Group of Companies, Engr. Ben Akak is another young business mogul who has indicated interest in vying for the governorship seat by 2023. He is one of the top candidates who may grab the APC governorship ticket for 2023 elections.
However, the party would decide on who should fly the flag of the APC at the right time.
Having said that, here are three signs that Senator Gershom Bassey is likely to be the next governor of Cross River State by 2023.
First, the zoning formula is still in place, and the clamour for a governor from the southern senatorial district is an added advantage to Gershom Bassey, who has recorded great achievements during his administration as the head of Cross River State Water Board Limited. He has also performed excellently as the Senator representing Cross River South.
Second, at a time the APC party is having factions, it would be an opportunity for Gershom to pull the weight of the people behind him. There has been news making rounds that the Governor of Cross River State and Former Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Usani are battling for who is the leader of the party in Southsouth.
Third, Gershom is a more experienced and rooted politician than any other candidate that has indicated interest in vying for the position. He is one who would be likely to deliver good governance despite the current situation of the state.