George Odok | Calabar 

As the build up to the constitution of the 9th legislative assembly in Cross River State draw closer, the political atmosphere has been clouded with various names of lawmakers and local government areas as possible candidates for the Headship of the legislature and Speaker of the Assembly.

This is coming at a time where the PDP family in Cross River State overwhelmingly returned Gov. Ben Ayade and his Deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu as the Governor-elect and deputy governor respectively.

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Professor Ayade hails from Obudu local government area in Northern Cross River, while his deputy, Prof. Esu, is a native of Biase in Cross River South. By this very placement, the North and South still occupying the executive positions and the State Chairmanship of PDP are automatically out of the Speakership by the PDP zoning arrangement.

The slot of the Speakership now favours Cross River Central which has 6 local government areas 
that make up three federal constituencies.

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1. Abi/Yakurr: In 2003-2007, Rt. Hon Bassey Eko Ewa from Yakurr local government area was re-elected for a second term into the state assembly and on the day of swearing in, he was elected Speaker at the floor of the house. At the end of his tenure as Speaker in 2007, he aspired higher by contesting for the House of Representatives for Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency which he won. Currently, he has been in the green chambers for 12 uninterrupted years. 

Secondly, in the same Federal Constituency of Abi/Yakurr, Rt. Hon John Gaul-Lebo was elected Speaker at the floor of the house in 2015. And currently, Abi local government has won the Federal Constituency seat. It is interesting to note that this federal constituency has benefited from key political positions over the years. Having produced two governors, Mr Clement Ebri from Yakurr and Senator Liyel Imoke from Abi.

Obubra/Etung: This federal constituency has been adequately represented at the National Assembly in the last four years. For Etung, Senator John Owan-Enoh was elected as a Senator in 2015 to represent Cross River Central. Similarly, Etung has produced another Senator in the person of Dr Sandy Onor, hence the local government is adequately represented. For Obubra, Hon. Mike Etaba has been re-elected for a second term to represent Obubra/Etung Federal constituency in the National Assembly. He is now a ranking member and Obubra is adequately represented. Obubra has equally produce a deputy governor; His Excellency John Okpa

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Ikom/Boki: The commercial and agricultural nerve centre of Cross River Central. For Ikom/Boki Federal Constituency, the story is not the same. Ikom local government is having a second term representative in the National Assembly. For Boki, the local government that gave Gov. Ayade the highest votes in Cross River Central has been empty without a representative at the National Assembly for the past four years, and with Hon. Chris Agibe winning his re-election, Boki will have to go for 8 years without a federal representative.

As it stands politically, Obudu LGA produced the highest votes for PDP, she has a Governor, Yala LGA came second with the highest votes for PDP, she has a Senator while Boki LGA came third in ranking, what is the reward??? Boki is strategically positioned and should be given the slot of the Speakership. 

For good conscience, equity and moral justice, it will indeed be gracious if the elected members of the 9th assembly and the state leadership weigh their strength behind Boki for the slot of Speakership.

With a passionate appeal, the very good people of Abi, Yakurr, Etung, Obubra and Ikom local government areas should give their support to Boki LGA to produce the next Speaker of the assembly.

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