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Crisis brews in C’River PDP as Asuquo rejects Duke’s consensus arrangement

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

A reported endorsement of Sir Jarvis Archibong as the consensus candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for the governorship election in Cross River, is threatening to tear the party apart in the state.

This is more so as a group, ‘PDP Southern Senatorial District Leaders Of Thoughts,’ said they had also adopted a House of Representatives member, Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo is their consensus candidate.

Recall that Archibong, a university chancellor, was said to have been endorsed by a group, ‘Cross River Southern Community Elders’ Forum’ led by former governor Donald Duke. Nine governorship aspirants of the party and major stakeholders were said to be in attendance at the consensus planning meeting.

But in a counter move, members of the ‘PDP Southern Senatorial District Leaders of Thoughts’ said they were distancing themselves from the said meeting and anything to do with the Duke’s consensus arrangement.

The press statement, signed by the Director-General of the Daniel Asuquo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Yibala Inyang, and titled “We are not part of any botch consensus’ noted that 22 leaders and stakeholders of the party had also endorsed Rt Hon Asuquo.

It read in part: “Conversely, how would one distinguish a meeting of the said group called at the instance of His Excellency, Mr. Donald Duke and dominated by a sectional ethnic interest, to address political issues bordering on the multiplicity of aspirants of the People’s Democratic Party if not to undermine the sensibilities of the good people of Cross River State who deserve the right to enthrone a candidate of their choice.

“Arising from the meeting of critical stakeholders of the Southern Senatorial District of Cross River State of the People’s Democratic Party, on Monday, 9th May 2022 unanimously adopted Rt. Hon. Daniel Asuquo is our governorship candidate for the 2023 general election.

“Our decision is predicated by his groundswell acceptability, delivery of democratic dividends, landmark achievements and antecedents in politics and the overall development of Cross River State and beyond.”

Whereas the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the State have already chosen former Senator for Cross River South, Bassey Otu, as their consensus candidate for the election, the PDP seems to be in disarray as the party leaders continue to battle with who squares it up with Senator Otu in next year guber contest.

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