Former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Dr Usani Uguru Usani and Joseph Coco-Bassey have emerged as the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Young Progressives Party (YPP) governorship candidates, respectively, in Cross River State.
Both of them emerged candidates following their party primaries held over the weekend in Calabar.
Usani, a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who recently defected to (PRP), was returned unopposed by the chairman of the Primary Election/ Screening Committee Chairman, Ayim Temple, held at Teachers Training College Calabar.
Temple disclosed Usani, as the only aspirant, was screened, cleared and adopted you as a concensus candidate through affirmation.
Speaking shortly after his election, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, said the burden of the nomination is heavy, but, he accepts it in good faith.
Commending the delegates for their sacrifices, he said, “This sacrifice has been enormous, we do not take it for granted.
“Those who may come to you and say this party is not on ground, say to them that it is people that make the party.
“When we started the APC, they said the same thing but today they are fighting to join the party we brought to Cross River State.”
Also speaking shortly after he was declared winner of primary by the electoral officer, Chief Uchendu Akaeze, at the Party Secretariat in Calabar, the governorship candidate of YPP, Com. Joseph Coco-Bassey, said he joined the race to give Cross Riverians a viable alternative platform.
Coco-Bassey said it was high time the people became aware that money bags in politics don’t mean well for them, adding that it was high time the trend change.
He said: ”This particular trend must change as we are known for two political parties and we have not been able to achieve anything with the parties for 23 years.
“YPP has a concept, it is not money that makes leadership, but the people. So, our message is don’t sell your votes. If you collect N5,000 today how long will it take you and how far can it keep you? We are calling on Cross Riverians not to sell their vote.
“I strongly think that money bags will come to buy votes, but if our people are well sensitised, they will do the right thing by voting the right people in. We have BVAS and a solid electoral umpire in place and all votes will count. If we vote your conscience, invariably we are going to get it right because the people are tired of the old faces.
Explaining further, he said: “I have departed from my comfort zone. I had worked in public service for 17 years with INEC and I just resigned a month ago, because I heard the cry of the people. I want to restore hope. This is my own way of contributing to growth and development.”