Cross River State Peoples Democratic Party Gubernatorial Flagbearer Sandy Ojang Onor spoke with Oracle Today’s Aniekan Aniekan on pertinent issues affecting the state and the division within his party at the national level. Excerpts:
Cross River State has been bedeviled with insecurity and it’s assuming alarming proportions. What’s your take on this?
Insecurity in the state is regrettable. It’s completely regrettable that in Cross River State today, we not only have insecurity, it has snowballed into even kidnapping and on our highways that were hitherto very safe; people are being kidnapped and ransom demanded.
I think that is not where to be at all.
I have seen a few attempts by the government to address the situation but I think something more concrete has to be done.
Our security personnel should be put in a situation where structurally they are very equipped to deal with this issue. I hope they will just be given what they need to do so.
How prepared is your party in the state for the forthcoming elections?
On the readiness of the PDP, everyone can see that the APC is doing our work for us. Because of their bad governance , our citizens are resolved to go in a different direction. If you see what has been happening with the PDP before now, the kind of governance we have been offering, the dividends we have to show and place it in juxtaposition with the stagnancy we have experienced, you will see that the choice is very clear and the people of the state are very willing to demonstrate that with their votes. The civil servants are not happy, local government staff are despondent; the ordinary citizens are in a very dark and bad place.
Our state is enveloped in darkness as far as good governance is concerned and in history we say darkness is not a subject of history. So we are very determined, on our own we are taking nothing for granted, we are working very hard and very convinced that we will win the elections.
From what we see, instead of the APC working hard, they are thinking of rigging, it will not come to that because we will not allow them rig and victory is inevitable by the grace of God and the will of our people.
The issue of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BIVAS) is taking centre stage ahead of the elections with certain people saying it should be dropped. Do you subscribe to this?
Those canvassing for BIVAS to be dropped are criminals; electoral criminals who should hide their faces in shame. BIVAS has come to stay and we are very happy with INEC because INEC has insisted on BIVAS. From my knowledge of the position on INEC by the Senate, all kinds of pressures were put on INEC to drop the BIVAS which they have rejected. We are going to be BIVAS compliant and that is where our confidence is hinged.
It is being rumoured in some quarters that because of your closeness to Governor Wike, your presidential candidate cannot campaign in the state. How far is that true?
I don’t know what that means, the presidential candidate has the democratic liberty to extend his campaigns everywhere and Cross River State is no exception. So if he does his job well and reconciles with his party, reconciles with Governor Wike and with all of us, it will be an easy ride for him and that is what I hope for the party.
So, it is too premature for anyone to begin to run conclusions on that matter just yet. The Wike camp where we belong and the Atiku camp are both saying they are ready for reconciliation and we hope that reconciliation will happen. Every right thinking PDP person is looking forward to that reconciliation; that is the position now and I don’t want to be pessimistic about it.