Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke has said he will not anoint any person as successor for the 2015 governorship election in the state.
He made this known on Tuesday when he hosted the state’s Elders’ Consultative Forum at Government House in Calabar.
Imoke said he was particularly perturbed by pressure from group of persons, including the media, compelling him to anoint a successor, adding that he had never been part of a process that imposed candidates on the people.
Rather, he said the people should own the process that throws up people for elective positions.
Imoke said, “I have seen publications where people say let the governor announce his candidate. For me, that is not democracy and it is not the right kind of politics. I believe strongly that even that process of producing the governor should be one that all of us own or can lay claim to.
“We should allow candidates who will say that they have met with the senatorial zones, elders, the caucuses and groups and we have discussed, and then the people will assess them based on their credentials, capacity and vision”.
Imoke, who explained that the governorship of the state was too much of a risk to be personalized, warned that there would be no allowance for political jobbers to transform themselves into the voice of the people.
“But when people stand up and say ‘I want to be governor by hook or by crook’, we get worried and ask what is all that for? What is the motive? Is it a private or collective agenda and how do we sustain this in a very challenging environment?
“It is too much of a risk for us to personalise the governorship. There is too much at stake. The whole process needs to be managed, which is why I say let us not over heat the polity which tends to cause unnecessary distractions. In the end, it will throw up all sorts of character, with all due respect to my political friends”, he said.
On the clamor for zoning of the 2015 governorship position to the northern senatorial zone of the state, Imoke said the decision was taken as part of the stabilizing factors in the state.
He insisted that it would have been most regrettable if as a people “we will not accommodate ourselves with regard to the office of the governor of Cross River State”.
The governor decried what he said had obtained in the past.
“I always stress that one of the things I found totally unbecoming of us as a people was that there used to be a saying that certain type of people could not be governor. For instance, when I came in, the Chairman of the Forum, Col. Pam Ogar (rtd) commended me for the economic transformation of the state as well as putting Cross River on the world’s tourism map”, he said.
The forum was later taken on an inspection tour of the International Convention Centre under construction.