PDP primaries: Ayi slammed for disregarding agreement after emerging House of Reps candidate
Residents of Calabar, Cross River State capital, and environs have bemoaned the victory of Essien Ayi at the just concluded Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) primaries.
Ayi has been representing the Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives since 1999.
The commenters, who revealed their dissatisfaction on radio and Facebook, said not only does he hardly attend sessions in the Green Chambers, but he also is not known to move motions or speak during deliberations except to sleep whenever he remembers to be present.
They accused him of disrespecting the gentleman’s agreement between him and other PDP stakeholders in the constituency which urged him to jettison his aspiration to return to the National Assembly.
They said he allegedly reneged on the agreement and went behind them to purchase the expression of interest and nomination forms.
Essien Ayi hails from Calabar South Local Government Area. Other stakeholders are from component local governments, Bakassi and Akpabuyo.
According to the callers, the lawmaker has reportedly used his influence and money to compromise delegates and party officials thereby denying them the opportunity to also produce a representative in over two decades.
At about 9:30 pm yesterday, the result from the PDP primaries gave Ayi the victory over three other co-contenders for the sixth time.
He won with a wide margin of 57 votes while Mrs Imana Duke scored 23 votes, former deputy speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Dominic Aqua got 16 votes and Mr Steven Ekpe got only three votes.
The returning officer, Mr Asuquo Ekpo said 99 delegates voted in the primaries.
Commenters, Reuben Akpan and Mmayen Cobham, blamed delegates whom they accused of allowing themselves to be compromised, adding that such spells doom for the future of democracy and denial of younger generations a chance to come up with brighter ideas.
“We believe that perhaps the delegates were again compromised to vote in a man who has spent over 20 years in the National Assembly without proposing Bills or impacting in the constituency.
“We don’t know if it is his birthright. We don’t know why PDP sees him as the only person that can Winn elections to the detriment of the people he claims to represent.
“A man who that cannot respect Gentleman Agreement should not be trusted.”, Cobham said.
However, an All Progressives Congress (APC) enthusiast, Felix Inyang expressed happiness that Ayi is the candidate of the PDP.
“His emergence will allow us ample opportunity to wallop PDP because Ayi’s popularity has waned,” he said.
An aide to Ayi, Etekamba Ene said, “It is because of baba’s growing popularity, generosity, influence, contributions to PDP, massive presence in the constituency and impact in the National Assembly that have always given him victory in all elections.”
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