Some members of North and South Ukelle communities in Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State staged a protest on Tuesday over the nomination of Cynthia Nkasi as Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Yala 2 State Constituency candidate.
The crowd comprising youth, women, community leaders and the elderly demanded that Mrs Nkasi’s name be replaced with that of Emmanuel Asegem.
They marched round villages in the area carrying placards with various inscriptions to call on Governor Ben Ayade to prevail on the party to forward the name of Mr Asegem as its candidate in 2019.
One of the protesters, Agnes Igbang, said “We do not want imposition of leaders again in Ukelle but should be allowed to choose those we want and Emmanuel Asegem is our choice for the State House of Assembly for Yala 2 constituency in 2019. Our governor should do the needful by instructing the party to send his name because we voted for him during the primary.”
The protesters said they were disheartened with the replacement of Mr Asegem’s name with that of Mrs Nkasi and warned that the PDP would suffer repercussions if the choice is not reversed.
“This young man has been with us through thick and thin and we know his ability and capacity so bypassing him for that woman is against our will so we therefore insist for a reversal to our choice”. Agnes insisted.
Another speaker, James Ebele, said the governor’s election is on the same date with the House of Assembly elections and they do not want anything to affect the governor’s votes, so they should be treated fairly by the party.
“We have mobilised about 60,000 votes in the six wards of Ukelle and we would return those votes to the governor but if our choice is not nominated for the election, it will be difficult to bring out everybody on election day to vote and that may affect his votes and we don’t want that to happen,” Mr Ebele said.
He said in the past, Ukelle had experienced imposition of leaders which is the reason for the underdevelopment of the place.
He said the time has come for the people to be allowed to choose those to represent them.