The chances of Senator Bassey Otu clinching the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship ticket in Cross River state received a boost on Thursday evening when one of the two main contenders, Senator John Owan-Enoh, withdrew from the race.
Addressing a group of his campaign cordinators and party supporters in Calabar, Senator Owan-Enoh said, “I am saddled with the onerous responsibility of conveying to you, my decision to suspend our campaign for the governorship of Cross River state on the platform of our party the APC.
“After deep reflection in addition to consultations, I have taken the decision to yield to the consensus arrangement of our great party in the firm belief in the supremacy of our party.
“I do this for the sake of the unity of our platform and my support for the leadership of our party under his excellency Governor Ben Ayade.
“No matter how profound our vision is, no matter how brightly the light of hope burns in our hearts, as loyal party men and women, the supremacy of the party is sacrosanct at all times.
“And so, it is in full compliance and obedience to the decision of our party as well as your understanding that I suspend this campaign. It is therefore in this spirit that I urge you to throw your weight and support behind Sen. Bassey Otu, the consensus choice of our party.”
The party had chosen Senator Otu as its consensus candidate out of the 17 aspirants who indicated interest, but Senator Owan-Enoh and Chief Chris Agara rejected the consensus arrangement and went ahead to buy their nomination and expression of interest forms.
With Owan-Enoh’s withdrawal, the remaining two contenders, Agara and Otu, would have to slug it out during the governorship primaries scheduled for next week.