2019 : Calabar South 'Mugabe' Must Go - Youths Protest Essien Ayi's 5th Term Bid

Thousands of youths from the Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency, Monday stormed the Cross River House of Assembly in protest against the 5th term bid of the federal lawmaker representing their constituency, Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi.

The youths who described him as the "Mugabe" of the State's politics said that it was time for him to take a bow for the deputy speaker and member representing Calabar South in the State assembly, Hon Joseph Bassey represent them in 2019.

The protesting constituents visited Bassey in his office at the assembly complex to appeal to him to join the race in 2019.

Explaining the reason for choosing Bassey, the constituents said that his glaring effectiveness and legislative experience necessitated their disposition adding that they were tired of Ayi who they described as a 'sleeping representative'.

Emmanuel Asuquo, one of the constituents who spoke with our reporter said that their protest was arrived at after a brainstorming session with select youths from the three local government that make up the constituency.

According to him, "We are here because the youths of Akpabuyo, Bakassi and Calabar South have sat down and brain stormed, telling Hon. Joseph to come and rescue us. We need him to come and represent us, why this is done is because he has represented us in the House of Assembly effectively. We have seen that he is a man that is cable, he is strong enough, a man that will not disappoint us, a man that has stood firmly with his people till date. We hope he will not disappoint us by telling us that he won't run for reps in 2019".

Berating Ayi, he said that "if you are given first term, second term, third term, I think that's enough, but we went ahead and gave him fourth term we can not afford a fifth term".

Another constituent who spoke, Ekanem Ndiyo a legal practitioner said that "On behalf of the Women, whether you like it or not, as women, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, please salvage us from this situation. Come and be our voice. We want a man with charisma, to salvage our situation. New Face!

A shout of 'You must go! You must go' was echoed from the crowd who carried placards with the inscription "Calabar South Mugabe must", " We want Hon. Joseph Bassey in 2019" amongst others.

Responding, Hon. Bassey thanked them for the confidence reposed in him and charged them to shun all social vices while going about expressing their support for him.

His words, "The office we are talking about is being occupied by one of our brothers and nothing in life is permanent. There's always a beginning and an end.

"What I have to tell you people is that I was a counselor and the leader of the House and I did not leave, if I have been there for five times, most of these boys that are starting up today wouldn't have had the opportunity to start up.

"It's not bad to continuously be in office but definitely when you are there and the voice of the people being the voice of God say they don't want you or they want you, you must act accordingly.

"I am not here to fight and I want to encourage everybody not to fight verbally, engage in hate speech or physically, don't fight. Power belong to God it is only God that gives power. No amount of effort will give you position. I wouldn't want to serve a people that don't want me.

"With God and with all of us here today, I am assuring you that 2019 is a done deal, let me first of all congratulate you in advance, see you guys in Abuja".

Rt. Hon. Essien Ayi is the current representative of Akpabuyo/Bakassi/Calabar South Federal Constituency.
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