By George Odok
Calabar, March 14, 2023
Mr. Bassey Akiba, the House of Representatives member-elect for Calabar Municipality/Odukpani Federal Constituency, says his victory caught the All Progressives Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Cross River by surprise.
Akiba, a former lawmaker in the Cross River House of Assembly, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Calabar.
Akiba, who is the only candidate that won the National Assembly seat in Cross River under the platform of Labour Party, told NAN he received the news of his victory at the polls with excitement.
He told NAN that he won his election free and fair without any form of monetary inducement on the electorate.
NAN reports that Akiba won the Feb. 25 House of Representatives polls with 23,759 votes, defeating the APC candidate, Mr. Edim Inok, who received 21,066 votes, and the PDP candidate, Rep. Etta Mbora, who got 19,584 votes.
“I contested the election with a sitting House of Representatives member who is in PDP and also the candidate of the APC who happens to be a former chairman of the party in the state.
“What they forgot to understand is that the dynamics has changed, and that the people are more enlightened and aware of what is going on in the country.
“My victory took my opponents by surprise because they never believed it. The people now have the power; they moved and effected that change.
“Gone are the days when people feel that once you are the government candidate you are automatically a winner. I was the masses’ candidate and they demonstrated that through the ballot,” he said.
He assured residents of the constituency of fulfilling all the promises made to them during the course of his campaign.
He urged his supporters to continue to have hope in the new administration that would be inaugurated, adding that he won’t betray their trust in him.
“I told my people that if I don’t do well, I should be voted out; and if I do well, I should be encouraged to go further.
“The only way to grow our democracy is to vote out ineffective leaders and encourage the performing ones to go further.
“I am not going to the House of Representatives as a green horn; I am equipped with legislative experience having been a lawmaker in the state house of assembly.
“As soon as we are inaugurated, I will commence work immediately because there are a lot of expectations from my people who gave me this mandate.
“I didn’t throw money at the electorate like others did; I told the people what I will do for them if elected and they saw the genuine commitment of my promises and voted me in overwhelmingly,” he said.