The Nigerian News Agency reports that Kwankwoso launched five campaign offices in Cross River amid fanfare.
Campaign offices opened include Dr Sam Eno Ugep Senate Campaign Office, Yakuur Local Government and Wilfred Bonse Campaign Organisation, Cross River Central Senate Area Headquarters, Ikom.
Others include Dr. Yakubu Shandam‘s campaign headquarters, Boki Ikom Ikom federal constituency, Caroline Williams’ senatorial campaign headquarters, Ogoja, the North Cross River senatorial area, and the campaign office of Yakubu Shandam Okondi, Boki Local Government/BenClay Campaign Office, Okondi Boki State Constituency 1.
A cross-section of party members and candidates who spoke after the inauguration noted that their love of grassroots development has further enhanced the party’s acceptance in the state.
Mr. Buba Galadima, Secretary of the party’s Board of Trustees, said the visit was unique and a home for him, adding that the presidential team was very warmly received by the people of Cross River.
“This is indeed a reunion. The last time I set foot in places like Ikom, Ogoja and the rest was in 1972 when I was a student at the university.
“Cross River has changed tremendously because the last time I visited, when you drive every 10 km, you see treetops and you can’t even see the sun.
“But today, the environment has been bastardized and what you find now are open fields that didn’t exist until now.
“But I’m happy to report that people are still as friendly as they always have been.
“Thirdly, I want to put on record that even in the south, Cross River State is considered Northern Nigeria because we have a long-standing relationship.
“That’s why you find a lot of Arewa people at least in this part of the country. Ugep, Ikom, Ogoja, and several other places, including Calabar itself.
“So every time I’m here, I feel at home. I consider Cross River my second home,” she said.
Galadima, noting that the state also had a strong political link to northern Nigeria, added that NNPP was widely accepted in Cross River.
“Politically we have always been united and it seems that this link has not been broken.
“So whatever is happening in Northern Nigeria is also happening across the entire Cross River State.
“In a nutshell, this is what informed the kind of reception we’ve received.
“That’s why our party is widely accepted and is being welcomed in this state as its own political party.
“I assure you that with the kind of reception we have received in various areas since we got here this morning, we are confident that Cross River State will be taken by NNPP,” he said.
Also speaking, Amb. Wilfred Bonse, the NNPP gubernatorial candidate in the state, said Kwankwaso’s visit was the start of better things for the state, adding that NNPP was the fastest growing political party in the country.
“I will say we are off to a very good start.
“Fortunately, he has been with us since morning and now it is almost midnight, but everyone is still abuzz with constructive activity.
“That is the vibe that has been missing in politics. The dormant kind of dream of youth about the belief that politics was immutable has suddenly taken a U-turn as new hope is infused into the consciousness of choice of the people we provide and you can see for yourself. same.
“So, I’m ecstatic and I feel like this is a good start and just the start,” he said.
Bonse further added that the visit, which was simply meant to open party campaign offices in the state’s central and northern senatorial districts, turned into rallies, which is an unplanned bonus.
“NNPP has been opening their campaign offices in chapters, districts, etc.
“One would think that a favorite presidential candidate like Senator Kwankwaso would not bother to visit local and zonal government headquarters like Ugep, Ikom and Ogoja.
“But he did not only do that, he broke all electoral history records in an “Okondi” village in Boki LGA to commission a party secretariat.
“This is unprecedented and if you recall correctly, the Ugep Obolopon pointed out that the last time a person of that pedigree visited Ugep was when Shehu Shagari came to visit.
“So this is the real grassroots development strategy to sensitize people, meet them right where they are.
“Also understanding their pain and connecting with them in a way that you can’t just connect with them on social media or just talk to them from any distant platform,” he said.
Mr. Tony Odeh, President of the Cross River NNPP, said he felt very fulfilled after the Kwankwaso visit, emphasizing that the visit was both strategic and impactful.
“When you look at my face, you will know that I am a very happy and fulfilled person because this is an opportunity that I have been longing for.
“I have been thinking about how I will bring our leader to this community. As I told him in Abuja and will continue to say, I don’t follow him and I don’t work for him, but I work for myself.
“I represent myself in everything I do because he wins, everyone around me, my community and the state will feel comfortable because I have an idea of what Kwankwoso stands for.
“I am someone who believes in hard work and I believe in people who work hard.
“So today I am a happy person because I managed to bring Kwankwoso to Ogoja,” he said.
Odeh said that the people of the state longed for a change in leadership, adding that the change had to flow from the national level to the grassroots.
“I wanted before now to come see how people feel because we are very disappointed with everything that has been happening in the country.
“Cross River is a state that has what it takes to grow, but the kind of leadership we’ve had from the national level to the grassroots has never allowed us to move forward.
“So, I feel very happy and fulfilled,” he said.
Mr. Augustine Bisong, the NNPP’s candidate for the Boki II State House of Assembly, noted that the NNPP’s presidential candidate was very well received by the people of the state as well as the party’s supporters at the grassroots.
“It is a beautiful thing. First of all, I want to thank Kwankwaso who has brought a new dimension to our politics. For the first time you see a presidential hopeful going down to the grassroots.
“Today he is in Boki LGA, he also visited Ugep, Ogoja LGA and went to areas that I think even if they say other presidential candidates should come to those areas, they will refuse to come.
“So, I want to sincerely thank you for being the kind of person you are and that’s what grassroots politics is all about.
“The reception he received was just fantastic. I was not in Ugep, but when I made a phone call I could hear the thunderous voices in the background.
“So that meant the crowd was huge. His visit to Ikom was also splendid and for Boki and Ogoja where I am, I can confidently say that he is ready to go,” he said.
also reports that part of Kwankwaso’s program was a visit to the Ugep Palace of Obolopon, Yakuur and the Palace of Sarkin Hausawa of Ogoja/Kwankansiya Community Igoli, Ogoja, as well as a town hall meeting that lasted until the early hours of the morning. .
Source Credit: NAN