Cross River youths protest Rep’s fifth term bid

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Hundreds of youths from the Calabar-South, Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas of Cross River on Tuesday stormed the state House of Assembly to protest the re-election bid of member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Essien Ayi, in the 2019 general election.

Ayi, who represents Calabar-South/Bakassi/Akpabuyo federal constituency in the National Assembly, was first elected in 2003 and had done four straight terms.

The tenure for lawmakers in the state Houses of Assembly and National Assembly is unlimited.

But the protesting youths insisted that they would prevail on Ayi not to seek re-election for the fifth time.

The protesters carried placards with varied inscriptions such as: “The Mugabe of Calabar South must go;” “Bakassi say no to fifth term lawmaker;” “Capital NO to fifth term,” among others.

They sought and got audience of the Speaker of the House, Mr. John Gaul Lebo, who was accompanied by other principal officers.

One of the speakers who identified himself as Solomon Archibong, told the Speaker in clear terms that they had come to speak against the wish of Ayi to return to the National Assembly.

“He is our own Mugabe, please let him leave, we need a new face,” he said.

The Speaker, John Gaul-Lebo, who spoke briefly to the protesters, commended them for peacefully conducting themselves.

A source close to the House of Representatives member maintained that Ayi would seek re-election in 2019.

The source said, “More than any other person, Ayi understands better the intricacies of National Assembly politics and has remained a political asset up until date.”

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