by crossriverwatch admin
The Convener of the Conference of Cross River State Professionals has said that the association is a child of necessity which was born out of the need to enliven community activism and raise the bar in inter-communal connectivity through different vocational platforms of individual members.
While speaking at a meeting of the organization at O’Jez restaurant in Lagos recently, he emphasized that the group is not a political party but has the welfare of the people of Cross River State as one of its primary objectives.
“A lot has been said and a lot more written on the monolithic political landscape called Cross River State. The entire populace swim, float and sink together. No questioning the status quo as any attempt to do so is likened to dissent. Some who have tried it, even when they still in the same political fold are seen as opposition figures. This fear of being branded as “an enemy of established tradition” has, to some extent, led to a docile populace whose level of political inactivity is second to none in the entire country.
“For a long time now the people of Cross River State have been searching for an avenue to ventilate their feelings, an avenue to discuss their common destiny without the inhibitions of party politics. The Conference of Cross River State Professionals provides that missing link.
“One of our cardinal objectives is to act as a pressure group with the resolve to positively impact on the lives of our various communities through different platforms such as arts, culture, media, social service, business relations and lately, politics.”
“It must be noted that we also took this into consideration when we declared that, to be relevant in what happens back home, we have to deliberately develop and sustain interest in whatever happens at home; be it politics, culture, et al. It is no longer going to be business as usual,” Nyong said.
He further called on political parties in the state to ensure balancing the political equation amongst senatorial groups in the next governorship election.
The group is advocating that the next governor comes from the northern part of the state arguing that their position negates the now legendary tripartite agreement between a former governor of the state, Donald Duke, incumbent Governor Liyel Imoke and the long serving Chairman of the Cross River State Water Board, Gershom Bassey to rotate the governorship seat between them.
On this, Nyong said, “it is only right, fair and just that the next governor of Cross River State comes from Northern Cross River,” warning that “the peaceful but delicate nature of Cross River polity must not be ruptured by the myth of the so called secret alliances that have nothing to do with the people.”
He said the Conference of Cross River State Professionals is calling for a consensus on this amongst Cross River elites and advised that all political parties should ensure their flag bearers in the next governorship election come from the northern axis.“This should be the guiding principle behind their nominations during their conventions,” Effiong retorted.
Some of the issues bothering the group include the plight of the displaced people of Bakassi. The group holds the view that the people of Bakassi still have a right to say where they belong, even when they are already under Cameroun.
“That the federal government has ceded the territory to Cameroun does not mean that the issue cannot be revisited,” Effiong said, and called on the federal and Cross River State governments to ensure all the amenities that make life worth living are put in place for the people.
“Bakassi should be treated as a disaster area and a state of emergency be declared.” He said He said the group is articulating a position paper for the forthcoming national conference and the Bakassi issue is on the front burner.
“Other issues include the loss of 76 oil wells to neighboring Akwa Ibom State, federal allocations and appointments into the civil service. “We lost Bakassi, lost our oil and our people. What do they want from us?” he asked.
He said the group is ready to work with any receptive individual or group that is found to be open to fresh innovative ideas aimed at adding value to the lives of the people of Cross River State.
“Over the years, we have noted that even as front liners in our different professional leanings, we have either been ignored or sidelined by our own state administrators. The time is now as we have resolved to get involved,” he said.
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