by crossriverwatch admin
Mr. Victor Abang popularly called ‘Mature’ is from Boki in Cross River State and has been working as an aide to Senate Presidents in the last ten years beginning from the era of Senator Nnamani. He spoke to CrossRiverWatch at Begiaba, Obudu where he delivered a condolence message to Mr Venatius Ikem during the final funeral rites of Frater Sylvanus Ikem over the weekend.
What is your take on the zoning of the position of governor to the north in 2015
I am not from the North but from the Central Senatorial District of the state. In as much as zoning is democratic, basically, it is a good step to encourage participation by all parts of the state at that level and also meet the tenets of justice and fair play in a multi plural society like ours. I expect the people of the north to square up to the challenge and through a democratic process produce a governor that will serve the entire state, not just the North.
Despite the zoning, not much is happening politically, what could be responsible for this quiet political atmosphere?
I think the atmosphere is still quiet because of the way we do our politics in our state where the family has to meet to take a decision. So many aspirants are still careful to do anything without the full knowledge of the family. That is why the atmosphere is still quiet. But I think that is not altogether right in a democratic system because after practicing democracy for fifteen years, people should have the right to act on their own. When you travel from Abuja down to the last village in Benue before Abuochiche, posters of different aspirants on various political platforms dot everywhere and I believe they have started in earnest. But in our won state, the aspirants are waiting for the family to meet and give them the go ahead however, be that as it may, there are some who have come out without waiting for the family and I think that is a good step.
You have been working with the Senate President for ten years now. What is your expectation in terms of senatorial elections in CRS in 2015?
I believe that Cross River has done well in Senatorial elections in the past years particularly the South and the Central Senatorial Districts in terms of allowing serving Senators to return. The Senator from the South, Prince Bassey Otu was in the House of Representatives and that ranking also counts. In the Central Senator Victor Ndoma Egba could rise to the position of Senate Leader because of his status as a three time member. Senator Ayade is a vice chairman of a committee because he is a first timer and by the time he returns in 2015, he is going to be the chairman of a committee.
In the House of Representatives, because of their ranking, Hon Owan Eno and Bassey Ewa are chairmen of Committees. Like I said in an earlier interview, when you talk about changing a legislator, it should not just for the sake of change but because he is either tired, ill or not performing but when he is still vibrant, the best bet is that as much as possible send him back that is why legislators do not have term limit. In the United States where we borrowed our democracy from, Senators go and go again and this is in the belief by their constituents that they have built capacity through seminars and other interactions, which will benefit the Senatorial District. For instance, I have worked with the Senate President for more than ten years. The capacity I have built through seminars and workshops I have attended in several countries, any Senate President that comes will find me useful and will call me to work with him.
In the Central where we come from, even the talk about changing Senator Ndoma Egba often lose it weight because he has been there for twelve years and yet those names which are being mentioned as possible contenders have spent more years in the legislature in the service of our people. Some have spent over sixteen years cumulatively in the legislature so if they are talking about change, then that should be when they brining somebody who is fresh. So, basically, saying that Senator Ndoma Egba should go for those who have spent more years, such argument will die on arrival.
Many politicians refused to attend this burial out of fear of being victimized by the governor, do you think that is a good development?
Though the crowd here is quite intimidating, I have spotted some of them and I think those who could not come may have their reasons. After all, the Secretary to State Government was here to represent the Governor, so what is the fear about. Those who consider themselves, the friends of Vena Ikem are here.
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