The Hypocrisy Of Cross River Politicians BY KALITA JOSEPH ARUKU

In Columnists, Opinion, Politics

by crossriverwatch admin

Kalita Joseph Aruku
Kalita Joseph Aruku

Loyalty is a very common word frequently used in the political circle, it is a virtue demanded of every politician whether as leader or as follower.

As a follower it is expected that you render total loyalty to your leader i.e. supporting every political decision he takes whether you consider them right or wrong and as a leader you are expected to be loyal to the party you belong to and also the people you lead.

It is the amount of loyalty enjoyed by a politician that gives him his political strength and determines his level of relevance; this explains why the phrase “am loyal” is now hypocritically bandied around by politicians in exchange for political patronage from their benefactors.

The likes of Awolowo, Zik, and Ahmadu Bello enjoyed tremendous loyalty that is why even after their demise you will still find proud Awoists and Zikists but in Cross River how many people will you find who are proud protégés of Chief Murphy, Dr Imoke, Chief Mbu, Chief Okoi Arikpo etc?

In other parts of the country especially the South West and Northern part of the country, loyalty is very much enjoyed by political leaders but in Cross River state it is a mirage, people only pledge loyalty to the man in power.

During the last Ondo state governorship election, one of the chieftains of ACN was said to have never lost his local government since when he started active politics, although ACN lost the general election, it did not lost that local government.

We all remember the late strongman of Oyo politics, Chief Adedibu who single handedly installed all the governors of Oyo State until his demise with his brand of “amala politics”. How can we ever forget the late Senator Olusola Saraki who only managed to be the Senate Leader in the National Assembly but came back to single handedly install three governors until his last attempt to install his daughter was botched by his own son Bukola.

It took a Saraki to stop a Saraki. In Cross River we have a Senate Leader in the person of Senator Ndoma Egba but can he single handedly determine who becomes a councilor in his ward talk more of a governor?

Former Senate President, Senator Joseph Wayas is still alive but is he really a factor when it comes to choosing who becomes Chairman of council in his Obanliku LGA? It is only in Cross River where that you see a high profile political office holder losing woefully his polling unit during elections.

When George Akume former governor of Benue State fell out with his successor Suswam, he left the PDP for ACN and the political equation in Benue changed. In fact, a typical Benue man will tell you ACN actually won the election, but when Donald Duke who was governor at the same time with Akume left PDP to join Labour how many people followed him and it forced me to ask the whereabouts of the popular “Donald boys” who where parading the state during his tenure as governor.

They made us believe Donald was the alpha and omega of Cross River politics and I thought his movement to Labour will bring an end to the PDP dominance in the state but whosai?

On realization that he was alone in the journey he abandoned the project and went into political oblivion.

Today it is Imoke boys, almost every politician in Cross River State especially within the ruling PDP is claiming total loyalty to Sen. Imoke. They are so loyal that they fear to discuss their political ambitions even to their own wives for fear of been blacklisted for disloyalty talk more of showing any kind of support to most of the rumoured candidates.

The few who have evidently lost out from the system becomes Apostles for change overnight, and so it is so easy to find someone who previously told us Imoke is the best thing to have ever happened to Cross River telling us the exact opposite.

Suddenly, Imoke became clueless, incompetent and corrupt, changing overnight from an angel to a devil? Truly #ourmumudondo.

Travelling to Abuja through Benue I saw the posters and billboards of more than thirty aspirants running for governorship and other positions gracefully adorning the streets of Benue yet the governor has not told anybody his preferred candidate but here everybody is waiting for the governor to give them the nod before they even start consultation. What a hypocritical loyalty.

The truth is no Cross River politician whether as leader or follower is truly loyal and this is a problem of both the leaders and the followers, let me explain.

The problem of the leaders is that they have never done enough to command genuine and passionate loyalty from their followers. How many present political players and protégés of the political leaders of old like Late M.T Mbu, Okoi Arikpo, I.I Morphy, Etta Ogon, Margaret Ekpo, S.E Imoke etc are not their children.

This people never genuinely groomed anybody to take over from them like their colleagues in other regions. The likes of Kanu Agabi, Joseph Wayas, JIC Igbe, Wilfred Inah, etc are all finally bowing out from the political stage with nobody to point out as people they groomed to take over from them.

Years before he died, the late Etubom Bassey Ekpo Bassey handed over Chief Barr Okoi Obono Obla and Chief Barr. Awa Iheke to Gen Muhammadu Buhari and Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau respectively.

This gentlemen have all grown to become integral parts of the political structures of their principals which has given them great political relevance in the politics of this country yet still refer to the late Etubom Bassey as their leader even in death. Imagine if all our leaders did the same thing to their political sons or even give meaningful jobs their people.

Today you cannot win elections in the West if you don’t claim to be an Awoist because all the elites in the South West benefited from his free education scheme and most of the political leaders all rode on his back to power.
There was no way they wouldn’t have been a counter military coup to Nzeogwu coup when almost all the military officers at that time could attribute their career rise to the late Sultan of Sokoto Ahmadu Bello.

The late Olusola Saraki was said to be a philanthropist of the highest order. On his return to Nigeria after his study abroad he was said to have established a medical centre where he provided free medical services to his people and was repaid with an election into the National Assembly.

As political leader in Kwara his house was like a destitute home as it was opened to all manner of people who came in with one need or the other. How many of our politicians are like that? Truly, #ourmumudondo.

The followers also have their problem; everybody is so hungry that they jump from one politician to another as long as they can help sustain their stomach in the period they are in power. They demand for fish instead of learning how to fish and so trade their loyalty to the highest bidder.

Now candidates to political offices are no longer judged on the content of their character as is should be but on the size of their pocket. Truly, #ourmumudondo. As 2015 comes the ball will be in our courts again to decide where to kick it to and I pray we make the right decision.

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