Not a few Cross Riverians have lamented the apparent lack of activity, almost apathy that is surprisingly becoming the strange signature tune of Cross River state in the run up to the 2015 election.
Could it be that we are no longer interested in politics and it’s outcomes? Of course not. No state in Nigeria I believe today has its entire economic fortunes completely tied to government like the people of Cross River State, contrary to the claims of a diversified economy that government officials mouth glibly without substantiating. Even the so called Agricultural sector investors have been sustained by government.
How else can you explain government donating the 2bn Naira Agricultural loan which the Federal Government of Nigeria gave to each state to loan to farmers being wholly handed to one single “investor “?
A foreign investor so called while we claim that government has attracted billions of investment in the Agricultural sector. Cross River State Government voodoo economic management is not my headache this morning.
The strangulation will choke the system to death and it will rot and stink soon and some people will run away from the state, if not the Country because they will not be able to stand the reaction that will emanate from the stench!
My interest this morning is in taking a look at our political environment and comparing how low we have sank even in asserting ourselves as citizens and politicians. In many constituencies today, barely two months to election primaries, there are no aspirants for the elective offices available!
Most people have become so cowered they cannot even think for themselves anymore. Not even to dare to aspire because we are told that the “family” will choose for us. It sounds like Sicily where mafia families rule supreme. And some people call it “peace “.
As we all know, peace that comes from fear, morbid fear is only found in the graveyard. Maybe our supreme leader can be at rest now and pick all the politicians he wants to fill all the spaces available and feel like an Emperor indeed.
One story about the inimitable tortoise I read as a child I will paraphrase here: Mr. Tortoise set out to and gathered all the wisdom on earth so that no one else will have the privilege of any wisdom again. He bottled all in a calabash and decided to climb up a tall tree to preserve the wisdom where no one could reach it.
He then tied the calabash to his neck and started to climb the tree, but could not. After several frustrating attempts, Mr. Hare who was passing by watched his friend with some amusement trying to climb the tree unsuccessfully for the umpteenth time.
He then asked Mr. Tortoise who until then was oblivious of his presence what he was trying to do. He told him he was trying to climb up the tree.
Mr. Hare then advised him that instead of hanging the calabash in front of him, he should rather hang it behind him so that he could get a good grip to be able to climb effortlessly.
Mr. Tortoise tried the adjusted position and it worked. But instead of climbing up, he decided in frustration to climb back down. He then proceeded to shatter the calabash of wisdom because, unknown to him he had not gathered all the wisdom there was on earth!
Or how else will you explain the wisdom of his friend?
While we may have succeeded in cowering all our citizens, gathered all the political wisdom to manipulate people with hunger and fear of the unknown, we should still look around because we may have missed something along the way.
As the citizenry groans under penury, become pliable and weak, we may be building a reserve of resistance they don’t know that they have.
While I wait for those Exco members that will have the courage to risk their jobs and resign by Monday, I Pray that they can muster 10million for the nomination form of PDP.
I also hope with them that they will be anointed. I remain steadfast in my belief and conviction that Cross River State cannot survive this state of affairs!
The only way forward is a complete CHANGE. From the way we have been doing things.
This contraption cannot continue to survive the pretence!
Even the managers of the contraption can use some fresh air!
The stress of pretending that all is well is becoming overbearing.
Let us admit that we have lost direction and chart a new course of action involving the PEOPLE we govern!
Venatius Ikem is a lawyer and politician and writes from Calabar
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