The conduct of the PDP congresses last Saturday to elect three delegates from the electoral wards in the state is a pointer to the wicked plans of some of our political leaders to consign known political crowd pullers to the background.
It shows that Cross River State political opportunists harbor sinister schemes to explode the state polity before their final exit.
Otherwise, no sensible and rational political actor would conceive the evil thought that, a political grass-rooter like Senator Prince Bassey Otu, Hon. Essien Ayi, men always at home with the people and with party members or Hon. Daniel Asuquo, a man of tomorrow and hope for the common man would be replaced with a wave of the hand by the Emperors.
The question many Cross Riverians have continued to ask after the congresses is, why would the state Emperors contemplate the wicked scheme to replace all sitting senators, House of Reps members and some state Assembly members against the wish of the people they represent?
Why would Hon. Etta representing Ikom/Boki federal constituency be replaced or for Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, the Senate majority leader be replaced because one person no longer likes his face or is about to quit the stage which he must quit?
Why would the people of the central senatorial district today be fed with lies by the leaders of the party that, Ndoma-Egba, a man he Senator Liyel Imoke as the state governor mounted public stage at Ikom to remind the people that, no reasonable community will replace a deputy senate leader with a green horn.
Was this argument, then meant to oust the senatorial ambition of a disliked Barr. Patrick Iwara from Ugep?
Where is the common sense, honesty of leadership, consistent and sound logic in all of these selfish political maneouvers?
It is only in Cross River State that a chief of staff who has served the governor for many years would ask to represent his people in the House of Representatives and would not be encouraged even when his counterparts in other states are encouraged and supported by the leadership to become governors, senators or ministers.
Similarly it is only in Cross River State that 5 governorship aspirants would be suspected to have been favored with some financial sponsorship being a bait to later disarm them by the Emperors midway.
If indeed, any aspirant was favored with financial support against others, that by itself should not make the aspirant give in so cheaply like a baby enticed with a spoon full of sleeping syrup to be heard no more.
It is on record that Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State was the secretary to the government of Delta State before he became governor. Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State was chief of staff to Orji Uzor Kalu. Emmanuel Umana, secretary to the government of Akwa Ibom State is now warming up to take over from Godswill Akpabio. Why won’t personalities like Barrister Mike Aniah, a long time secretary to the CRS government be encouraged to take over where our leaders to be sincere?
The question one should direct to Governor Imoke is, as a father figure and leader of the PDP in CRS, has he at any time put all the governorship aspirants together as done in other states with a charge to them to select one among them.
The so-called consensus about to be foist on the people, was it as a result of the aspirants stepping down for one another until the level of one was reached?
I concede, to Imoke the right to be anxious about who should succeed him, perhaps for purposes of continuity of his so-called legacy projects, but such anxiety must be expressed with some decency.
It is a mark of defeat and inability to hold the family together for a reasonable father to prefer one or two of his children out of ten. The challenge is for those the father has shown no love to fight back. This is not unexpected.
The unloved and un-favored aspirants in Cross River have just but, one solemn responsibility and duty to come together and prove to Imoke that they meant business when they presented themselves to the people to be governor.
Since all of them cannot become candidate at the same time, common sense require them to come together to demonstrate that the administrative knowledge so far acquired qualifies them to govern the state.
If Amaechi became the Rivers State governor after serving as speaker for some years why won’t Hon. Larry Odey, speaker Cross River State House of Assembly for years be governor of Cross River State.
What is the faith of the versatile technocrat, Ntufam Barr. Fidelis Ugbo, a man with enough leadership experience to govern Cross River State?
Volumes can be written about the exposed, experienced, dynamic and vibrant scholar, Senator, Professor Ben Ayade. He is eminently qualified to be the State governor in 2015. His academic standing and height should not be a threat to the Emperors or cabal who would never have reached such heights.
What are the sins of the handsome and eloquent Barr. Tanko Ashang, the eloquent Dr. Julius Okputu, a man of great ideas, the down to earth Mr. Bullem, talk less of the people advocate Barr. Joe Agi SAN, whose achieved legal feats may be the intimidating factor scaring the non-practicing lawyers.
If our present Deputy Governor from the wisdom of the old PDP leadership was made a deputy to senator Imoke for his good work to the PDP, what then should stop Chief Peter Ojie who has for many years stabilized the party as the state deputy chairman to become governor?
For Goddy Jedy Agba whose name has become a household name in the state, his unjustified dislike by the Emperors and the PDP leadership for their selfish reasons may be due to his financial independence.
The newly developed hatred for Ndoma-Egba by the Emperors and Ntufam may have been founded more on fear of competition by the Emperors.
It is on record that Imoke has been in government since 1999 occupying many positions ceaselessly. He benefitted severally from the goodwill of the people, not that he was the best, but that the people honestly stood by him. It was not out of his personal achievements known before then but solely on the quota of the people of the state.
Having risen to his present status as a political father and by reason of our joint goodwill, he has a duty to present himself as a father not favoring any against the other. As a lawyer, he should be abreast with the requirements of consensus by the free will of the principal actors, not by the fact of imposition. Cross River State belong to all of us.
The speculated attempt by some of the governorship candidates to allow themselves to be settled or sorted out with peanuts after staking their personalities would do them more harm than good.
Money cannot repair or buy a battered personality. It is better, more dignified and more gallant for a soldier to die standing and fighting in the battle field than to die captured in the hands of his captors/enemy.
Barrister Utum Eteng is a private legal practitioner and public affairs analyst. He writes from Calabar.
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