Recently in the United States precisely in Charleston, South Carolina there was a shooting which occurred on the evening of June 17, 2015 at Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
The church is one of United States’ oldest black churches and has long been a site for community organization around civil rights. Nine people were killed, including the senior pastor, Clementa C. Pinckney, a state senator. A tenth victim was also shot, but survived. The crime above was committed by a “white man” who in his opinion felt that “blacks” were becoming too influential.
Many years ago in that same church her leader and others were killed for a perceived “revolt” against slavery. The point in of all this is, rather than call this wickedness and madness by what it is, the media is calling it a hate crime. This is not just hate it is racism!
This demonic plague of racism has seen to the unjustifiable deaths and subjugation of many just because of the color of their skin. Yet people try to shy away from or garnish the truth. If we must progress we must start by first calling it what it is and addressing same. How can a doctor treat without proper diagnosis?
Let it be said that I said so. What is it that I have said? That in politics or life generally we don’t need to pull another down for us to grow. Time and chance is of essence. We don’t need to smile in pretentious friendship and wake up with Judases kiss. We have to put things and perspective in its right frame if we have got to grow.
So why should we say yes when we mean no or make promises we can’t/wont keep? We must positively encourage others to grow and lovingly chastise when and where necessary in this global web of ours.
I am a youth but I have lived a long life. I have lived a long life having studied the history of great men and women alike of this generation and the generations of yesteryears. I have realized that great dreamers and achievers saw challenges, destructive opposition most a times from “within”.
The story of Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso who was assassinated by his best friend is of note but today where is he? Have we not wept in gloom of memories of a betrayed Jesus the Christ by his own disciple? How about Julius Caesar and the sting of Brutus? Lastly, Joseph the dreamer tale is a warning! A warning against those standing in the wheel of progress.
Time and time again internationally, nationally and locally, history yet again is rehearsed and acted. Will men ever learn? In Cross River State, we are faced with a double standard ploy. A man who calls another his brother, laughs with him yet witch hunts him and cast aspersion and falsehood on him.
Let me quote him (Joe Agi, SAN), according to an interview he granted: “My brother, please don’t let anybody associate me with any such smear scandal. Ayade is my brother and how can I fight my brother. Me and Ayade were together yesterday and we were just laughing over the matter because I don’t know who is really carrying this rumor about.
“I was asking Ayade what year he lived and worked in the Philippines. I think people should understand that this is politics and people will go out of their way to do or say so many unfounded things to gain an edge. My matter in court is purely based on what I considered as breaches of the party’s constitution in the course of the party primaries and that’s all.”
–Joe Agi SAN
The worst thing about Christianity are not non believers but professed Christians living in the negative as regards their declarations. These declarations are divided into two major areas which is love God with all your heart and soul and the second is love your neighbour as yourself (Sorry I am not a preacher but the essence of this analogy is because over 99% of politicians in Cross River State, are professed Christians).
Now from the above acknowledging the imperfections of man there are certain average expectations every man owes his fellow man which is living in peace and harmony while seeing the other as yourself.
In Nigeria were we all have melanin pigmented skin you may not find someone hunting you down for your skin colour but you will be unduly hunted and distracted as a leader or a person for the colour of your brain and your grace while positively exploiting the world.
Now to a summarized the narrative, there’s a man called Ayade Ben of course a successful but humble man from a humble background with a sincere and humanitarian soul. He decides to serve his people by running for office. He emerges as a Senator and he contests with others for a governorship sit first on a platform-People’s Democratic Party, PDP and then in the state general election.
One of those he contested against is a Joe Agi. On attaining victory he reached out to all other aspirants and it was unanimously accepted after a keenly contested election, were he, Agi came second that Ayade will be fully supported. On Ayade’s emergence as the Governorship flag bearer and eventual winner of the governorship election in Cross River State it has been shocking.
First it was an accusation of rape and it was researched and proven to be false. Who were the peddlers of this information? Those who acknowledged his victory and even raised his hand in public. Before this campaign of calumny against Ayade some collected monies as compensation and went on to run for elections on a different platform against him. You can ask the governorship flag bearer of Labour Party in Cross River State in the just concluded governorship elections for details.
As for Mr. Joe Agi, SAN after conceding defeat in a process he participated and wholeheartedly submitted to, he still filed a case in court challenging the process and asking that he be made to emerge from the same process he challenges.
What was Agi’s initial complain and prayers in court? In a suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/25/2015 filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Joe Agi was praying the court to disqualify Ayade and declare him (Agi) winner of the governorship primaries because the Defendant (Ayade) failed to follow the guidelines of the party’s constitution before conducting the primaries.
In the suit, Agi alleges that from the documents sent by the PDP to INEC, it is clear that Senator Ayade failed to pay his membership dues which is N600 (six hundred) for 2014 thus breaching the party’s constitution.
Now the crystal clear question in the case above is, since when did he become an umpire in a game he too participated in? Can he be a player of a team during a match and referee at the same time? A party clears you and other candidates and lo you accuse the other of not been qualified. This is a simple case of a poorly prepared team blaming their failure on a referee and trying to claim victory after the match.
Agi realizing the lack of judicial substance in the said suit applied to mend his initial suit to include perjury in his new amendment alleging that Ayade falsified his age in documents provided. His prayers for amendment were accepted.
In truth, there’s a legal age to be able to contest for office in Nigeria and the age requirement for the governorship election is 35. In no place has it been proven that Ayade is not up to 35 but the issue here is that of a human nature and that is the fact that Ayade’s aide while filling his INEC and PDP forms made mistakes by filling 1969 instead of 1968 while attaching a birth certificate/affidavit indicating the actual date of birth which is 1968.
Now in a matter in court we are surprised that “Agi’s crew” are already pre empting the court by painting a falsified posture of Senator Prof. Barrister Ayade Benedict. Documents not attested to be true but submitted as evidence by Agi were seen to be published in a regional newspaper TNT by a kangaroo group called Cross River Integrity Network and signed by one Offiong Offiong. Who is this Offiong and who gave him these documents?”Agi’s crew”!
This act of distraction from a “brother” is not only petty but can be likened to witchcraft. In the African tradition anyone who stands in the wheel of progress is termed a “witch”. If he, Agi as SAN made mistake in his first suit and sought for amendment why does he feel he has monopoly to the rights to make mistake? Maybe we should sue him for libel and character assassination!
This challenge too will pass for anything without foundation will fall flat to it face. These challenges and those to come are but stepping stones to greater height. Today there’s a determination and drive across Cross River due to a drive from Ayade. This drive has and is blossoming “us” into new heights.
It is no praise to attest that what Governor Ayade is doing now within his three weeks is phenomenal and a new experience in the history of our state and nation. There’s a raging philosophy that is giving hope to over 3million people and this hope is extending too. This is built in a simple philosophy – Ayadeism, think it, act it, pray it and receive it, irrespective of who you are today.
Ayadeism is fledging and should be supported to her old age. Ayade is a product of all but first he is the son of the North of Cross River State, an area that is producing Governor for the first time in the history of the state; an area that is economically and socially laid back than the other districts. Rather than pursuing shadows and winds, first as a region we must pull our mental arsenals to make Ayade succeed for the overall good of our state. Ayade we stand by you, we condemn all acts of disrespect and personality assassination against you.
Thank you for implementing the processes for the establishment of a superhighway to end deaths on our highway; thanks for the Calabar Port whose blue print has been concluded and site acquired; thanks for the “Green Brigade” an initiative to checkmate excesses of citizens and deterioration of public infrastructure/services; for catalyzing industrialization by initiating the processes for a garment factory, quarry and cement industry; agricultural processing factory as well as a refinery/shipping line; restructuring our forest policy towards human based conservation initiatives; ensuring work place ethics by stamping punctuality and also ensuring workers get their pay by the 25th of every month; thank you for maintaining an open door policy to all irrespective of political party, age or tribe etc. These and many more are the people oriented reforms initiated for the development of Cross River State.
On a lighter and more serious note “shoki” is Prof’s trade mark dance and as a contemporary dance step, he has proven not only to have a feel of the times but is part of the time. Ayadeism is “shoking” development as he listens to the tune of his people. Everywhere you go in the state now there’s this joyful bubbling of a man on an intellectual and practical developmental race at the speed of light.
Any tune that is discordant as seen in “Joe Agi’s crew” is noise making and rather than pollute our airwaves with his tunes he should turn off his musical set and quit the musical industry or adapt to the times by mastering proper beats in consonance with the will of Cross Riverians. The elders have spoken, the women have spoken, the youths are speaking. What is Agi’s grouse? What does he really want? To be compensated or to be Governor? From all of these, is Agi really a brother?
Brother Agi, if it is the Governorship of Cross River State that you want, Cross Riverians have spoken through the ballot and with Ayade’s pace, there’s an overall endorsement, so what you can’t get through the front door you won’t manoeuvre your way in through the back door and any such attempt will be fiercely resisted. The earth has spoken the heavens have endorsed it!
If it is compensation, Ayade operates an open door policy and keys into developmental ideas. Even after your name calling, Ayade as our father and leader will accommodate you.
Sometimes the words of men are words from God. My mom used to tell me that God will not come down and talk to you. Do not curse or fight a man God has blessed. Do not fight the forces of nature even when you know deep down you that your motive is evil. Before it is too late Mr. Agi, join the people’s train!
As Cross Riverians and indeed all citizens of the world we must speak out against evil perpetrated not just against the weak but on the strong alike. Watching without speaking and acting against evil is evil in itself. This noise will end and Ayadeism will continue to blossom. Let us always give peace a chance as we rise up against evil in all it forms. God bless!
Prince Michael Nku Abuo, is a Special Assistant to the Cross River State Governor and writes from Calabar.
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