It was the pioneer Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Late Professor Emmanuel Ayandele who aptly described Cross River (now Cross River and Akwa Ibom States) as an atomistic society perpetually at war with itself.
What the late renowned Professor of History got from the people of this area at that time was a barrage of verbal attacks and sharp criticisms.
Though late Ayandele was viciously criticized for referring to us in such manner, the question was, is the political actions and utterances of most Cross Riverians against their own brothers and friends in political and other leadership positions, all in the name of politics, not justified and laid credence to Ayandele’s conclusion?
Is it not true that so many of us derive so much joy and satisfaction when we deliberately hold nocturnal meetings plotting to destroy our real or perceived enemies, most often out of sheer jealousy that we are the ones who are supposed to be this or that, and not the other man?
The most painful aspect is that when these persons carry out their verbal and at times physical assaults on their victims, they do so under the coloration of politics, thereby attributing every unrefined word they uttered and every uncivilized action they have taken or are taking to the game of politics.
At some instance, these class of persons who do not see any other person as good enough to occupy certain positions do so most often from ethnic and tribal point of view, with the usual words such as, “this one is not from our tribe/ethnic group; we against them, and them against us”.
Again, even brothers and sisters, parents and children from the same tribal and ethnic lineage, in-laws fight desperately to pull down one another all in the name of doing politics.
It should be noted that the word, ‘politics’ is derived from the Greek word, ‘politikos’, relating to citizens, ‘civic’, ’civil’ or “belonging to the state”, while the Latinization version from Greek ‘politikos’ is ‘politicus’.
Politics concerns exercising position of governance in an organized society/community. It equally pertains to the study and practice of distribution of power and resources within a given society or community with interests, law, negotiation, in particular are necessary ingredients, while in a broader sense it could include the employment of force and warfare among others.
This article is however more concerned with the employment, viewing and practicing of politics in a positive manner and not in a negative way as erroneously held and practiced by some persons, who get themselves involve in treachery, blackmail/mindless lies, and even murder of fellow human beings, among other vices.
It should be clear that so long as man’s relationship with his fellow man in any given society necessarily involves the virtues of ethics and morals, the practice of politics in any society without the very divine values/virtues of ethics and morality would be a complete aberration, against the divine order of how human affairs ought to be conducted.
It is normally those without any sense of ethics and morality that would be quick to tell you that there is no morality in politics, using this as a means to express their anti-divine and social utterances, conducts and actions.
The recent porous allegations invented against the Chief Of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Martin Orim that he assaulted one Jeremiah Ashang ( who was merely deployed as a front to carry out a hatchet job on behalf a masked cabal ) is one of the several cases where it can be painfully but truly affirmed that the actions of some persons in Obudu Local Government Area in particular as regards the issue under discussion, put a seal of approval to the very unsavoury comments of late Ayandele concerning us as a people years back.
This writer and millions of Cross River and Obudu youths can lucidly see beyond the farce, smokescreen of the cabal’s use of a front in the person of Jeremiah Ashang unjustly against the Governor’s Chief of Staff, to the actual fact that their main target is not really Martin Orim, but the number citizen of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade, however not rolling out the fact that they may have their own personal but selfish grudges against the Chief of Staff.
The simple logic behind the shameful and unsavoury allegation is that when an enemy is in desperate need to confront a man he does not love his face, he will attack the son or daughter of the person in an attempt to infuriate and incite the man to react and face him frontally that the enemy may achieve whatever objectives he has in mind to accomplish.
It is sad that such wicked antics are coming from our own brothers even at this early stage of Senator Ayade’s administration, all in the name of doing politics as they often say.
It is true that every human being is a politician or a political animal at the ordinary level, and as political animals desiring always to have his/her way to the disadvantage of the others, hence the essence of politics is actually not to aggravate those self-centred and egocentric attributes but to beat them into line with civilized laws.
Looking very closely at the unfounded allegations made against the Chief of Staff, any person with an unbiased mind will clearly see beyond the packaged lies that the whole episode is shrouded in deceit plotted by devious persons who while conspiring, never look back to observed that their evil plans leaves more loopholes than the target it seeks to accomplish.
The conspirers of this very crude and vicious way of trying to rubbish a government have these questions to answer in the court of the highly educated and politically civilized Cross Riverians, especially the youths of the state.
How on earth was it possible that a man who was allegedly beaten, tied with ropes, dumped in the back of a Hilux van was able to run for his dear life when the Policemen with the Chief of Staff allegedly attempted to shot him and his cousin?
How is it that the man who was allegedly assaulted outside could comfortably stand and take a photograph inside a room as shown in the picture posted online and not even outside?
How is it that these persons showed us the alleged cloths stained with alleged blood as a result of injuries sustained through the alleged assault but a picture of the person whose blood so stained the cloths was conspicuously missing?
If Jeremiah Ashang was the person molested as alleged and the so-called blood stained allegedly in the cloths were from the target of the alleged molestation, Ashang, why was it not reflected in the picture posted on the internet, except a one sided torn singlet he put on?
At what point did the Chief of Staff who was never in the scene of the disagreement between his driver and the other persons ensued (when they forcefully entered the driver’s room claiming that the room was reserved for them), became involved in the matter to a point of assaulting Mr. Jeremiah Ashang?
Why did Jeremiah Ashang and his group who claimed that the room at which the Chief of Staff’s driver was given had been reserved for them feel that it was lawful and correct action to take by coming to argue with the driver over the ownership of the room instead of channeling their anger to the management of the hotel who choose to give one room to two different guests at the same time?
If the room was not assigned to the Chief of Staff driver, how did he gain entrance into the room; and if he did it forcefully, what was the response of the hotel management, and did they alert the police that there was an intruder in the hotel vicinity?
Which hospital did they carry Mr. Ashang who was allegedly assaulted for treatment, bearing the quantum of allegedly stained blood in the clothes?
It is rather so sad that the mischief maker chooses to use such a sober period where sons and daughters of Obudu, including the Chief of Staff went home to pay their last respect to an elder statesman, late Ukandi Gabriel Andor Ogar, to carry out their devious plot. To me it is a shame that we should be the ones to begin a war of attrition against a government headed by our own brother.
Those who are unrepentant in their fight to pull others down or discredit them in any form due to political interest and difference or based on ethnic/tribal differences should know that by their actions, they are only questioning God why He assigned persons to different tribes/ethnic groups. They should equally be aware that what goes around comes around, that with the same measure they meted out to others, they will in due time receive.
Finally, the Senator Ben Ayade led administration in Cross River State need a peaceful atmosphere and absolute cooperation from the people of the state to be able to transform from concept to concrete reality, the developmental blueprint he has developed for the state.
That cooperation should necessarily start and be zealously protected beginning from Obudu, his local government to the rest of the state. This is what we owe him and the youths of Cross River State who are looking unto him to provide them with jobs and other opportunities to realize their aspirations. We all have an imperative duty to rally round Ayade to ensure he succeeds.
We should all be happy that a visionary, vibrant, dynamic and pragmatic young man is directing the affairs of the state, working with equally young people, of which the Chief of Staff is one to help drive the process.
Let us drop our various political colorations/affinities, perceived and less than real ethnic differences and our personal primordial and parochial intentions for the common good of all.
We all are aware of the rich ethical and moral heritage passed on to us by our ancestors, a heritage that we must all be our brothers keepers, that when our brother is successful, we should all support and celebrate with him rather than laboring to pull him down.
This we can do, and this we should do!
Solomon Asha is Special Assistant, Media to the Cross River State governor and writes from Calabar
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