As the cliché goes, “a gold fish has no hiding place”, and so it was that the most powerful black man on earth, President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the appointment of the opposition leader of Cross River State, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla as his Special Assistant (Prosecution).
The appointment was not just timely but a demonstration that depict value for good and hard work. Indeed the era of professional politicians as against professionals in politics is over.
It was a reward that has convinced even those who share different political ideologies with him that his efforts show evidence of erudition, substantial contribution to practice of fair and equitable legal system in Nigeria. His consistency in the advocacy prior to his appointment exposed him clearly as a man engaged in the development of the capacity of the human essence.
In a time where most Cross Riverians and Nigerians where deceived by the reactionary leaders to believe that mediocrity, political thuggery, impunity, stealing of all sorts were the virtue of a true politician, the Yakur born political Juggernaut stood firm to what he believes; ‘Service to Humanity’.
Over the years in Nigeria politics, the best way to gain recognition and attract favour from government in terms of appointment was to initiate anti-people policies that could favour the government or you go on rampage in perpetual sycophancy. To God be the glory, Chief Obono-Obla from time immemorial demonstrated that he’s a direct opposite of these set of people.
Obla, born into a Royal home in Yakur Local Government Area of Cross River State has sacrificed a lot that so many of his supporters tipped him or Odey Ochicha to easily pick the ministerial slot for the state but as usual politics played in as another vibrant opposition leader in the state, Mr. Usani Uguru was favoured ahead of them.
This was so because at some point in the state’s politics, Obla was almost regarded as the lone voice who has the courage to challenge the status quo. His legal battle with the immediate past governor of Cross River State, Sen. Liyel Imoke which borders on gross misappropriation of public funds is still very fresh in the minds of Cross Riverians especially the progressives who mean well for the state.
Like Author Clark validly held in his argument “The only way to find the limit of the possible is by going beyond them to the impossible”. When virtually every opposition leader in the state surprising adopted the silent culture, Obla stood tall to defend the integrity of our dear state.
Worthy to mention among pragmatic opposition leaders who also contributed their quota to strengthening of democracy in the state were, eloquent and dynamic Odey Ochicha, Prince Awor, The ‘Lion’ Prince Hilliard Etta, Cletus Obun, Eyo Nsa, Barr. Utum Eteng and not forgetting the fearless Venatius Ikem who acted as a catalyst to abuse of power even in PDP before he crossed over to the APC.
To realist, Obla’s appointment is more of a reward for his sacrificial and strong resistance of any policy aimed at hoodwinking Cross Riverians and Nigerians than his membership of the ruling All Progressive Congress, (APC).
Many people may argue this, but with the way he has gone with campaign for justice and equity, every reasonable leader will oblige him to serve his people. Regrettably, this never happened until the man who “Belongs Nobody but Belongs to Everybody” acknowledged him.
The position (Special Assistant, Prosecution), may not be the ‘juicy” type a typical Nigerian politician would fancy but this patriotic Nigerian has accepted this in good fate. This however, is not because as a human being he hates money but it has to do with passion, service, sacrifice and professionalism.
A man who has spent his formative years and personal resources fighting for justice at a time where it was almost like he was fighting for nothing can fight better now because he has a government with strong political will to reclaim Nigeria from the pit of corruption and impunity.
Although many people will argue and rightly so that his contribution to the reconstruction of a new Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari would have earned him something more, but as a student of nature and a blessed comrade who has been privileged to lead at different capacity, I can say authoritatively that positions don’t make people but people make position.
This argument has driven my conclusion that Chief Obla is endowed with the intellectual and political capabilities to turn the position into an office where judges, SANS, as well as some senior layers will lobby to attain. If it’s not happening already.
There’s no better satisfaction in life than sacrificing for humanity. Our Lord Jesus Christ sovereignty above other gods is derived from the idea of sacrificialism which was exemplified by God sending his only begotten son to die for our sins.
Obla has sacrificed graciously for this geographic construct called Nigeria and her smaller unit called Cross River State. A feat that has defined his attribute as a dogged politician.
While the celebration is still on, I want to remind our dear Chief not to forget the virtues that endeared him into the heart the strong hearted President Muhammadu Buhari. The expectations from him are very high like when Nigerians misunderstood the APC change for miracle.
The new position come with new responsibilities. It demands more commitment, determination and steadfastness. He must not relent but keep doing the good things that have taken him thus far.
Never again should we witness unnecessary delay of criminal cases against politicians. Remember, “Justice delayed is justice denied”.
The Nigeria phenomenon that the law is made for only the poor should be completely fought to a logical conclusion. The joy of many right thinking members of the society would be to have many more Sarakis.
Let every man be made to acknowledge the warning of President Buhari that “People should not fear him but the consequences of their actions”.
Nobody under this anti-corruption administration regardless of party affiliation should be made to become more Nigerian than any other Nigerian by escaping the wrath of the law when guilty. We must all be equal before the law.
A system where indicted murderers are allowed to work freely to the point of becoming state governors, wanted drug barons becoming the people to make laws for us, convicted prisoners granted underserved freedom, militants and many other terrorists who have taken weapons against this nation are celebrated with national honours, should no longer persist.
Posterity, humanity and divinity will hold you responsible if within the next few months Nigeria doesn’t witness a drastic positive change in the administration of justice. Let the interest of our dear country that you have always stood for remain your top most priority this assignment.
Above all, may you continue to render unflinching support to the change mantra of President Buhari even as I urge you to use your position to attract federal presence to our dear Cross River State that we may go beyond being spectators of how the wealth of our nation is being enjoyed by other states but become active participants. God bless.
Inyali Peter writes from Calabar via Inyalipeter@gmail.com
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