An emblem is a combination of images and colours with obvious conotative meanings, reflecting the corporate identity of an assemblage and tells a pictorial story of a people’s past as well as give a direction of their common destiny. In the case of Nigerian Coat of Arms, the coat of arms has a black shield with two white stripes that come together like the letter Y. These represent the two main rivers flowing through Nigeria: the Benue River and the Niger river.
The BLACK SHIELD represents Nigeria’s good earth while the TWO HORSES on each side represents dignity. The RED EAGLE represents strength, while the green and white bands on the top of the shield represents the rich agricultural land of the inspiring country. The YELLOW FLOWERS at the base are Costus Spectabilis, it stands for the beauty of Nigeria. The slogan- Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress written at the base of the Coat of Arm is Nigeria’s motto. Now, that the eagle is red does not mean that the country is bloody or is in danger if not, the Senate will not have used RED to represent its chamber or what about important personalities often given a red carpet reception, are they in danger or are they bloody?
In the “Destination Cross River Logo”, a sick crawling snail has no positive conotative meaning, as it only reveals the unpleasant experiences of our past throes and demonstrates a prophesy of a state that will crawl in every aspect of devopment. No wonder we have been consigned amongst the poorest states in Nigeria. If GREEN in the Nigerian Coat of Arms represents a lush agricultural land of an inspiring country, what does BLUE colour in the state logo stand for? What identity of Cross River State is represented in a sick crawling snail and blue colour? I challenge those who are against the new logo to come out and tell us what an obviously crawling snail is doing in our state logo, when we need a supersonic speed and the energy of a charge bull to escape from our current unwanted condition and whether the blue colour represents the carbon being trapped by our rich forests or the sky over our heads, then, it should be the logo colour for the whole world. Emblems and logos are not just for fancy, they represent messages.
The New State Logo has 18 stars, a charged bull with a background red. The 18 stars represent the bright prospects of the 18 sub-entities (18 Local Governments ) even a child can understand this and the bull represents an aggressive charge into a prosperous and meaningful future. The red stands for our alertness in superiority over our contemporaries in aspects of commerce and industries in a no distant future. The logo passes a concise pictorial message that our chequered past has been echoed so loudly into our present and the things we have heard from those echos are not pleasing to the ears.
Consequently, with alertness in superiority (Red), we need to take a radical leap, like a “charged bull” into a pedestal which will take us to a future that will be celebrated by proceeding generations and the star light in all the 18 sub-entities will be ignited when the jinx of backwardness is broken. How can Cross River in her eleganz and glory be reduced to a crawling snail? To me, that’s the real occultic symbol not different from the likes of vultures, bats, owels and snakes . It represents a philosophy that inhibits progress and reinforces backwardness which is not different from witchcraft. I have never liked that snail symbol from the very onset.
We are not comfortable that after 50 years as a corporate assemblage, we are still deeply drowned in insolvency and that after 50 years, we have become object of national sympathy, as we are rated amongst the poorest states in the country and barely survive on national goodwills, a situation we must decisively reject. Why should Calabar, irrespective of the strategic position of her maritime gate-way and proximity advantage to land locked commercial cities be restricted to a mere civil-service-state? Why should Cross River that is seated on the land expanse of 21,050 square kilometres not boast of agro industries as explorable areas of her comparative advantage than mainly subsisting on tourism and pleasure based venture which benefit, we have not seen?
The Nigerian Senate, which is the upper legislative Chamber also known as the Red Chamber is superior to the Green Chamber which is the House of Representatives. Red stands for superiority, majesty and greatness. This tells the reason why great people are often given Red Carpet Reception. The Senate, as the highest law making body in the country, is often, at any given point in time, made up of the wisest, most exposed and intellectually sound individuals from every section of the country and the choice of red colour to represent the Senate Chamber was a product of a deliberate process. Can we ask the Nigerian Senate to change from the red colour? Can we stop red carpet reception because red is the colour of blood?
It has been argued in some quarters that the Calabar Carnival that is a yearly event is nothing, but an institutionalized immorality, a time when our present is rewinded into the proverbial biblical past of Sodom and Gomorrah that has been cursed unto eternity. We have waited for the state’s economic condition to be upturned by this yearly event that has lasted for nearly 2 decades, but the complementary revenue evidence had remained very shy and embarrassing. Cross River is not yet ripe for such pleasure seeking venture, but lets creat a viable economic base before delving into pleasure based venture. Lets not place the cart before the horse. First, She needs to break out of such jinx which requires the strength and energy of not just a bull, but of a charging bull before settling for pleasure after a considerable degree of stability.
Consequently, the Ben Ayade led administration has become resolute in exploring other feasible options opened to wealth exposion by developing novel investment architecture with cognate legislative frame work which has resulted in the establishment of the Largest Garment Factory in Africa, sited in Calabar, already operating; the largest genetics and biotechnologically engineered rice seedling plant in Calabar which has encouraged many crossriverians to go into rice farming; Calabar Pharmaceutical Company, located at the New Industrial Bourlevard which is at verge of completion; the Deep Sea Port and its evacuation corridor to set the foundation of commerce and industry.
Also, this administration is aware of the centrality of power in industrialism. That’s why it has constructed a 21 mega watts power plant in Calabar to, finally solve the problem of power epilepsy which will be due for commissioning very soon. All these require courage, strenght and energy of a bull to achieve.
All these are done at a time when the state is heavily laden with crppling debt portfolios and when accrueable revenue from Federation Account and Allocation Committee to the state are in most times, wiped out at source to service huge debts, leaving us, most times, with zero allocation. All these feasible strides wouldn’t have been possible, if the state, in red alertness, does not take an aggressive charge of a bull out of such condition than snail-crawling in self-pity.
However, there had never been any change in human history that has been embraced without resistance: I was also among those who resisted this Destination Cross River Logo on grounds that a snail is too slow and dirty to be used as our logo. But as time went on, I gradually accepted it. So, this one is not expected to be an exception.
Mr. Joe Obi Bisong is the immediate past Publicity Secretary of PDP in Cross River State.
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