By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Permit me to begin this piece with a quote by former President Goodluck Jonathan who in April 29, 2010 at the launch of ‘one man one vote campaign’in Benin made the following statement “Political disempowerment is the foundation for economic and social exclusion and this exclusion is the key factor that promotes underdevelopment.”
For those who are familiar with the politics of Cross River State, you would agree with me that no Local Government has suffered all manner of political injustice, persecution and above all disempowerment like Obubra.
It is on record that virtually all Obubra sons and daughters who at one point or the other occupied a political office, be it elective or appointive have all suffered all forms of political disempowerment and humiliation. The result for some unfortunately has been death.
Over the last 16 years, successive administrations have ensured that, no Obubra/Mbembe man or woman is financially or politically stable in any office he or she occupies.
While others from other LGA’S were either promoted,reelected or reappointed, the Obubra man was either demoted or replaced. Only two people didn’t suffer this fate. I’m sure to the surprise of many.
If you are in doubt, ask yourself how the following people fared in office and how many years they served; Late Chief John Oyom Okpa, Late Hon Emperor Owa, Late Chief Raymond Obeten, Barr Johnson Ebokpo, Chief Alex Irek, Chief Ernest Irek, Dr Mathew Achigbe etc.
Of course those who know these men would agree that, they constitute Obubra first eleven.
I remember how former Governor Liyel Imoke spoke so glowingly of Late Raymond Obeten in his grave side yet never found him worthy to be reappointed.
The idea was basically to disempower them financially and politically in order to continually rule over the Local Government.
The result of all this,17 years later is staring us in the face as Obubra LGA remains the most backward and underdeveloped Local Government in the entire State.
In Obubra,you can literally count the number of story buildings in the entire LGA.
I remember how the allowances of all the traditional rulers in Adun clan were withheld for more than three years by the then Senator Liyel Imoke administration during the war between Nko and Onyadama where the story building of Chief Patrick Okomiso of Nko was destroyed.
Reports has it that, the action of the Governor was a way of punishing the Adun people for burning a house none of their sons or daughters can be able to build. How sad!
Till date, the only federal appointment that has been occupied by any Obubra son that I know of is, member, Governing council of National Open University of Nigeria(NOUN) which I hear was against the wishes of the enemies of Obubra.
Not even our unwavering support for the 16 years rule of PDP was able to earn us a visible National appointment.
At the moment, they are more than 12 federal appointments in Cross River yet no Obubra son or daughter has been found worthy or fit enough for appointment.
Today, the people of Idoru, Ofunekom, Isobor etc are killed and their properties destroyed on a daily basis yet nobody is talking for them.
After 12 years of waiting patiently for the house of Representatives position to get to us, the ‘landlord’ of the National Assembly from Etung is doing everything within his powers to ensure that every good move taken by the same man he foisted on us does not see the light of day.
I can go on and on highlighting the several years of deprivation, bareface cheating, all round disempowerment and open disdain for a people that have committed no crime.
Like I said in my last write up concerning a similar article, a Senatorial Seat for an Obubra/Mbembe man means re-admitting a people that have for so long been out of the political orbit of the State.
It means justics, equity and fairplay. It means giving them an opportunity to share in the national cake. It means giving them an opportunity to rewrite their destinies. It means everything good for an average Obubra/Mbembe man.
For me,they is no better time to give an Obubra/Mbembe man a sense of belonging than now.
This is not an issue of a big brother throwing his weight and influence around. It is rather a case of a big brother seeking the help and understanding of his brothers in his quest to regain self esteem and his rightful position having loss everything that qualifies him a big brother.
Richard Romanus writes from Calabar.
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