John Gaul, A Lost Opportunity BY AGBA JALINGO

In Opinion

John Gaul Lebo is the incumbent Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly. He ran for the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency in the election that just finished and his party PDP lost to the APC. The State REC, citing a Court order, said that INEC is waiting for a faction of the APC in the State, to bring a name of the beneficiary of the votes.

I don’t know how to pretend. This is an unusual feeling and I must confess that I am very happy that John Gaul lost and I will tell you why, without mincing words.

In CrossRiverWatch, we reported more than 30 courtesy visits from different groups and associations to, John Gaul, within two months after he took office as Speaker of the Cross River state House of Assembly.

Most of these visits were from sundry groups and professional organizations that were reaching out to contribute to the development of our State.

Young, very intelligent and witty, John Gaul made innumerable promises to all these visiting groups. The more they came, the more he promised. He knew he was lying to them, and one thing was also missing, HE HAD NO INTENTION OF KEEPING HIS WORD.

Surrounded by equally young, intelligent, innovative and enterprising young Cross Riverians who got immediately drawn to him and saw him as a project to accomplish, Speaker John Gaul, rather remained evasive for 4 years and preferred to lie and lie and lie and promise things he knows he will never do. Not to one person or two or three or four, but to most people who came with ideas to him.

The House of Assembly under John Gaul, apart from railroading bills, has refused to approximate the expectations of most of Cross River people, as an independent arm of Government.

Things like state budget that are public documents that were hitherto easily available, have remained shrouded in secrecy in the past fours years of John Gaul’s speakership, yet we have him on record promising in more than ten public fora that he will put the state budgets online. He started uploading the one for 2017 and abandoned it after only 3 pages were uploaded.

As young as he is, his House of Assembly has no functional website or up-to-date social media presence other than some dormant Facebook pages that are rarely updated.

In fact, John Gaul said he is not interested in social media popularity because it doesn’t win elections.

As a friend, John Gaul takes delight in deceiving people. I remember the day he graced my program on radio and I told him openly that the way he is “scoping” people is not good. He answered: ‘Dey there na. I must scope my way out of trouble o.” Whatever that means.

John Gaul lies without any qualms. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, rich of poor, whether you mean business or you are just wasting his time, he will still scope you.

He suddenly became elitist and aloof but he says he is a solution architect. And if you ask me, I will also add that he is a lost opportunity for young politicians and young leaders. He dashed all the dreams, hopes and projects that most young people banked on him to help them achieve through his high office.

Now he is gone….the solution architect.

YES….the God-son of the avatar is gone!

Agba Jalingo is the Editor-In-Chief of CrossRiverWatch and writes from Lagos State.

NB: Opinions expressed in this article are solely attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not in anyway represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.

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