I am constrained to put this up as representing my view as a stakeholder in Cross River State.
Through the length and breath of Nigeria since 2015 we have witnessed unprecedented display of executive rascality though the Legislature is the easy whipping dog of all and sundry. No one cares that much about the Judiciary whose standing has led to some taking laws into their hands with disastrous outc awomes. Security of lives and property is non existent as survival per day is unpredictable and only as God grants permission.
My focus is on the abduction and confinement of Agba Jalingo with no regards to the rights enshrined in the Nigerian constitution backing what he was doing as a journalist before his illegal abduction and confinement. The fact that he concentrated on his home state and no other to see the benefit of democracy and development for his state and peoples is commendable. He dwelt on issues and questions the high and mighty grumbled from a distance. Some hiding in diaspora wrote scathingly without dealing with the issues on ground while expecting some pat on the back.
I have read all the issues Agba Jalingo raised against the Cross River State administration. I found nothing personal in any guise whatsoever against the head of government of Cross River State in the person of His Excellency Governor Benedict Ayade.
Agba Jalingo raised germane questions ranging from bailout funds, allocation of funds to the State Government, disbursement of funds by the State Government, projects embarked upon by the state government, electoral promises by the incumbent governor and how far those promises have been fulfilled or not, Local Government Council Elections as 3rd Tier and many other issues.
All I saw in those write-ups were issues calling for accountability to the people of Cross River State and responsibility to the people of Cross River State by the government they voted into office collectively. I saw nothing in those write-ups that warranted the intimidation, gagging or treatment he’s being subjected to.
Almost if not all Cross River indigenes home and diaspora religiously read and applauded Jalingo’s write-ups in secret and commended him for his objective investigative journalism because everything he published he challenged whoever cared to cross check where he got his facts and figures. He even revealed some government agencies where he got the materials for those who doubted to go and find out these facts and figures. All those who anxiously waited daily for the next in-depth investigative data based write-ups have suddenly gone mute with tails between their laps like scared dogs since his illegal abduction and confinement. They should call for his immediate release forthwith!!!
If Cross River Governments had the likes of Agba Jalingo from the days of Donald Duke through Liyel Imoke Cross River State may have had more viable effective and thriving sustainable legacies other than the various monuments that have become haunting legacies of past administrations for generations of Cross Riverians yet to be born.
I use this medium to call on all to appeal to whoever is behind Agba Jalingo’s illegal abduction/confinement to release him without delay or speed up the court process for him to defend himself and regain his liberty and freedom to practice his journalism the best way he knows. Continuing to hold him unlawfully will only degenerate to what posterity may find impossible to forgive his captors to their 10th generations.
Enough is enough.
Emmanuel Ibeshi is a former National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Emmanuel Ibeshi, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.