As far as I’m concerned, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla’s ordeal has more to to with persecution by vindictive powerful forces than anything else. What he is going through has little to do with corruption and more to do with vendetta. He has been detained for several weeks without trial and this is subsequent to being given very stringent and near impossible bail conditions. That cant be the reward he deserves for fighting with so much zest, notwithstanding his shortcomings.
They claimed he was on the run but pictures of him attending social events have been all over the media in the last couple of months – some two weeks before his arrest, I got to meet him without much hassle – just a phone call and blimey, I was one on one with him; up close. Well, the plan to embarrass him may have ‘succeeded’ in the short term but he’ll be vindicated in the long run.
And as far as representing his constituency (and the people of his State) in Abuja between 2015 and 2019 is concerned, no single active APC politician from Cross River came close. But it’s characteristic of Cross Riverians to always harp on the negative. It’s in their nature to always mock people who are down.
Well, maybe, that’s why the famous “Ojuju Calabar” phrase was formed. You keep saying he was among those that brought down CJN Onnoghen – what about the other people he lifted up? the lowly, the middle class and even the mighty? Another Cross Riverian, Justice Akomaye Agim has been elevated to the Supreme Court. Do you know how that came by? Who recommended him?
Like he said when I met him, Cross River is far behind in the scheme of things in Abuja. Is it in the Federal Civil Service? Anyone interested can go to the Federal Civil Service Commission as a mystery shopper – such a person would then see for himself or herself, how job slots meant for CRS are being poached by other States due to the laid back nature of most of our Representatives, Senators, cabinet Minister & others indigenes of the State who are heads of Federal parastatals and boards.
Barrister Obla has done a lot to bridge that gap – unlike most of the politicians and technocrats from the State who are in Abuja to represent their personal and family interests, he (Obla) always has his people in mind and that’s the reason why I think some of us can stick out our necks for him! It’s due to the afformentioend reasons that I join other well meaning Cross Riverians to call on Mr. President to intervene so he can be released from the prolonged, illegal detention and also set up an unbiased panel so he can have the opportunity to clear his name.
Simon Utsu is an Engineer and public affairs commentator based in Abuja
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Simon Utsu and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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