1. We’ve read and reviewed the views expressed by an illustrious son of the North, Citizen Agba Jalingo on the manifestoes of those aspiring to replace our late Senator, Dr. Rose Oko.
2. We honestly thank him for expanding the discussion and putting aspirants at their toes to come out and reel out what they have in stock for the good people of the Northern Senatorial District.
3. For Prof. Zana Akpagu, the leading aspirant in the All Progressives Congress, APC, everything has been put in place to send out his manifestos. This we can state authoritatively.
4. Prof. Akpagu is not one person that believes in always imposing only his own ideas on his subjects. Yes, he clearly has his own plans and programmes for his people but he’s a leader that believes in the principle of “We” than “I”. Therefore, he doesn’t want his manifestoes to just be about his ideas but the collective needs of everybody. He wants to carry his people along in the process.
5. From when he bowed to the masses demand to join the Senate race as stated above, he identified critical areas that he’ll focus on as Senator but has kept them close to his chest because he wants to align all his programmes to what the people really needs the most.
6. In our country today, you’ll agree with me that one of the bane to our development is because most of our leaders erroneously believe that their ideas are always the best hence should be imposed on the people whether such ideas will met the needs of the people or not. Akpagu has never been that type of leader and won’t start now. He sees leadership from the point of giving appropriate direction that will yield a satisfactory results for majority of his subjects.
7. It’s not enough to just use your position of authority to give to the people what you think they want not minding whether those things are actually what they need. It’s good to build super things, skyscrapers and all that. But it’s better to align those things to what will satisfy the needs of the people and bring forth development that we all yearn for.
8. Making the lead take ownership of Government projects and programmes are top in Prof. Akpagu’s agenda thus, he has set-up a top Facts Finding Committee (FFC) to interact with traditional rulers, women leaders, youths leaders, leaders of faith-based organisations operating in the Senatorial District and other opinion leaders to know exactly what the people need.
9. As we speak, the team has been mobilised and are currently moving from Local Government to Local Government for this all important assignment.
10. When their assignment is over, they’ll submit their reports to another Committee to be Chaired by the Professor himself who would now synergize all with his own proposal and come up with a robust manifestos that will reflect the yearnings and desire of the people.
11. Prof. Akpagu is not a new kid in the bloc as others. In his first few months as Commissioner for Education between 2001-2003, he adopted this strategy by leading his team to meet Education stakeholders in the State at the time to work out programmes that will meet the needs of the people. The outcome of this was a robust revamping of the Education sector which includes but not limited to establishment of 27 secondary schools, return of Missionary schools to their owners, midwifing the establishment of the only Cross River State owned University, the Cross River University of Technology.
12. As a Vice Chancellor, he did same. He aligned his programmes with the needs of the students, staff and host community. This approach is what has helped him to address the most critical aspects of the University which include infrastructure, security, students and staff welfare, serenity, discipline amongst others.
13. As a thorough bread administrator, Prof. Akpagu doesn’t want to give the usual paper manifestos that’s common with Nigerian politicians. He will present a realistic, practical and achievable manifestoes when the processes mentioned above are completed.
14. You can trust Prof. Akpagu because he has antecedents of enormous success in all the positions he has had the privilege to occupy. It won’t be different with the Senate.
15. As one of the people he’s aspiring to represent in the Senate and as an opinion leader, your ideas on what you expect are welcome.
Inyali Peter writes from Calabar, the Cross River State capital. He is a lecturer in the University of Calabar and an aid to Governor Ben Ayade.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Inyali Peter and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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