Oh how the mighty have fallen!!! The giant Ogoja Senatorial District of Cross River North known for its unity, sagacity and focus.!!! South Easterners dreaded you for your political prowess, capacity and intellectual ability.
Time was when you dethroned and enthroned governors/Senators through sound political calculations and boldness; you were the most sort after bride long before your half brother was excised and christened Akwa Ibom.
Then politics was practiced mostly through canvassing of superior opinion beneficial to your people not to individuals at the dead of night. There were suave meetings with authority figures and community leaders at dead of night to forge alliances that opponents always were taken unaware because of the deft execution of calculations that were mostly borne out of wit and persuasion. Neither guns nor machetes held sway. Room didn’t exist for cultic hibernations neither did cash play the deadly stomach infrastructure merchant.
Elders were elders indeed and content; sort out, consulted through reputable emissaries and wooed for support and understanding. It was more of sportsmanship and interest than brazen brigandry; capacity more than vaulting ambition by Lords who commanded questionable treasuries and positions of advantage. It was more of patriotism than esoteric privileges with underworld underpinnings. It was more integrity based assessed by character and family pedigree.
That is where you stood dear Ogoja senatorial district of Cross River North. You started gasping after option A4 came to an abrupt termination. That would have been your finest moment if the parameters of that self-inflicted abortion hadn’t happened. Oh how the mighty have fallen!!!
Your steady slip down the slope commenced in 1999 when you willingly betrayed your own. It was still a game of wit and bravery but all the same, you started your slip into the abyss then and you seem to be on a freefall at this moment!!!
Many of us were bludgeoned, pummeled, clobbered and marked by MEN who ascribed the role of God to themselves and vowed never to let us occupy any public office because we severed alliances erstwhile brokered due to foresight of what is unfolding in our midst now.
Fortunately, those are mere men whose breath is like vapor at the mercy of the Almighty God.
Like Nostradamus we saw the future and cried foul but while we cried, some of us were given roles of Brutus and the Brutuses served their purposes well both at the local, state and national levels.
While some watched in glee and celebrated new victories and alliances with strange bedfellows, they later served a good meal in the pots of political sacrifice when their gods decided so to do. This is a pendulum. The swing is deft and sure and takes no prisoners!!!
How long shall Ogoja continue in this quagmire? How long??? When will reason prevail and a determination to bequeath to our children and grandchildren a sustainable legacy based on merit, capacity and integrity? When shall we come back to our senses and retrace our steps to where we first missed it? A couple of us have died and are not here to witness the calamity we helped to foist but quite a whole lot are still alive and are witnessing the works of their hands!!!
Only sincere repentance and mending of our ways and sincerely beginning a new awakening of sincerity and healing will help. If not, WE MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE BEST HAND TO SERVE OUR SENATORIAL DISTRICT EVER AGAIN in any political office by votes or appointment at local, state or national levels since some of us mortgaged our land to avatars of questionable mythology!!!
The tragedy of Okonkwo in the slaying of Ikemefuna in Chinua Achebe’s THINGS FALL APART is germane to this sorry unfolding epic that is roaring over Cross River North!!!
Who will appease the gods??? Or are we going to keep watching our children scare us from our own homes while we flee naked from their murderous machete wielding bloodsoaked hands? If only Primaries can unleash so much bloodshed and engender division amongst kith and kin to this extent, it can only be imagined what the real onslaught will be like in the forthcoming bye election to fill in the vacant senate seat in Cross River North.
While we take blame for our actions and inactions of our generation, let this generation that is being used as canon-fodder pause for a moment and think. This generation is more fast paced than ours ever was. Every sell out of your future will reverberate with harsher and more immediate and regrettable consequences that will enslave you for generations that will curse you, not in your graves but while alive!!!
I pray we wake up from this deep slumber elders and youth; and begin afresh a new ethical campaign that will resyche our land in the North and Cross River State in general. This lamentation is not just for Cross River North, the entire Cross State has caught the virus. My reference is targeted more at Cross River North because of the unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives at the recent PDP Primaries.
Unfortunately this virus is not of the corona species but of intellectual/psychological suspension that has inebriated all and sundry to this level of stupor never experienced in generations of our Patriarchs like Mbu, Wayas, Ogon, Murphy, Jombo ,etc.
Wake up OGOJA!!! Stop the slide!!! WAKE UP CROSS RIVER STATE!!!
Nigeria as a nation is at cross-roads. Every state and region is busy gathering their best brains to work out how they fit into an inevitable likely “new Nigeria” in the not too distant future. Never a time has our country been so divided, insecure and rudderless!!! Hopelessness and frustration are palpable!!! The cost of living is astronomical. The corruption index has never been so gleefully and brazenly celebrated by benefactors!! Education and healthcare are a nightmare; and unfortunately the ship of state seems to be going daily nearer to hitting the rocks than steering towards safety and shore.
A time we should be sober and forward looking towards how to navigate our people into the emerging Nigeria or whatever foreseeable horizon a restructured alliance will provide. Damaging reports abound of existential threat due to rampaging unknown, unnamed herdsmen. The porous boundaries of Cross River have featured severally in international intelligence reports that should make us ponder and put our house together for all.
I am only crying out loud to all. SHEATH YOUR SWORDS!!! STOP THE BLOODSHED!!! WAKE UP AND STAND FOR ALL!!! A BROOMSTICK POSES NO THREAT TO BEING BROKEN BUT A BROOM IS HARDLY BROKEN!!! (nothing connoting a political party with brooms here)!!!
Emmanuel Ibeshi, a former guber aspirant was the first National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.
NB: 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.
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