Desecrating Our Institutions As A ‘Legacy’ BY VENATIUS IKEM

In Breaking News, Columnists, Opinion

Governor Ben Ayade who has refused to abide by the persistent recommendations of the National Judicial Council and swear in Justice Akon Ikpeme as Chief Judge of the state, hopes to rely on a Judicial process to advance his Political career as an affront on civilised society. To be fair, he is not hoping to rely on a legitimate judicial process because he has no legitimate case anywhere. He hopes to corrupt his way to “Justice” by obtaining illegal Court Orders.

As it stands the Judicial arm of government in Cross River State is on her knees, comatose, without a Chief Judge for the first time in history because the National Judicial Council refused to do Governor Ayade’s bidding and recommend his choice as a Chief Judge of Cross River State! The standoff has left the state without a Chief Judge. How sad! I hope those judges in his “faction” are learning. I must commend those judges who are seeing beyond Ayade at their sacred call in the service of the motherland.

Currently, the Governor has moved his contempt for the judiciary further to the Federal High Court of Justice sitting in Cross River State, obtaining embarrassing Court Orders against all known processes of Law, in a desperate bid to force a Senatorial Candidate as a surrogate for his return to the Senate in 2023! How much more desperate can Ayade become?

It is becoming clear to all that Governor Ayade’s megalomania or obsession with Power is bringing a new dimension hitherto unknown into the body politics of Cross River State. The predictable next move will be killing of Political opponents. His brother the co-Governor is alleged to be boasting that he can do anything to opposition voices and nothing will happen! As things stand, kidnapping is on the upswing. We remain focused and undaunted.

Those he labelled as “desperate” are now looking like saints! For a man overwhelmingly rejected as a monumental failure in the history of governance in our state to attempt to perpetuate himself in power against the will of the people through illegal and violent means, spells doom for the future of our state, yet most of our “enlightened” citizens are in silent subservience because we lack the courage to speak truth to power!

Governor Ayade has desecrated all known norms and destroyed all institutions of Government, his family members throw their ill-gotten acquisitions from the public till in our faces and he continues to move deliberately to dictate what our future should look like, allegedly corrupting all institutions on his way.

Well, some should know that there will be consequences, now or later. Already a couple of careers are on the line of destruction in the judiciary and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The resistance is not sleeping. Some folks in INEC who issued unauthorized endorsement of illegal congress results know what I am talking about as well as some Judges already making visits to the National Judicial Council.

Let the message be clear: we must fight to redeem our state and salvage her because nobody from anywhere else is going to change things for us, but ourselves. Unless we stand up to this bully and his totalitarianism, using extant civil society structures for good governance there will be nothing left when Governor Ayade is done with us. We will seek Judicial redress and file complaints against abuse of office by public servants as become necessary. It might be slow, but Justice will surely come. Don’t despair; don’t think nothing is happening. A lot is happening. The only thing not happening is governance because the Governor has redirected all resources of government, human and material, towards fighting for his political survival and continued relevance.

For His Emperial Majesty’s information, the National Judicial Council, is not an arm of the Cross River State Government that he can intimidate into submission and buy at will like the Cross River State House of Assembly! It is a body of very eminent jurists and judiciary administrators who understand the critical role of the Judiciary in sustaining a civil society. They may not be perfect, but they know their job.

The judiciary may have some judges who may be corrupt like all human institutions, some whose courage may fail them sometimes, but largely they are men and women who stand for Truth and Justice!

Governor Ayade is hardly comfortable with such men and women.

It is even terrible when you remember that Governor Ayade claims to be a “Lawyer” or that he read Law! Actually, I have not heard him claim that he is a lawyer, just that he read Law and went to Law School. I know if he passed the Bar Examination, we would have been regaled with pictures of him in a wig or wig and gown. I am sure that very soon University of Calabar will offer him an LLM degree with distinction and before the end of his tenure an LLD. I am very sure that by that time he would have attended less than a dozen lectures!

He is the Governor!

Come to think of it doesn’t it surprise you that you have never seen Governor Ayade in wig and gown? Or address himself as “Barrister” despite his love for titles? Yet we are told that he attended Law School?

For the clergy, I wish all his spiritual advisers many more praying hours. Of course Christ said he came for the lost sheep, not for those who are sinless. Your job has been cut out for you. Who am I to judge, seeing that we all sin differently. But remember that our land cries out for Justice and restitution.

But remember also the prophets of yore who stood up against bad governments in their time, like Prophets Jeremiah, Elijah, John the Baptist. Those who have chosen to use the sacred scriptures to justify bad governance in return for a table in the action and taken refuge in cold complicity should remember that there is a day of reckoning for them too.

Anyway, more relevant to us is that for all those he is paying and destroying with his mantra of “Politics with Ethics”, I wish you well but you will be remembered when the New Cross River State will emerge after the years of the locust!

Have a great day all.

Long live Cross River State!

Venatius Ikem, a lawyer and public affairs analyst, served as National Publicity Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party.

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

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