From January 2022, several persons will declare for governorship in our State. Many of their followers and loyalists will begin to address them as “Excellency.” It doesn’t matter whether they eventually win or not, the Excellency is just to massage their ego. Depending on the financial strength of the aspirants, some will begin to ride round town with sirens. And you know Calabar is a small town. Even the current emperor sirens alone deafens everywhere.
These aspirants and their support groups will open offices as usual and staff them. Plenty of their staff, including DGs of their campaigns will be poached from the current government. His present appointees including some commissioners, will be poached into the different ensuing campaigns. Some of them will also become the most virulent critics of their former boss as they discover new sources of food on other tables. This will persist till year end, because aspirants who want to buy their way into office will be spending money.
Then, the electoral act 2010 as amended says: Every political party shall not later than 60 days before the date of the general election, submit to INEC, the list of candidates the party proposes to sponsor at the elections. INEC has fixed February 18, 2023 for Presidential and NASS general elections and the Governorship elections usually holds a week after. So by December 22 or there about, parties must submit names of their candidates. But before December, party primaries would have held to select candidates from the aspirants. It could be a month or more earlier to allow time for resolution of disputes arising from the party primaries.
So party primaries will possibly hold around October/November 2022. Immediately the wiñners of the primaries emerge, especially that of the ruling party, the population that flocks the current governor’s home and even office today, will drain by more than fifty percent. Many of his closest allies today who swear they are ready to die for him, will abandon him at this juncture. Some will turn against him. Those who fell out of favor earlier will also find courage at this time to become vocal seeing that the current governor is going. That candidate will also begin to use sirens. Billboards and posters will be scattered all over Calabar.
Some party big wigs who lost out of the primaries will decamp to other parties in search of tickets to run while some will stay back and play the spoiler. The bulk of political activities will shift to the home and trail of the candidate of the ruling party and loyalists will call that candidate “Excellency” even in the face of the current emperor, while he hasn’t exited the office. They won’t be scared anymore. This will peak by the last week of February 2023 when the elections are held. The moment a winner is announced, even with three more months to go, the current emperor will understand what it means to be denied of attention and be ignored by people who couldn’t try it before. The struggle and tussle to be in the good books and plans of the governor-elect will turn more of the few remaining hangers-on against him. They will be scandalous leak of information or official secrets both to the media and new person to gain favors.
As inauguration day approaches, the current emperor’s house will become more and more empty of visitors and favor seekers. Even government bankers will start avoiding some of his calls. Inauguration day is the worst of them all. Even the driver that will drive the current emperor to the venue, may not be the one to bring him back his two or three vehicles instead of the convoy of sometimes 30 cars that we see today. And that will sure be a sad reality and difficult thing for a man who has a megalomanic ego to deal with. By the morning of May 30, 2023, the current guy will wake up and look from the balcony and get a fresh sense of his humanity back. He will realize that he now needs to remind someone that his shoe is dusty to be cleaned or that the lawns are over grown to be mowed.
He will see from the balcony that all the many men in suits, the deafening sirens, the DSS, the police escorts, are all gone but a handful hanging around. He will watch on TV and see how the 2922 days have evaporated and condensed elsewhere and get a real chance at genuine introspection after a long time. He will realize that all that crowd and fanfare around him was not because of love but because of the power that lingered with him. So effectively, this administration has, at best, only from now till September 2022 to work, if they want to.
Citizen Agba Jalingo
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch, rights activist, a Cross Riverian and writes from Calabar.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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