In the winding months of 2014 into 2015, governor Imoke acquired the sobriquet, “sleeping governor” for his inability to evacuate the heaps of garbage that had overtaken several streets in Calabar. The entire government machinery was so distracted at the time that all the outcry landed on deaf ears.
Election campaigns had started and Jedy Agba entered the fray with blistering vehemence and set the whole arena on high tension. The intrigues, subterfuge, backstabbing and maneuvering that characterized the election process, shifted the battle ground from Calabar to Wadata House in Abuja as most of the big wigs in the State, including the governor, practically relocated to Abuja to battle for their political survival.
Consequently, governance was the casualty. The entire government machinery was halted, unless a governor of choice was installed. It was so bad that evacuating the garbage was Governor Ayade’s first task when he took over, as he immediately ran to Innoson Motors to get IVM Garbage Evacuation trucks, to save the capital city from dirt. And ironically, the finishing days of Ayade are already compared with those of Imoke, with the mounting heaps of trash Calabar is boasting of now.
In 2021, it appears we have cycled back to that same conundrum. Apart from the six months that have already been wasted by appointees traveling to their various villages to decamp, snap pictures and send back to their boss, the battle for Peregrino House has started earlier than expected and governance will still be the fall guy. Shameless and selfish politicians across board, will continue to throw up bizarre reasons and cross carpet at will as the two major parties in our State narrow on their choices for the governor.
There are very few industries and companies in Cross River State. There are no successful big businesses around that are employing, there are no big agricultural farms that are hiring labor. Government and politics is the only thriving industry in the State. And as the machinery of government gets sucked into the campaign mud already, very little will be heard about what the government is doing. The alignment and realignment of political interests towards 2023, will interfere with everything that was left of this government and further fritter away our resources on vain ventures.
Caucus meetings, support group meetings, inner circle meetings and other scheming meetings will now take precedence over Exco and MDAs review meetings. Payment of statutory bills and overheads will be relegated in favor of funding campaign sub-heads, even with the N8 Billion bail out and the $700m World Bank facility that the States are to share this month. We will witness more resignations from the government and high level poaching from different camps as various principals continue to declare their aspirations. The least thing that will be in any politician’s mind now that the campaigns have begun, is governance.
So those of you still talking about this government ending strong, I sympathize with you because I thought the political haggling will delay a little more for the governor to make some progress, but events are cascading so fast, his time to WORK has actually ended suddenly like an intensely engrossing movie. It’s only the names of the production crew that are rolling over the screen now.
Citizen Agba Jalingo, Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, is a Cross Riverian and writes in from Lagos.
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.
Since You Are Here, Support Good Journalism
CrossRiverWatch was founded on the ideals of deploying tech tools to report in an ethical manner, news, views and analysis with a narrative that ensures transparency in governance, a good society and an accountable democracy.
Everyone appreciates good journalism but it costs a lot of money. Nonetheless, it cannot be sacrificed on the altar of news commercialisation.
Consider making a modest contribution to support CrossRiverWatch's journalism of credibility and integrity in order to ensure that all have continuous free access to our noble endeavor.