Frankly, the broadside from Governor Liyel Imoke at Governor Ayade was a distraction that Cross Riverians do not need. It did not advance the case for “Atiku for President” a single centimeter, it did not help the case of the PDP candidate, Senator Sandy Onor, and it did very little if anything for Governor Imoke’s image amongst Cross Riverians. I wonder why he bothered.
Why? It did not tell us anything new at all. If anyone paid serious attention to it, it was only to wonder why it had taken Governor Imoke 8 years-plus to confess the truth that only he had denied. All he achieved was to remind many of us of the deep dismay and pain we experienced when it became clear that he had chosen to forsake the “Family” about which he had spoken so much in the previous 16 years. Instead, he foisted a self-absorbed interloper from nowhere to succeed him as Governor of a State whose star was ascendant in 2015.
Yes, all that Governor Imoke’s confession achieved was to remind us of what could have been…how we journeyed to Canaan between 1999 and 2015 and have been plodding away from it ever since deeper and deeper into the stinking quagmire into which his chosen one, Ben Ayade, has been dragging us.
Despite Governor Ayade’s equally pretentious claims to a moral high ground that he has never known, speak less of occupied, throughout his public service life, we are already reading the stones thrown at Governor Imoke by characters who are clearly Ayade hirelings but who do not have the courage to tell us their real names. So much for the “moral high ground.”
What is curious, but should not come as a surprise, is that none of the Ayade defenders we have seen so far has been able to point at just one thing that anyone in his right senses can define as a success or achievement of the Ayade Years. This is the only credible defense that the Ayade camp can offer. Simply point at their master’s good works and silence the Imoke camp forever. It has not happened yet…and we all know that it will not happen…because there is nothing to show but an emaciated and anemic Cross River State.
When you step back and think about it carefully, we will see that this is the real tragedy of the Imoke-Ayade governorship joint venture that went sour even before Ayade took his first oath of office in 2015. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it. All that we know is that our State was handed over to Governor Ben Ayade who proceeded with the locusts and leeches that are his extended family and a few political hangers-on to suck and eat Cross River State dry.
At the end of the day, this is the harsh reality: Liyel Imoke, undisputed King of Cross River between 2007 and 2015, handed Cross River State m, DELIBERATELY and even against his own enlightened self-interest, over to the worst Governor we ever had and, prayerfully, will ever have.
So, abeg, make we hear better word, the Ayade and Imoke camps should do us all a favor and allow us to look forward to the restoration of good governance and good times in this State…instead of taking us back and reminding us of their failed joint venture from that place that Governor Imoke mentioned…the pit of hell.
Barrister Eyo Ekpo is the former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Cross River State.
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Eyo Ekpo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.