We, the people of Cross River State, South South Nigeria, do hereby exercise our inalienable right to contribute to the current discourse and unfolding scenario of who becomes the governor of our dear state.
We recall from history, how for about nineteen years now, our state under the Peoples Democratic Party has suffered the paradox of near-progress and stagnation in developmental governance. The song on everyone’s lips is that Donald Duke envisioned a developmental plan for the state, Liyel Imoke slept with the plan and Ben Ayade shredded it.
In a proactive initiative, Cross Riverians desired to join other Nigerians to embrace the change that President Buhari symbolized in 2015. But PDP scuttled that quest not only by stealing the votes from PMB but also enthroning a man who had no plans to govern the state (Ben Ayade). The aftermath is gnashing of teeth we are groaning with in Cross River today.
Therefore, when another opportunity presented itself in the current electoral scenario, Cross Riverians have become so deeply circumspect to the extent of playing down the district-based zoning syndrome. In fact, majority of Cross Riverians are now determined to key into President Buhari’s people-oriented, development focused and zero-corruption governance model by accepting the All Progressives Congress as their party of choice.
This is why little is heard about the governship contest of PDP in Cross River State, where of course, the notorious impunity measure continues as the order of the day. Rather, all eyes and ears are tuned to goings-on within the APC fold.
Interestingly, like a few other states in the nation, two camps have emerged in the struggle to grab the governorship ticket. One routing for Pastor Dr. Usani Uguru Usani, the Honorable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the other pro Senator John Owan Enoh, popularly christened ATM, in the order of his show of throwing cash around to buy political support at all cost and negatively influencing the electorate’s perception.
PEDIGREE AND ANTECEDENTS
We hasten to observe that while Usani has a solid consistency in his pursuit of political ideology that focuses on leadership, Owan has, for over two decades now been pursuing his personal selfish political electoral ambition from State Assembly, through House of Representatives to Senate (PDP) and now to governorship (APC). what an insatiable ego of rolling stone that gathers no executive experience.
Usani on the contrary is a great party man who has been there for and with President Buhari, downloading awesome physical dividends of democracy to our state: The East-West Road, Calabar-Ogoja-Calabar Itu Road, Calabar-Bakassi Road, N-Power, Trader Moni Launched by the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to mention but a few. Owan belongs to that PDP spoilage that wrecked our state all-round, now attempting to jump ship and extend the demonic castration of our dreams. God forbid.
RULE OF LAW IN OPERATION
As today’s democracy hinges on the rule of law; Cross Riverians have their eyes wide open to the compliance level of those who aspire to head us. In this regard, we find Senator Owan Enoh dismally wanting. We are told and verily believe that while the primary that threw up Pastor Usani was duly observed by INEC in compliance with the Electoral Act, the Owan version did not only breach a subsisting court order with the involvement of the illegal state exco but was not ratified by INEC, making the exercise legally questionable.
DECITFUL PROPAGANDA VS TRUTH
We are painfully irked by the very pungent propaganda wind generated by Senator Owan Enoh with the motif that he is outlandishly rich to pay his way to Government house. To deepen this game of deception, Enoh throws around cash to the unsuspecting Cross Riverian Youths, whom, he in concert with PDP has impoverished over the years. He boasts to the high heavens that with his deep pocket, no contestant is a match to him. We find this grossly misleading and destructive to our youths, our hope for a better future, especially at a time when cash-for-office is vehemently condemned the world over. We are also aware that this crass quest of immediate material gains is the mother of insecurity, kidnapping, indolence, armed robbery that have bedeviled our state and destroyed our eco-tourist template.
We are more comfortable with the decent attitudes of Pastor Usani who has been engaging the Youths, Christian/Muslim bodies, women, students at different fora, consceintizing them on the achievements of President Buhari, APC and Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, over these years. Senator Enoh who came on board the governorship contest only few weeks back has rather preferred to pay pipers to sing a song of false lyrics that he is the only one who can win Cross River State for APC while in reality he might be preoccupied with taking Cross River back and deeper into the PDP macabre dance of mess.
It is common knowledge that experience is not bought in open market, neither can a person give what he does not have. Good governance is a product of tacit and hands-on experience garnered in the course of duty. How then does one compare Owan’s 19 years as a legislator dealing with paper policy matters with decades of experience earned by Pastor Usani as a Special Assistant to a Governor, a PhD holder in Developmental Growth, Chairman of a political Party, Pastor of tens of congregation, Administrator of Nigerian Legion, Commissioner of this and that, and a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
JUSTICE, EQUITY AND FAIR-PLAY
Cross Riverians, especially those with leaning on APC are still aghast of the pairing of a political iroko in the person of Pastor Usani and the dark horse called Owan Enoh. Where was Owan when PDP almost eclipsed APC in Cross River, calling it expired drugs and many other despicable names? Where was Owan when PDP denied APC and President Buhari the use of U.J. Esuene stadium for Buhari’s campaign, forcing the party to an obscure primary school field? In all these moments of trials, Pastor Usani with few others have weathered the storm to sustain APC in Cross River, forging a synergy with Mr. President to create real-time developments in the state. Is it not the height of injustice, inequity, unfairness to imagine that Owan Enoh was snoring when Usani was preparing the soup only to wake up and carry away the pot and its contents for himself. Monkey work, baboon chop, an anathema beserking a good conscience!
SINGING THE PDP SONG IN APC LAND
There is the story making the rounds that Senator Owan Enoh has the PDP impunity formula engrained in his DNA. In this display of the hangover that has stuck to him, Cross Riverians woke up on Monday 1st October, 2018 to hear the trio of Edem Duke, Eyo Nyong, John Upan reeling in wonder of how Owan Enoh had disappeared with election materials during their version of the governorship primaries. Aside from the fact that, no Nigerian would want the Independence Day holiday desecrated with an illegality. Senator Enoh rendered double portion of this, by disenfranchising other contestants in the race. As a reasonable man would do, Pastor Usani was far away from the charade. And Cross Riverians are asking how can Owan Enoh sing a PDP song in an APC land and expect an ovation? Only condemnation can follow him!
BREATHING FRESH AIR, CREATING A NEW ORDER
Every young Cross Riverian on the street today carries a countenance of boredom with the old order represented by Owan Enoh who has been in power since 1999 and is only seeking new opportunities to further feather the cap of his longtime friends, associates and the old wagon, majorly in the PDP…interest-bonded friendships die hard. If this continues, how will young graduates who are entering the political arena have any space? Pastor Usani on the other hand portrays that new slate on which competent Cross Riverians who have not been tried can write out their dreams and translate their visions. Behind Pastor Usani is an awesomely talented crop of Cross Riverians seeking manifestation. This essence cannot be sacrificed on the altar of Owan’s ego and that of his co-wayfarers. Let’s breath fresh air into the Cross River Project please.
DR. LAWRENCE HENSHAW
Chairman, CROSS RIVER STATE STAKEHOLDERS FORUM
*The views expressed are the author’s.
© 2018, Admin. All rights reserved.