The most reasonable thing to do in Cross River State is ultimately for the baton of leadership to shift from the Central to the Northern Senatorial District of the state, if the desired and most yearned balance must be achieved except otherwise we the people of Cross River State are not focused and also do not believe in the oneness we have always preached, something I strongly doubt because we are about the most liberal, peaceful and enlightened people.
Already, the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke (CON) has declared and affirmed this position in specific public fora, the first being at a Town Hall meeting convened at the grounds of Ogoja Local Government Council about three years ago. The second time was at a parley with Media Bureau Chiefs at the Transcorp Hotel in Calabar about a year ago. Quite strategic you may say given the sessions where Imoke made the declaration; first was to the people of the Northern Senatorial District and the second was while discoursing on a round table with the Media in a News Conference, not in a closed door session. To say the least the Governor is not joking and has never treated with levity his public statements.
Quite commendable, Cross River North is up to the bidding because the agitations are on and in the air already, just as the political gladiators are already consulting. On their part, the ‘godfathers’ have commenced the oscillation of the pendulum and it is swinging already but no one knows where and when it will swing to a halt except God, the alpha and omega.
Unlike in days past, where permutations would have been rife on who will or will not be, Liyel Imoke I must has been more skillful in this political game. Imoke has only said he will relinguish power to Cross River North, but to who till this moment remains a pain in the neck because no one, even his closest aide can say exactly whose direction he is heading for as we look at the long list of intending and possible aspirants to the exalted office of Governor.
Let us not forget too soon that Mr. Donald Duke did not foist on Cross Riverians in his time, a candidate for governor. Many aspirants indicated interests to be Governor of Cross River State under the PDP platform as it were but clearly the most qualified then, by all considerations judging from consultation made, and political reach garnered, even acceptability etc, was unarguably the incumbent Governor Liyel Imoke. We at this time must pause ans ask, can any of those aspiring now to be governor match or even surpass Imoke’s developmental feat as governor? Looking at things, can we give Imoke cause to choose from among them or are we about to see a ‘political upstart’, take the reins?
One of my worries is, when the next Governor whether from ID, PDM, APC, APGA, PDP, PPA, etc eventually emerge from the North, I am definitely sure he will be presiding over the entire Cross River State. YES would be the answer without a single NO but I reason strongly that some persons are getting it wrong because their actions and permutation suggest that the governorship of our state is a “Northern Cross River Affair”, whereas it should not be so. It is “Our” affair not “Their” affair please. If you share this thought with me, let us together call such persons or groups to order.
I commend the position of the Cross River Northern Elders Consultative Forum which is a very strong and strategic voice in the drive to attain this vision that is on a mission. The consultative Forum is on track already but depending on which lane it is running on the track in this race. It needs to be more virile and proactive in driving home the message because the Forum may be focused in this race to actualize a vision that is on a mission but if they do not hold firm, the vision becomes defocused.
Where are the drivers of this vision for the actualization of Governor Imoke’s open and popular declaration to hand over power to Northern Cross River in the Central and Southern Cross River? If they exist at all, must they be faceless?
That Liyel Imoke and Leader of Cross River State has openly said that he will hand the baton over to a successor from Cross River North does not translate to him being the one to drive it.
We cannot leave the campaign for our northern brothers, sisters, uncles, aunties, fathers, mothers, godfathers, godmothers and inlaws alone. It must be a collective concern, we must not be faceless about it, we need to come out strong, it is a worthy cause. If yours truly declare here that I stand for balance and equity it translates clearly that I support it, I believe in it, and I am up for it with the proviso that we are also properly guided by our brothers from Northern Cross River. They must be one in this and not divided. It is just not possible for a single broom stick to sweep. It is single broom sticks tied together as a bundle that sweeps effectively and conveys the whole garbage in one swoop to the trash can. We must not be gagged. We should remain gagless.
I rest my concern for now.
Mr. Omini Oden (ACPA, FCAI) is a Journalist, Chartered Public Administrator, Corporate Communication Specialist and Politician
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