EDITORIAL: Democracy Day, Imoke’s 365 Days And Nigeria

nigeria's flagOne year from today, Senator Liyel Imoke will cease to function as governor of Cross River State. Having steered the ship of state for seven years and counting now, it is important that in the twilight of his administration, he must begin to do a few things that we will lay bare here.

Clearly, Imoke must begin the measured wind down of his ideas. We do not propose that he pulls the plug off all of them, but those ideas that have grown difficulty and brought forth a minimal yield, must be compulsively put aside. It may not be our responsibility to litanise those ideas knowing that in his quiet time, the governor knows which of his ideas have made him sleep soundly and the ones that have puffed his sleep.

Gov Imoke will do good to drive to a logical conclusion most of the projects his administration has powered. Specifically, we will point to the Calabar International Convention Centre, CICC, the Institute of Technology and Management, Ugep, the sports stadium in Ikom, just to mention a few. The CICC is looking like a tall order. We may not doubt his alministration’s ability to complete it but we sincerely doubt the possibility of putting the place to use; to benefit the state financially considering that a fortune has been sunk into this particular project. Can the touted ancillary benefits of this project be up for grabs in the next 364 days? We will need answers.

Cross Riverians are not politically laid back, in recent times however, only pockets of political expression have been visible. Gov Imoke may have underlined his role in ensuring that political aspirations in a democratic system remain under wraps when he openly pronounced not too long ago that he knows who will not be governor even though he also affirmed that he does not know who will be. While we may want to say that such semantics enliven the political game, we are also afraid that this particular statement has negatively driven our democratic process, in the run-in to the 2015 polls. Political contenders and pretenders have become wary of any investment in the system. We make bold to inform our governor that it is a disservice (to CRS) for him to arrogate to himself, instead of the people, the right to elect leaders into whatever office in the state. Let Imoke concern himself with perfecting the genuine process(es) that will give the state, especially, a governor the people truly elect. Those who identify for the governor, who is for or ‘against’ him, will be the same people who will identify for the next governor, the concocted ills of the Imoke administration. It is a potent advice.

We are not unmindful of the significance of Nigeria’s Democracy Day. As part of the entity called Nigeria, Cross Riverians must lend support to sincere national efforts geared towards making life more meaningful. We must take greater interest in how this nation is run. We must begin too to hold our leaders responsible for selfish decisions that benefit a negligible set of Nigerians. Pain and faded dreams have kept us company for too long, undermining in the process both the growth of our nation and the actualisation of personal dreams in this collective entreprise called Nigeria. Where we refuse to stand up and be counted, we will blame no one for the sour soup that becomes our portion.

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