Ekori is less than two hours by road from Calabar, the Cross River State capital. It is unarguably the second major community in Yakurr LGA, after Ugep, her more illustrous brother. Outside subsistence farming, which is a dominant endeavour in Ekori, the community is gradually waking up to a cheerful vibrance brought on by the divergent energies of several sons and daughters of the community committed to helping the community take that all too needed leap of faith which propels communities to stand up and be counted. For better or for worse, Ekori’s contemporary most popular son is former Speaker of the CRS House of Assembly and present House of Representatives member, Bassey Eko Ewa. He represents Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency.
In the last couple of days, both Ekori and Ewa have taken negative centrestage for the mayhem, roped in politics, that was visited on the community. While women and children watched and wailed, and then ran to neighbouring communities, men and boys murderously shot at each other with hateful zest. Without pretending, the clan of boys who made sure Sandy Onor and the Labour Party entourage did not campaign in Ekori, told whoever cared to listen that their action was “as it pleases the master” and Ekori has just this ‘master’. Those who lost their lives can NEVER be counted as having died in action because theirs was the cheapest form of banditry, directed at friends and brothers as a form of political expression in an election they are not contesting. Even if they were contesting the election, can elections be a handy excuse for murder? This ‘courage’ borne out of desperation took advantage of the fatal assumption that ‘their man’ is the governor’s man. But then, those who took on Ewa’s foot soldiers may have demonstrated a hapless sense of grievance which is by no means a swish out of the shadow and I still maintain too that they were all wrong.
While Ewa remains a dangerous political gamble for the PDP, those who can pray for him will hope that he can scale the acceptability hurdle in Yakurr/Abi because the narratives on the ground point in the opposite direction. His political hunk of swagger remains because Liyel Imoke and we the people, have set no political targets or standards expected of him. He has enjoyed support for unfulfilled promises and bribes his way to victory with the equanimity of a bold prostitute. Like it is often said and I agree, “the people have a way of emboldening the tyranny and imbecility of bad leaders. They do so by encouraging them when they misbehave”, and constantly he politically misbehaves.
Somewhat, I am constrained to raise the issue of Ubi Itam Ettah in ‘relation’ to the Ekori horror show. Better known as BOMBOY, he is the immediate past chairman of Yakurr LGA and until recently, Ewa’s political Man Friday, with a grassroots followership that often defies rational thinking. A few days ago he was detained and questioned by the police in Calabar, alongside others, over his ‘role’ in the Ekori saga. I have no reason(s) to make any case for him, he doesn’t deserve my pity, but Ewa needs to be told that adding Ubi Ettah to his long list of Yakurr sons and daughters who have been used, squeezed and dumped, is eerily reminiscent of Dracula politics; where blood is never enough. While there is a seeming concensus that Ettah was nowhere near Ekori, Ewa’s acolytes are hell-bent on showing Esau’s butt even after Jacob took his blessing. That Ettah is today a ‘winch‘ bird to Ewa speaks volumes and represents for me the tragic filaments of Ewa’s politics. I therefore ask like Thomas Ofem asked in his excellent two-part piece, three or so years ago, “Is it about the Ugep man?”. This question must be asked because every time he ascends, one Ugep son gets ‘forced’ out of political relevance. Haba, old habits die-hard.
Fo those gullible youths constantly put in harm’s way to defend what is not theirs, someone should tell them that only on the perimetre fence that will be built after assumption of office, will they perch and complain about “having worked”, I guess in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”. The elections are in a few days, “Ete” will definitely be putting finishing touches to his campaigning; careless cash will exchange hands, meetings will be called and you will be invited, just you can have a (false) sense of belonging, but I promise you, “Ete” will be gone for another three years, after now, show up in the fourth year and arm you to re-enact this ugly ritual again. Those employment opportunities that are handed them in Abuja will unfortunately be sold or handed over to women of easy virtue while you make do with seating at his feet and demanding pittance that you will never get. It has happened before, it has just happened and it will happen again; indeed like Mario Puzo captured it, “Fools Die”.
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