In the last 24 hours, most online forums have been locked in debates for or against a situation many political watchers have aptly tagged “the beginning of political hostilities” in the run in to elections for the Yakurr/Abi Federal House of Representatives seat. Perhaps to underpin his desire to take a third shot at the seat, Bassey Eko Ewa, one time Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, who presently occupies the seat, over the weekend in Ugep, Yakurr LGA, is widely reported to have ‘slapped’ the Chief of Staff to Cross River State governor, Liyel Imoke, Alex Egbonna, in circumstances not unconnected with Egbonna’s secretly touted ambition to unseat Ewa.
At a ceremony organised by Ewa to give out cars, motorcycles, tricycles and sewing machines to his constituents, Egbonna is said to have disagreed with the list of beneficiaries from his Igbo Ekureku council ward, Abi LGA. The list, one source told calitown.com was deliberately drawn without Egbonna’s input, a situation that was crafted to ‘show’ he has no grip on the political handle of his ward. Egbonna’s position is said to have drawn Ewa’s ire. A hot exchange of words in the course of raising his objections preceeded the “feast of slaps” which further degenerated into a free for all show of shame as supporters of Ewa and Egbonna in attendance, went after each other. The timely intervention of policemen quickly drafted in as the fracas attempted to spread, saved the day.
On one site, a contributor in reaction to the situation wrote that, ” Hon Ewa don’t owe Dr Alex any obligation to honour his list”(sic), in apparent support of Ewa’s action while another wrote that, “Alex can only cry foul if his constituents were outrightly sidelined and neglected in the empowerment scheme”. Again, one contributor was quick to say thus, “why does Alex feel or think that the people on Hon Ewa’s list from his community are not qualified to benefit…”
But a contributor on the other side of the divide wrote that, “Ewa or whatever he calls himself is wrong, he has no right to slap the Chief of Staff…”, just like one other contributor wrote; “it is a political game and it would be naive and stupid of Hon. Ewa to fall so cheap to the plan/gimmicks of Dr Alex”. In writing that, “Ewa can slap whoever he wants to slap, his constituents are lame ducks and can do nothing to him but vote and send him back to Abuja so they can get Tokunbo cars while he builds and acquires property the world over, shame to Yakurr and Abi LGAs”, one contributor took aim at a position many hold about Ewa’s political serving to his people.
It remains to be seen who the victor and the vanquished will be in the days ahead.
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