One time Chairman of Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, Chuks Agube, has exclusively informed www.calitown.com that immediate past governor of CRS, Liyel Imoke, contrary to information at the disposal of many, gave his former Chief of Staff, Alex Egbona, the nod to run for the Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency seat in Nigeria’s House of Representatives.
Agube who spoke in an interview maintained that, “Alex Egbona met Imoke and informed him of his intention to run for the House of Reps and he gave him the go-ahead. He advised Alex to do a few things that will guarantee his victory and further advised him not to heat up the system, but be careful. Alex went ahead and turned in his resignation (as Imoke’s Chief of Staff) and Imoke gave him a letter of commendation, releasing him to go and run election. When Imoke saw the momentum Alex was gathering, he made a u-turn and told him not to run. If you were in Egbona’s shoes, would you have accepted this last minute advice to withdraw? If he did not want him to run, did he reject Alex’s resignation and asked him to continue as Chief of Staff? Imoke just eased Alex out of the system”.
He went on to reveal that after extensive consultations, “…just like most governors in Imoke’s era did, it was agreed that Imoke will run for Senate after Victor Ndoma-Egba and John Owan Enoh became locked in a bitter struggle for the Central Senatorial seat”. While Imoke may have chickened out, Agube however did not disclose reasons for Imoke’s decision.
The former chairman also told www.calitown.com about “how Liyel Imoke conned me to my face. 13 out of 18 council chairmen at that time had a meeting with him and I informed him that I wanted to run for a second term as chairman of council. He told me to step down and instead run for the House of Assembly. Only God knows what happened because at the last minute, he insisted that I instead become the campaign manager for John Gaul Lebo’s House of Assembly ambition and that I will be given an appointment instead. I obeyed but never got the appointment until Imoke left office”.
Asked to comment on the defection of Alex Egbona and his supporters from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to Labour Party and finally to the All Progressives Congress, APC, the former chairman submitted that “…in the PDP Alex Egbona and his supporters had become politically displaced persons borne out of the internal democratic crisis that engulfed the party in CRS. The Labour Party was a vehicle to help us crossover, seeking political power to make a meaning in the lives of our people. Unfortunately for us and the people, the PDP government in the state lobbied the election petition tribunal and got a judgment against all odds. You can imagine that the greatest anomaly was that results for the Yakurr/Abi Federal Constituency election were delivered on the 29th of the month while collation ended on the 30th of the same month”.
He concluded by expressing sadness that, “no meaningful political position has come to Igbo-Imabana (Abi LGA), with two council wards, compared to other areas in the LGA that have one council ward. I became chairman of council from Igbo-Imabana because it had to be zoned to my area, outside that, nothing has come to my people”.
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