NOTE: This letter is published unedited and it is written by EMMANUEL OKO
Mr. Commissioner Sir,
On a few occasions prior to your becoming a commissioner and during your screening exercise on the floor of Cross River State House of Assembly, CRSHA, I had the rare privilege of joining your numerous well-wishers in extending my best wishes and felicitations to you through social media. I have equally contributed my quota in discussing matters that concern your office on pure and positive grounds. These I have done with pride and enthusiasm because you belong to my generation and now you are saddled with the arduous tasks of piloting the Ministry of Youths and Sports in Cross River State. Sincerely sir, you became a torch bearer and beacon of hope for most of us.
But surprisingly at the moment, I am embarrassed, terrified, worried and very concerned. Comrade Sir, I am aware of your antecedents in the aluta struggle. Albeit, if the war on corruption in our nation, Nigeria, if must be won, we must all participate in fighting against this monstrous and cancerous plague called corruption with all our might and mind. Meaning that, we must deliberately eschew comradeship; youthful ties, consanguineous affiliation, any affinity, generational solidarity and combat the challenges of corruption as we are compelled to face them.
My Comrade, the office you occupy is not an elective position but an appointive one and I am not an immediate stakeholder in the position, so you can not accuse me of any self aggrandizement or attention seeking gambit on this matter under appraisal. The subject matter borders on financial indiscipline which you may possibly be a direct beneficiary. Kindly take notice of the fact I am not yet accusing you of any financial impropriety— but rather wish to ask you question as directed by the vast majority of Cross River State youths and students concerned on this matter for some valid clarifications before it is weighed for possible actions.
Before I will continue on this case, I wish to pause briefly to formally introduce myself to you with the highest hope that this memo will not be misconstrued. I am Ogar, Emmanuel Oko. A law abiding citizen of Nigeria with full rights as guaranteed in the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended in 2011 and supported by African Charter on human and peoples’ rights as adopted on 27 June, 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev.5,21 I.L.M. 58(1982), entered into force on 21 October 1986; and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UNDHR which was adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly resolution 217A (III) of 10 Dec.,1948. Also, the backing of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Sir, upon the wheel of the aforementioned, do I ride on to exercise such rights on behalf of those mandate I speak for. As seen from the above, I came to existence with the primary aim of helping to establish true democracy which allows for balanced participation of all citizens in the country. Sir, you know that accountability is an inseparable constituent of democracy and I wish to encourage transparency in running public office with the aim of cautious management of public fund. Therefore, I detest when public money is being wasted or diverted by any means for personal gains.
Recall that on the 27th May, 2017 you had invited youths and Nigerians students to grace the Children’s Day and Cross River at 50 golden jubilee occasion held in the main bowl of U.J. Esuene stadium, Calabar after which your principal, governor Ben Ayade and Chief Obong Godswill Akpabio without duress promised the students N10 million plus 3 buses and N3 million respectively.
It is on record and in good authority that you only disbursed N3.5 million only with Unical; CRUTECH and Youths Corp members frowning home with N1million each and College of Health Technology receiving N500, 000.
Recall that your purported actions or inactions over the disbursement of the money resulted to the shooting of Nigerian students by the Army when they were on peaceful protest after sensing sharp and unscrupulous play by you. It is a fact that you visited the victims at the University Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH on 29th May and gave them N270, 000 in support of their medical expenses.
Mr. Commissioner, do I need to ask if the money was released by the governor and his guest? The answer is on the negative. You cannot say no because it was part of it that you gave the N3.5 million to the students and other youths groups. If not from it, where did you get it from?
It may interest you to understand that it was the perceived gross exploitation of public trust that I was swift to draw the attention of the public to such rascality in my 28th May memo and the subsequent ones that prompted you to begin making enquiring of whom I am.
Upon all the calls I received which were triggered by you, I bated an eye-lid over them but undoubtedly not the one from one of my associates. That was the last straw that broke the Carmel’s back. That was when I understood the seriousness of the matter that there was a covert plan to gag and put me in the manacles of perpetual silence by you or perhaps your unauthorized agents.
Sir, it is now pertinently obvious based on the information making the round that those clamouring for you to account for the money or rather requesting that you give them their share have been asked to desist from such else the coercive apparatus of the state will go after them. Such bid of trying to gag the people by public office holder is a hurry desperation; quite dangerous, volatile and a crass malfeasance of a public servant.
Whereas, the sad event occurred on the fateful day of 27 May, 2017 .On the 28 of May, I made the first publication and on the 29, you went to visit the victims in the hospital. This matter of public interest was thoroughly deliberated in the plenary session of the Cross River State House of Assembly on Wednesday, 7th June as brought before the House by Hon. Hilary Bisong of Boki II state constituency. Subsequently, it was referred to the standing committee on Information Communication Technology, Youth, and Sports Development and Labour matters for investigation. On the 19th of June, the Committee met with parties and concerned groups on this matter. Take note, the Committee is yet to conclude its findings.
Mr. Honourable Commissioner may be wondering why I painstakingly chronicled the happenings thus far. It is not farfetched. I am a youth who as usual is committed to the entrenchment of the cardinal philosophies of Justice, Equity and Fairness in all policies of government. In addition, I am unrepentant proponent of the actualization of the dreams of ordinary youth of being today’s leader and not tomorrow. And when I see one of my “kinsmen” that sit on the pew of power perpetrating shenanigans in the guise of smartness or politics that is potent to jeopardizing and placing the entire interest of us on the edge of precipice; I yell and never keep mute.
Once again, by this memo, I am not y
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