While they appears to be an unending furore over the recent declaration by Nigeria’s Federal Government that a new Federal Polytechnic will be sited in Ugep, Yakurr LGA of Cross River State, John Owan Enoh, who once represented Cross River Central Senatorial District in Nigeria’s Senate, has in a town hall meeting in Ikom, CRS, maintained that the choice of Ugep as the site of the new institution, over Ikom, was the handiwork of former Presidential aide, Okoi Obono-Obla.
Owan Enoh who has on the side been lavishly accused of trying to take the federal institution away from Ugep, (working with Mary Ekpere, Director General of the Women Development Centre, Abuja), came clear at the Ikom meeting that while as senator, he took the first practical step for the Federal Polytechnic to be sited in Ikom by sponsoring the bill establishing the institution. “I even sponsored our people to Abuja to take part in the public hearing for this bill…but the politics of 2019, took the Polytechnic from Ikom”.
He went on to disclose that, after making representations to Nigeria’s Education Minister for the siting of the institution in Ikom and given positive assurances, he was taken aback that while specifics were employed in the siting of the Federal Polytechnic in Daura, Katsina State, the one for CRS came with no location specifics, creating in the process, gaps that were exploited by Obono-Obla. “They said Federal Polytechnic, Cross River State; they didn’t mention any location. When this happened, I didn’t need anyone to tell me that there was work to be done. What this simply meant is that they have opened up this thing to politics and lobbying”.
Continuing, “I am a late entrant into the APC. If you understand, the APC formation is one that has members drawn from the ACN, CPC etc. Obono-Obla came with them from the CPC. The Minister of Education as well as the Minister of State, Education, come from the CPC” and it may have been expedient for them to call Obla, their colleague, when the die was cast. “Mary Ekpere called and asked me if I had heard about the pronouncement siting the school in Ugep…she then told me she was going to call the Minister. When she called me back, she told me that he told her that for CRS, they had called Obono-Obla and he told them that the institution should be sited in Ugep, he is from Ugep and you can’t blame him for mentioning his place”.
He pleaded with the people of Old Ikom, comprising Ikom, Etung and Boki LGAs that they cannot at this time protest, but should see what has happened with the institution as something they have missed in the present. “What we must now do is look forward and see how we can attract other things to Ikom. Obla was unavailable to comment on Owan Enoh’s submission at press time.
© 2021, Admin. All rights reserved.