By Kennedy Nsan
Those of us who push for certain changes in our political landscape do so because we want to see a prosperous, properly governed, socially responsible citizenry, and politically responsive elites who take their jobs seriously.
Whilst I was glued to my television set recently, watching the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) South-South rally in Port-Harcourt with high expectations of seeing Cross River State put up a formidable showing in solidarity, I was disappointed yet again at what is gradually becoming the trade mark of Cross River State and her citizens’ inability to mobilize massively towards a common goal.
I saw it happen before and during the ceding of Bakassi and the eventual loss of the 76 Oil wells rightly belonging to Cross River State to Akwa-Ibom State. I fear that this trend will continue because our oppressors will keep oppressing us for as long as they know that we’ll not bite when they do.
As the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), a political group mobilising Nigerians for the second term bid of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan election in 2015, held its South-South rally in Port-Harcourt, one would’ve expected a huge turn-out of delegates from Cross River State, watch them mount the podium as a show of total support and solidarity, and as an opportunity to prove to Mr President that our state sees him as ‘our’ own and therefore have him commit himself to our developmental goals post 2015, because no matter how we look at this, one cannot take away sycophancy and public display of loyalty from such political activities. However, that was not so with CRS showing at the rally held on Saturday, 30th August 2014.
This was clearly seen when Cross River State’s delegates mounted the rostrum. It was Ray Murphy, a private sector person who though has political aspirations and plenty of valuable contacts, John Odey, former Environment Minister, and Edem Duke, Minister Of Tourism who represented the entire Cross River State. While Edem Duke laboriously and unimpressively tried to deliver a solidarity message from Cross River State in support of Mr President (Edem is a smooth sweet talker, an orator per excellence) but lost his oratory prowess as a result of a weak support-base.
And you ask ‘why there’s less Federal Government presence in Cross River State?’
I have heard people pin the blame as to why our Federal Roads are in deplorable conditions on our Federal Legislators. Well, they’ve a right to do so, but there is little our Federal lawmakers will do if they don’t get the needed push and support back home. Mr President will listen more to the governor who’s like his direct lieutenant and general overseer of the state than he’ll do to a mere Federal lawmaker, except he or she has sufficient clout or is a ‘ranking legislator’. Otherwise forget it, given the way our federal system is constituted.
Again, I observed the number of timber and calibre of Edolites, Deltans, Bayelsans, and Rivers State delegation who mounted the podium on behalf of their states. One could see clearly also how we’ve been short-changed as all the delegates sometimes numbering over thirty were top Public Servants serving their states at the Federal level. My question then is… How many Cross Riverians are currently serving in the Jonathan administration? What’s the percentage of our people (Cross Riverians) compared to other states currently serving in the Jonathan South-South Presidency?
Is Jonathan really ‘our’ President?
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