Monday, 19 March 2018

Abi-Yakurr 2019 Federal Constituency Election in Focus —by Simon Utsu

19 March 2018 

I've had this article written down (in my head) for over a month but have been quite reluctant to 'drop' it. Abi-Yakurr is definitely a battle ground to look out for due to the calibre of candidates that have thrown their hats into the ring. I doubt if any Federal constituency in Cross River has such kind of candidates slogging it out for the HoR seat in 2019.
1) I'll start with the Speaker of the 8th Cross River state house of Assembly —by virtue of his current position. John Gaul Lebo has had quite a disappointing outing as Speaker. His output in the last 3 years wasn't what was expected of him based on how promising his candidacy seemed in 2015. He's quite engaging but seems to have the knack to always slither away from his numerous responsibilities like a gaboon viper or an anaconda in the amazon. A couple of times, I've tagged him to posts up here and was lucky enough to get his response but that's where it ended. 

For instance, he promised me in one of such posts that his house was going to pass the "anti open grazing bill" but till date, 'no show'. Asides his relatively poor performance as Speaker, he has scores to settle ‎with his godfather, Liyel Imoke. We all know all isn't well between both of them. We also know Imoke isn't the forgiving type. So I doubt if John Gaul will have an easy stroll in that regard (of claiming the Federal house of reps ticket come next year). If you ask me, I'll advise him to return to the state house of assembly and gun for the speakership position again —that seems less of a tall order than the former.

2)Godswill 'Prince 7' Edward: This is one candidate who would have found it much easier to get to that seat in 2015 by virtue of presidential fiat. As an in-law to the former president that he is, I still wonder till date why he didn't push for this back then! As it stands, those on ground are politically more grounded than he is —that notwithstanding, the current political tide doesn't favour him from what I can perceive. ‎

3) Alex Egbona: The former Chief of Staff is highly loved by all and sundry and he's also sagacious. ‎His main problem is his political association. I doubt if the APC can win Imoke's Abi LGA. That would be a 'slight' on the former governor. Dr Alex Egbonna has to work extra hard to ensure such an outcome is possible.

4) Wofai Ewa: He's the most exuberant of them all. He's also the only serious contender from Yakurr —the current mood is that Yakurr has held it for the past 15 years hence it's Abi's turn. Fingers crossed, Wofai could spring surprises with the way his campaign is going! I'm privileged to be privy to his 'behind the scenes' effort and based on that, I feel he could pull a shocker. 

5) Eko Atu: I know little about him but that little is much. I know he was once a local government chairman and I also know he's Imoke's 'man Friday' —with due respect to him. He has Imoke's ears and vice versa. Rumour has it that he's the preferred candidate of the former governor. ‎He's also very intelligent and articulate. 

In the end, may the best candidate win!‎

Simon Utsu
Is a Social Commentator 

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