Saturday, 19 January 2019

Northern C'River State and the Renewed Politics of Inclusion —Bassey Ita


19 January 2019 

Politics is a unique human engagement!
 Its dynamic nature accounts for this belief. The recent APC town hall meetings and consultations in the northern senatorial district of Cross River State was quite revealing as it was interesting.

Firstly, it revealed the emptiness in the PDP's boast of the non-existence of the major opposition party in the area.
It also revealed the fact that what people fear most times do not really exist. This is as the several threats by the PDP to disrupt the APC's exploit in the north was far from manifest, the threat notwithstanding.  

In another instance, it brought to the fore, the fact that power has shifted from being that of a few Oligarchs to being truly that of the masses.

The people of the Northern Cross River State took a major decision which expectedly, will be further made manifest during the February 16th and March 2nd polls. Power hitherto been controlled by a few elites who would whip all others into line to accept their decisions. But alas, the people of Obanliku, Obudu, Yala, Bekwara and Ogoja all in the Northern Senatorial District between Monday, January 14th to Wednesday 16th took their destinies in their own hands by coming out en masse to receive and endorse in all honesty the Rescue Agenda of the Sen.John Owan Enoh led APC government waiting in the wings. That equally brought into perspective the fact that all that is insinuated about the North as it relates to an Ayade's conquest of the area citing brotherly affinity or politics of tribe and clan is mere rhetoric.

There are indeed question marks against such insinuations now! Is it the impressive turnout that one can talk of? What would the people be doing with a party [APC] that has no closeness with them in terms of biological relationship like the Ayade's PDP that they could attract such a warm embrace from the people when their Governorship Candidate and other officials came calling? These are issues to ponder about anyway, but the bottom line is that the pendulum has indeed swung from the Ayade's PDP's direction and the reason is simple—"A good friend is better than a bad brother". Yes Ayade is the brother of the North being an Obudu son by birth, but is indeed a bad one by his utter rejection of his people. 

Consequently, the people are prepared to embrace a good friend who is ready to listen to their yearnings and aspirations than a bad brother. That is the current statement of the North! After all, historically, every revolution has always focused on changing a sad narrative and dwelling richly on how much a leader can offer in terms of developmental options rather than on ethnic or tribal sentiments in whatever guise. Senator John is that good friend of the North, and that has been vehemently acknowledged by even the Northern elements themselves. What remains to see is how this new vista of relationship and opportunity translates to the expected hope that also manifest in fixing the missing link that the Ayade's leadership has brought the people in the past three and a half years. 

Senator Owan Enoh in affirming this new relationship has for instance visited most parts of the North than even their son. In Obanliku, he has been there over four times; Bekwarra has hosted him for over three times; Ogoja, Yala and Obudu have also received him a number of times. 

One significant aspect of this interaction is that it translates to the Governor in-waiting knowing and appreciating the concerns and yearnings of the people. 

The recent town hall meetings and consultations with the people was indeed an opportunity to speak further of the new deal in the hope that there will be reciprocity of gestures by the people turning out en masse to vote in that new deal and new vista of relationship and opportunity in February 16th and March 16th.

The recent gale of defections from the PDP to the APC in parts of the North and most importantly the quality of personalities that decided to join the Rescue Agenda of the APC speaks volume of that new deal between the people and the new government of the APC waiting in the wings. And this implies that there was a testament that must be set aside.

While not expected to list the problems confronting the people for want of space, it is regrettable to mention that the issue of Security, Infrastructure, Industrialization and Economic Growth which are the cardinal points embedded in Sen.Owan Enoh's Blueprint are critical to the development and growth of the Area in particular and the state in general.

As Senator Owan Enoh puts it during the town hall meeting in Bekwarra on Wednesday "There is no single constituency, of the 25 constituencies of the state that Governor Ayade has done any single project", implying that Ayade is nobody's brother and was actually not ready for Governance.

The times have change; people are certain that politics of isolation and rejection or ethnic biases are obsolete and this is the uniqueness or beauty of peoples' involvement in politics.The Northern Senatorial District have indeed taken a step to prove that that idea of 'my son' or 'our son' syndrome has gone with the wind! 

What is therefore left to be seen of the Northern Senatorial District, as Senator Owan Enoh has urged is for the people of the area to remain resolute and committed to the change mantra of the APC so that together with others Better Days Are Possible Again In Cross River State.


BASSEY ITA,
Is State Publicity Secretary of APC in C'River And Secretary, Communications Directorate of the Campaign Organization 



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