Monday, 4 March 2019

Political Reawakening of Youths in Cross River State —by Esther Okoi


26 February 2019 

A critical look at the now heated polity of Cross River State in lieu of the 2019 general elections would unmask an influx of over 160 young persons below the age of 40 contesting to be elected as members representing the 25 constituencies in the State House of Assembly.

What is admirable is that despite the acclaimed experience of older politicians who you also find contesting in each of the constituency and of course the growing political apathy of youth, these young men and women are not deterred from standing up to make a mark and change the status quo. The obvious truth that youths hardly support young politicians interested in political offices who they term as inexperienced in politics did not daunt their determination to dare and take up the challenge for the mantle of leadership of their various constituencies in the State House of Assembly. Most importantly, they believe that their emergence in the political sphere at this time will in the next election be a boost to the youths clamouring for elective positions.

Referred to political underdogs by some acclaimed political bigwigs, some of these young men and women will shock the State political players, who think these young ones have not arrived politically. The big and prestigious political parties notwithstanding, they are making waves under their small political parties, with no political godfathers and big money to throw around. From Yala 1 where Ogbaji Gabriel Amgboji (Gabu Bruce) of the YDP is gradually striding tall to Obanliku where Awade Friday Kanime (last prophet) of SDP is warming his way to victory. Yakurr 1 is not left out as Eteng Eteng Edet of YDP is making waves and carrying the youths with him to victory.
Ikom 1 is witnessing a new stimulation with Diana Mary Tiku Nsam is silently but surely getting the support of her people. Eta Agbor Edim of of ASD in Calabar Municipality is also strongly in the race and so is Edet Moses Asuquo of YDP in Akpabuyo State Constituency. Worthy of mention is Wofai Ewa who even though was denied the APC ticket for the Abi/Yakurr Federal House of Representative was not dissuaded but instead became a running mate to the SDP gubernatorial candidate. Though not familiar with the political arena of the State, these young ones are certain of victory.

As I rigmarole through what might have propelled these courageous young persons, I saw the hunger and thirst to change political narratives. A desire to take up leadership responsibilities rather than sitting down to apportion blame, knowing that it is high time the youths got involved in active political representation of their constituencies in the political arena. Without doubt, these youths have a passion driven by the pursuit for older politicians to take the backstage in politics and become elder statesmen whose advices and experiences would be consulted by these young leaders.

Without questioning their courage, I dare to call these ones the heroes of our time no matter what the results at the poll turned out to be. They are heroes not because of the victory but because they stood up to challenge the abnormally they see and to set the precedent of what should be obtained in this age and time. It cannot be gainsaid that these ones if voted for will be the voices of the youths long awaited for to break the jinx and cause the desired change by proving that people and not the political parties make the difference.



Esther is a PR expert who writes from Calabar who can be reached at: okoiesther@gmail.com



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