Wednesday, 14 August 2019

An Ode to an Emerging Beacon of Hope

14 August 2019 

It is witchcraft when you criticise someone doing badly and remain silent when the person becomes consistent in doing good. That is why I criticise and dole out praise as at when due. 

I'm surprised that Cross Riverians collectively attacked and criticised Chief Okoi Obono-obla in the first couple of years under Buhari when his(Obla) approach to things were usually wrong but have failed to give him due kudos now that he has shown consistency in delivering on the mandate given to him. He hasn't only been consistent but has been a standout presidential aide. The Special Investigative Presidential Panel(on stolen public assets recovery) which he chairs has consistently been in the news in the last 18 months for the right reasons. I have lost count of how many times I have read about his panel's discovery and recovery of multibillion Naira worth of properties in highbrow areas or stolen funds carefully concealed in a commercial bank by civil servants, agencies or corporations. His recovery successes cuts across the private and public sector and I sometimes wonder how his relatively new panel is able to coordinate and keep tabs on the hundreds of cases before them. The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) in my opinion, has been more effective than the EFFC under President Buhari. And in the midst of all these, Chief Obono-Obla has still found time to attend to his moral obligation to Cross Riverians -he has used his connections in Abuja to fix over a hundred Cross River indigenes into plum Federal jobs. This is aside from the over 100 who have benefited from scholarships directly under his aeges or via his recommendation. 

In 2016, I wrote a number of critical articles against the plethora of Cross Riverians President Buhari had appointed in Abuja, some of those articles were published by local(Cross River state) online blogs. This( is one of such. I set a benchmark for these appointees; that we (the people) were going to judge them based on their ability to uplift Cross Riverians. In my little capacity as a social critic who had gained some traction, I charged them to fix up jobless and hapless Cross Riverians alike into Federal ministries and parastatals just like their contemporaries from other regions had been doing for years. My angst was inspired by what had become a norm in my state; the inability of our 'big men' to uplift others for reasons best known to them. 

Its three years down the line and it seems Chief Obono-Obla is about the only Federal appointee of Buhari from my state who picked up this gauntlet that I threw before them. I thank him on behalf of the youth in my state even as I admonish him to keep blazing the trail. I also ask Cross Riverians to give him maximum support even as he continues to be a shining light. 

On a lighter note, 2023 is still far but I think the people of Cross River Central senatorial district need more than an orator in the Senate. Orators are known to be talkatives- all sweet talk and little or no action (like Obama). Come 2023, that senatorial district may need to go for someone who can do the talk and not one TALKING THE DO! I'm not from the Central but I think Chief Obono-Obla's people should start rallying round him in this regard -apart from demonstrating immense capacity, old Obubra(Yakurr, Abi, Obubra) is long overdue for that Senatorial seat.

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