Sunday, 22 March 2020

Why I stick my Neck out for Okoi Obono-Obla —by Simon Utsu

Simon Utsu|22 March 2020 

As far as I'm concerned, Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla's ordeal has more to to with persecution by vindictive powerful forces than anything else. What he's going through has little to do with corruption and more to do with vendetta. 

They claimed he was on the run but pictures of him attending social events have been all over the media in the last couple of months- exactly two weeks ago, I got to meet him without much hassle- just a phone call and blimey, I was one on one with him; up close. Well, the plan to embarrass him may have 'succeeded' in the short term but he'll be vindicated in the long run. 

And as far as representing his Constituency (and the people of his state) in Abuja between 2015 & 2019 is concerned, no single active APC politician from Cross River came close. His good deeds by far outweigh(ed) his bad deeds. But it's characteristic of Cross Riverians to always harp on the negative. It's in their nature to always mock people who are down. Well, maybe, that's why the famous "Ojuju Calabar" phrase was formed. You keep saying he was among those that brought down CJN Onnoghen- what about the other people he lifted up? the lowly, the middle class and even the mighty? Another Cross Riverian, Justice Akomaye Agim has been elevated to the supreme court. Do you know how that came by? Who recommended him? 

Like he said when I met him a fortnight ago, Cross River is far behind in the scheme of things in Abuja. Is it in the Federal civil service? Go to the Federal civil service commission and see how job slots meant for CRS are being poached by other states due to the laid back nature of most of our Representatives and Senators. Barrister Obla notwithstanding his shortcomings, has done a lot to bridge that gap- unlike most of the politicians & technocrats from the state who are in Abuja to represent their personal and family interests, he(Obla) always has his people in mind and that's the reason why I can stick my neck out for him. 

Onto the very selfish side of the discourse, can any young Cross Riverian harping onto the Justice Onnoghen narrative list ten people from the state that the former CJN elevated? What about former HOS Mma Winifred Oyo-Ita who we all stood by till the very end? Who she been epp??? 

My prayer for the young ones in my state is that they outgrow folly and get wisdom. Tinubu has a lengthy rap sheet both locally & internationally but is about the most revered active politician in Yoruba land. The same Tinubu traded his Yoruba kinswoman, Representative Mukilat Akande for Tambuwal a Fulani, in the race for house speakership in 2011 but was never hung-out-to-dry! The Yorubas will never do that to their own...

Simon Utsu is a social commentator. 

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