Tuesday, 14 April 2020

With Otebeche1 of Yala, Zana Akpagu; Affliction shall not befall Yala again

14 April 2020 

There's a common saying in Tamil language that it's only trees that bear fruits that people throw stones at. No sane person will throw stones at fruitless trees. Trees with fruits attracts all kinds of attention not just from human beings but also from animals, bees, birds etc.

But then, there's a question that should ordinarily ring in the minds of all trees bearing fruits which is whether because people will throw stones at them or animals, birds and bees will attack them, it's better if they don't bear fruits at all. But again, if the trees stop bearing fruits, what becomes of the many destinies that the trees mean different things to them including good road, quality health service, quality education and quality representation?

Prof. Zana Akpagu, a proven performer whose name ring bells across the length and breadth of Cross River is that tree in human form that has attracted so much attention from different quarters since his days as Commissioner for Education under Donald Duke. Even if he goes to barren lands, once he steps his foot there, he makes the land fruitful.

That the discussion surrounding who occupies the vacant northern senatorial district seat in the national assembly is revolving around him is not a thing of suprise to many. It was always going to be him. Today, in Cross River, you can't just discuss the senatorial seat without mentioning him even though he has not formally announced his intention to run the election.

While many have come out to throw their weight behind him to go to the Senate to turn the zone which seems barren, fruitful , others, including those who know the value of the tree he represents as they've tasted of its sweetness have come out with the conspiracy theory that because he's not from a garden in a particular geographical area, the value of his fruits to the entire northern zone should be stampeded.

Although they've not really denied his competence, sagacity and ability to turn a once barren Senatorial district in terms of attracting federal projects to the zone into a hub for such, they've held to their voodoo and mundane opinions that the senatorial district rather remains barren than having him to change things around because, by local government of origin, he doesn't share same with the late lawmaker, Sen. Rose Oko.

But men of good conscience are saying no.

At this point, it's important to make a few clarifications over issues that have been trending on social media lately especially as it concerns what he has done for the Yala nation and why many believe that he's more Yala than the Yala people themselves.

Firstly, let it be known that if Prof. Akpagu, a man who's taking the University of Calabar from nineteenth century to a twenty first century University is contesting to fill the vacant Senate seat in the north, he's not doing it because he sees the seat as an entitlement of either Obudu, Bekwarra, Obanliku, Yala or Ogoja but because he is convinced that he's eminently qualified as an illustrious son of the North with the requisite knowledge and experience to offer the people a new direction with renewed vigour, hope, optimism and direction.

It's also important to add that Prof. Akpagu is not in the race because he feels he has money but because he has the people. Money is mere paper but wealth is the people around you. He may not have the paper but the people around him gives him the confidence that he's actually the wealthiest going into the race.

Nowithsanding, it's also pertinent to state clearly that contrary to some not-so pleasant commentaries on social media that anybody like him who is not from the local government of the deceased Senator but with interest is wanting to afflict Yala people with pain the third time, Prof. Akpagu's ambition is not to undermine any tribe or people. In fact, what those who are promoting such cheap propaganda don't understand is that Prof. Akpagu is by all standard a Yala son or even more Yala than they can imagine.

The OTEBECHE1 of Yala is not just an ordinary Chief there but he's a member of Yala traditional Ruler's Council which is the highest traditional institution in the local government. Aside this, his beautiful wife is a Yala daughter.

To further show how Yala-ish Akpagu is, as Vice Chancellor, he has ensured that the nucleus of the University which comprises of the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Bursar has two illustrious Yala indigenes. In fact, with himself as a Yala son, the University of Calabar is now currently run by Yala people.

Even when the former Bursar, Mr. Peter Agi was relieved of his duties by the University Governing Council, despite pressure from different angles, Prof. Akpagu insisted that his replacement must come from Yala or nowhere. There's no gainsaying that the current Bursar has used her office to attract plenty goodies to Yala nation more than her predecessor. Many people have even said that there was the Maradona-like hand of God in her emergence.

As if that wasn't enough, when the former Registrar, Mr. Moses Abang completed his tenure, Prof. Akpagu also returned home to install another Yala son as his replacement. Yala has never had it this good since the inception of the University, 44 years ago. The Registrar, a goodman and great administrator has also used his position to touch many lives in Yala despite the fact that he's even less than a year in office.

In terms of jobs, Akpagu has given countless qualified Yala sons and daughters jobs even as he has appointed many qualified Yala people into great positions in the University.

Like he has done with other local government in the state by making financial transactions more convenient with the establishment of Unical Microfinance Bank, there's a plan in place to take one to Yala. 

These are just few of the many things he has done for Yala people. Those looking for Yala person to replace the late Senator should look no further as they already have one in Prof. Akpagu.

If he did all these as a Vice Chancellor, what would he do when Yala becomes one of his primary responsibilities to carter for as a Senator? Even if some people will see him as a non-Yala person because he wasn't actually born to a Yala father, is a good friend not better than a bad brother again?

Other people with interest from other local governments may mean affliction befalling Yala again but verily verily I say unto you, there's a Yala, Bekwarra, Ogoja, Obanliku and Obudu son in Akpagu.

To the good people of Yala, know that those trying to twist facts are either doing so for cheap personal political gains or they just want to mislead and deceive the gullible public. Will you allow that to happen after reading and seeing the glory of Akpagu in Yala for yourself? Please, don't! 

If truly there's truism in the saying that the reward for good work is more work, then Yala owe him support for more work not aspersion as it's guaranteed that with him, affliction will not befall Yala again the third time.

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