It is unfortunate for Cross River State and PDP as a party to find herself in this unfortunate and unpalatable prostrate situation when leadership is most needed. The current unstable rhythm of war drum beats and sing song of insecurity across boarders is of grave concern to any discerning Nigerian whether in leadership position or not.
Watching the Cross River State Governor my dear Obudu brother make a speech during his defection this morning to APC “on behalf of the people of Cross River State” was most insulting and insensitive of the plight and pains and agonies of the people of Cross River State erstwhile the most peaceful, clean and economically viable for investors. To dare to speak “on behalf of the people of Cross River State” because he is governor regarding his defection is either a gross hallucination or believing too much in the impunity covering his status as governor which may have created a fatal amnesia to the fact that there is always an expiry date for every act, being or event.
In 2015 when PDP had a contentious Governorship Primaries in which I was a participant, I chose the part to sue for calm amongst my followers and supporters. In 2019 when I was the only contender for the Primaries against the incumbent, I sued for peace with my followers and supporters and followed up with a suit which ended up futile as we all know what such litigations in Nigeria are like. I licked my wounds and bled within for peace to prevail for which many misunderstood and blamed me for not following through. That is a story for another day.
This action of the governor MUST NOT go without a standoff. I stand to “speak for myself” that the defection of the incumbent Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade from PDP to APC WAS NOT on my behalf as a Cross Riverian.
It was selfish, inconsiderate of the current tempo of the nation vis a vis the handling of insecurity, economy, education and general human life index by President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC government.
I am yet to see the deliverables the Buhari romance with Ayade has availed Cross River State. I was at the commissioning of the Super Highway by the President. Promises were made about the Deep Seaport and the Super Highway by President Buhari but till date there’s been no evidence of the fruit of that servile romance.
To a large extent I blame the Uche Sekondus led National Working Committee which seems bereft of ideas as an opposition political party having enjoyed the peace of being a ruling party on a platter of gold. I say this with all due respects as having served in the NWC as National Publicity Secretary in 1999-2001. The Uche Sekondus led NWC in the history of our great party unfortunately has brought upon loyal PDP faithfuls the most devastating frustrations from various aspects of running the party inspite of all party mechanisms at its disposal to settle disputes at national or local levels
The challenges thrust on the NWC to be transparent in nominations and candidature in all levels has become a nightmare and can only be told by those who have been victims of happenings in WADATA PLAZA. O how has the PDP fallen this deep!!! What has befallen our noble party that can see an unperforming, non democratic , non performing President, dysfunctional APC as a recourse for political safe landing except for one thing, “all thy sins of misadministration, looting and ill acquisitions shall be forgiven if you join the band”…. How long shall this continue?
I weep and mourn because I know the pains it took for us as foundation members at the highest organ of the party to sustain unity and friendship even at the worst of disagreement between the party and its executive and the elected government led by President Obasanjo at the time.
By this defection to APC, I disagree with my dear brother Sen. Benedict Ayade. Dear brother, you have simply abdicated your position as governor for filthy lucre. Cross River State is left naked and empty. If any “unknown” or known gunmen strike as they did in your neighboring sister state Akwa Ibom and we saw on national TV Governor Udom Emmanuel literally helpless and begging for assistance from the Federal Government which has been absent in these trying moments particularly for Southern states where there’s been relative peace compared to Northern states our people will be without direction and the slaughter will be unimaginable. Already the state is restless with indescribable killings even in the quiet suburban Obudu where you and I come from. How would you expect people to react to your leadership my dear brother? I am pained!!!
If the APC were seen to be doing anything proactive or active at all to the current needs of the people towards security, economy, and total welfare index for developmental growth, I wouldn’t be in so much pain about your defection. But we have absolutely nothing on record to show the human development index scorecard of your current preferred bedfellows.
We managed our differences as PDP from 1999 with Donald Duke as governor till this day that has become such a black day in our history for survival as a minority in the South South and the current struggle for the survival of the soul of the Nigerian state.
Now is the time to see your Principal former Governor Liyel Imoke rise to the occasion of your defection. Now is the time to see him hold together the PDP family we nurtured through hard earned integrity and focus bearing in mind our differences. Now is the time to see what will happen to the self-destruct foundation being led for the annihilation of the people of Cross River State in a heated contention of minorities for survival in the contraption called Nigeria without a truly Federating confederacy. Now is the time
I call on all Cross Riverians and PDP faithfuls to remain calm and undaunted as usual. Resolute to their republican nature and be united in the face of catastrophe. The opportunity has come for new leadership to emerge. Some of us have past the age of elective offices and have mentored loads who should be able to pick up the gauntlet. There is a vacuum that MUST be filled in the shortest possible period. Cross River State is an endangered specie in the emerging Nigerian
discourse. Let the believers of democracy and accountability wake up from slumber and smell the coffee!!!
God bless Cross River State. God bless Nigeria!!!
Hon. Emmanuel Ibeshi