Prince 7 Abi/Yakurr Sport Festival: A Political Campaign or just a Sport Festival —By Richard Romanus

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Richard Romanus|24 November 2016

I like to begin this contribution by stating very clearly that, I have nothing personal against the person of Prince Godswill Edward Aka Prince 7, neither am I aware of his ambition to vie for the Abi/Yakurr federal Constituency seat come 2019.This article is borne. out of my genuine love for him and my desire to see the current administration of Sen Prof Ben Ayade which he is an integral member succeed.

It was early yesterday morning shortly after I woke up from bed, that I was going through my Facebook page to see what is new, I saw some beautiful pictures of Prince 7, who is the Special Adviser, Youths Affairs to Governor Ben Ayade with the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State and Speaker with a caption, ' They endorse Prince 7 Sports festival.'

On seeing this pictures, what immediately came to my mind, was an article I wrote during the early days of the present administration where in the said article, I had warned about the dangers of appointing people who will abandon their jobs to heat up the polity in their various domains because of one political aspirations to another or use their various offices to further their political aspirations and personal interest rather than adding value to the administration.

I agree in totality that, Sports the world over, has been identified as a major unifying factor of diverse interest which might possibly be one of his reason for putting up such an event together,what I don't agree with is the title or theme of the event as it is very obvious, it seeks to project personal interest.

I mean, what is the rational behind the use of his name instead of his office as Special Adviser Youths Affairs or is there more to his decision of using his name than one can imagine? Will I be right if I arrive at the conclusion that, Government's unwillingness and lack of commitment to sponsor the event warranted him to take ownership of the event?

With the gory pictures of dead casualties of the lingering Ediba/Osumutong communal clash that have been flooding social media over the last one week, the idea of a sports festival to foster peace and harmony among communities in the federal constituency is never a bad idea but he loss sight of the fact that, when ones they is a war between two communities, the mutual trust between members of such communities takes some time to rebuild. What makes him think that, interested participants from Ediba will religiously take part in an event organise by an Osumutong man like him?

I am yet to understand the purpose of his visit to the Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor and Speaker. Rather than showing us how connected he is outside the State, I would have first preferred to see a pictures of himself and the Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt Hon John Gaul Lebo,Former Governor of Cross River State,Chief Clement Ebri, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Abas, Elder Bolaji Anani, Air Vice Marshal Osim etc all endorsing the Sports festival and lending their voices to the initiative since they all come from warring communities in the federal constituency.

For me, such an event stands a chance of recording a huge success if it was organise by the Government through the office of the Special Adviser, Youths Affairs in collaboration with the Special Adviser, Sports. By this, participants from the various communities will be sure of their security and safety for as long as the festival last while Government on the other hand, would have been seen as exploring all avenues towards bringing lasting peace and brotherhood among the communities in that constituency.

He, Prince 7 must realise that, he is no longer a private individual as by virtue of his position in Government, he is expected to at all times be seen as projecting the image of the Government through carefully thought out programmes and activities from his office with Prince 7 Abi/Yakurr Sports Festival being one of such programmes.

Beside, if the event is meant to score a political point which I think it is, some other person should have been seen driving the entire process with him on the sidelines instead of playing to the gallery as if the event he is promoting is not meant to fall under his numerous job descriptions as Special Adviser, Youths to the Cross River State Government.

I insist, Thinking Cross…River entails, thinking about the collective growth and development of the State and it's people above personal interest.

Richard Romanus
Is a public Affairs commentator from Oderegha in Obubra LGA, CRS.