Yala LGA Elections in Focus : Unmasking the Real Errand Boys —Emmanuel Oko Ogar

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Emmanuel Oko Ogar|8 February 2017 It is no news that local government elections in Cross River State is within the turf of reality. The precise date or tentative month is yet to be made known by the Cross River State Independent Electoral Commission, CROSIEC. Feelers from some quarters and the magnetic compass from a plethora of political commentators points to March. Information gathered from a source recently favoured June. However, when and how the election shall be organized is neither the crux of this piece nor is it above its scope. But, most importantly, the major and the minor players on the race for chairmanship position. Hence my concern. Akin to other land and climes where elections are conducted, they are always serious contenders and of course, the noise making pretenders. The duo have mission and vision that forms their ambitions; and with fervor, enthusiasm, perseverance, resilience and resolve, they pursue their aspirations as their strength sustains them. While the process ensues, often, the pretenders experience technical knockout due to their critically damped political shock absorbers. They stumble and fall; fumble in and wobble out of the trajectory of the race. Most at times, they have no dream at all. The dream anyone thinks he has is often a political aberration and personal illusion. As the chaff is separated from the wheat, the contenders are given the track to race on their lanes. Amongst them, they are the “already-made” and the “about-to-be-made” candidates. The “already-made are the seemingly experienced; equipped, prepared, well-read, strong-willed and economically balanced dudes. Most of them can do the job and not the job doing them. The about-to-be-made are the half-baked contenders who are religiously, economically, politically and personally tied to the apron-strings of one or two tired-hands or dead-brain buffoonery godfathers who are overwhelmed in the shadow of so-called influence. Yes, they may be schooled! They understand fairly little of political indices but they lack knowledge about governance. They are easily tossed to-and-fro by the tiniest political tempest. Political multiplexing is a hard nut to crack as far as they are concerned. Yet, they yearn to lead a heterogeneous and multifaceted LGA like Yala. This class of contenders do not seek for service, they rather seek for opportunity to get rich. They are parasitic in nature. While in office, they will either become rich or richer and the poor masses become poorer. This is the errand boys’ mentality. If entrusted with the peoples’ mandate, they shall definitely spend larger part of their tenure in Calabar on errand for their baba-agba. They would not sit at home. They are antsy. Like one suffering from cerebral palsy of the femora necrosis, they would not sit to cogitate and strategize on how to develop the local government; but rather loiter from place to place chasing money. Pitiable and shameful enough, these are the caliber of people agitating to be saddled with the responsibility of piloting the affairs of one of the most populous LGA in South-south. People that lack character, principles and ideology. God forbid! The era of business-as-usual is over. This time is an advent of breaking out from the fetters of entrenched incongruities in Yala political hegemony by the determined and resolved people of Yala. I hear some errand boys denying that they are not. Who cares? You may choose to affix any prefix or suffix to embellish your title; all I know is your qualms and not mine. One of them sent me a message that he is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. And so what! Another said that he is a criminologist. One of them is an American imp. The list continues. Mr. Mike Usibe is today far richer than what he was before becoming Chairman of Yala LGA. His net asset weight has skyrocketed in the space of three years. He has built hospitality firms with pilfered and misappropriated funds. He could not give scholarship to indigent students. Most streets in Yala are in macadam condition. There are steeped in proclivity and declivity. Common portable water is a scarce commodity.  Basic amenities are extra-terrestrials in Yala because of errand boys’ mentality. The only erstwhile chairmen that gave scholarship to students were Sen. Gregory Ngaji and Hon. Gabe Ugor. Ngaji constructed a lot of bridges and culverts in his days. Gabe did an amazing landscaping of the LGA headquarters; sunk many hand pump boreholes and gave bursary to some lucky students across the federation. I am uninformed on the achievements of Usibe because there are not visible or never existed at all. Chairmanship slot is not a ‘settlement’ or compensating gift. It is a place of service. It is created by law to bring government closer to the people and not to bring the patrimonial wealth of the people closer to the chairman; his cronies and protégés. From what I have gathered from the electorates, they are prepared to kick the ass of the ‘selectorates’ henceforth. Yala people should arise and wage deliberate war at this noxious evil of imposing stooges on their political affairs. Yala people should remember that their local government has been buffeted by the crunch of ineptitude of travesty leaders in recent times. To add salt to injury; we are blessed with buffoonery buddies at most strata of our nationhood. Those that pilots our affairs are neither good administrators nor excellent managers. With visionary and exceptional leader navigating our voyage, the famous Okuku market would have been an international market by now. Salt produced and marketed from Yala would have been possible. Yam and cassava flour would have been produced from there. Rice city would have been built. Our youths would have stayed back at home to cultivate crops. Rural-urban drift should have been drastically reduced by now. Youth’s restiveness would have been trifling. Modern day slavery, that is the popular practice of our able and active youths migrating in scores to Ore, Ibadan, Ogun, Benin, Akure, Ijebu, Iseyin etc, to labour in cocoa and plantain plantation would have stopped by now. At the vicissitude of this juncture, we needless to remind ourselves that this is the era of political flux and syncretism that is sharpened by sound ideologies. Yala must not be used as an object of experiment by any novice. We are pace-setter. The good people of Yala must not stand aloof while anomalies is being entrenched in Yala politics. Contained in the next episode are the names of the errand-boys; their gimmicks and political publicity aerobatics to sway and as well woo the peoples’ minds; determinant factors such as constituency, ward, their antecedent and the influence behind them. Comr. Ogar, Emmanuel Oko
Publicity Secretary, Young Democratic Party, YDP. Cross River State chapter.