Making Yala great again —By Emmanuel Oko Ogar


Emmanuel Oko Ogar|25 April 2017 
Fortnights ago, in one of my penultimate articles titled; YALA LGA POLITICS IN FOCUS: A CHRONICLE Of ITS POLITICAL TRAJECTORY, where I attempted to straighten a sloppy contour in Yala political delineation based on available statistics. I inaccurately wrote that Mr. Omaga Odo the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP Cross River State chapter Secretary was from O’oh councilward; rather, he’s from Okpoma ward. Again, the write-up portrayed Gabu and Yache as unit ward. They’re actually autonomous wards of their own. Also, I mistakenly omitted Wanikade ward from the list of wards in Constituency II. The error and omission are highly regrettable and no harm whatsoever conceived or intended.
As June 17 approaches, a lot of political blitzes are ongoing— consultation, enlightenment campaign, permutation, scheme and gimmick to woo the electorate and court the courtesy of some monopolistic politicians. Varied interests are building up in different directions. Some are in line with zoning parameter, relationship and party’s affiliation. Those with vested interest who were crestfallen have awakened from their slumber. God-fatherism factors are about to manifest once again.
The aspirants are no longer few as it were earlier. There’re mostly from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and Young Democratic Party, YDP. It appeared other parties aren’t interested in the would-be elections; or maybe, they’re strategizing. Let’s wait till the sun goes down if they’ll show up. Critical observations on the aspirants reveals that they’re within the age bracket of 37 to 45. Some are smart and clean in their campaign promises. Some are already straying off at a tangent of their proposed manifestoes. While others are mounting on buoyant wings as their social activities are boisterous as stormy sea winds. The other day, I glanced through a pre-electoral promissory note on air, I was stunned and stood motionless like the sculpture of Oba of Benin because of the inconsistency of his ideas. 
Since one swallow doesn’t make summer, even when the big fishes in Yala politics are surreptitiously trying to turn the tables on advantageous position for their stooges; some of them are actually better aspirants if they get loose from the fetters of these dead-brain czars that consider first their parochial gains and primordial eccentricity than the economy liberation of Yala. Any victory that emerges from there would be considered a Pyrrhic victory. That’s a victory which is as costly as defeat because from the body languages of the good people of Yala, they seemed to have resolved with united determination to be on the lookout for any eventual winner of the elections that wants to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds when elected.
For the now, the new slogan in the mouths of the aspirants is to ‘make-Yala-great-again’. How can they make Yala great again when oligopolistic politicians are everywhere? How can that be possible when past and incumbent leaders are imperialistic in deed and in conduct? Did I sound pessimistic? Absolutely no! Yala is naturally great. Her greatness hasn’t been harnessed before by any of her past leaders. All they’ve done was purely at the peripheral and abysmally left the core facet of the greatness in moribund state.
In Yala some trifling politicians who’re now garbed in the paraphernalia of miniaturized gods who by sheer providence or opportunity became whatever they’re now believes that only them holds keys to the seat of political power in that land. Somehow, they’re right because they usually impose any of their acquaintances and stooges on the will of the masses and at the end, their will and not the peoples’ will prevails.
They make all manner of ill profits from the local government coffers. Funds apportioned for projects are syphoned and wired into their private domiciliary accounts. Then, they become richer in cash and assets, while the poor masses continue to shrunken.
In the magnum opus of Edward Hastings Chamberlin on the theory of monopolistic competition, he annotated long and short-run equilibrium of a firm under monopolistic competition where firms maximizes its profits and produces quantity where its marginal revenue (MR) is equal to its marginal cost (MC). Those that aren’t familiar with political terrain of Yala would be forced to hurriedly allege Edward Hasting of peeping into political abyss of Yala nation before writing his magnum opus. I tells you, that’s what’s happening.
If Edward Hastings hasn’t been committed to the mother earth long ago, I would’ve love to serve him sumptuous local delicacy of our pounded yam and bene-seed soup for analyzing the qualms buffeting my people in his theory. Yala must be built. Let’s build Yala from the fundamental to the taste of our craving. The desire of YDP as a party is to build a strong foundation where massive infrastructural; social, agricultural, educational, economic, cultural etc., development will blossom. Staggering attitudinal menace of restiveness and rural/urban drift of our youths shall be tackled with total priority.
The only contemporary chairman of Yala LGA that etched his name on gold in educational sector was Hon. Gabe Ugor. He built new class rooms, renovated some dilapidated ones in primary and secondary schools. He gave bursary to Yala students. He did well. Our would-be chairman in line with the directive principles of YDP shall consolidate on that foundation by giving full scholarship packages to deserving students without prejudice. Grants and other academic supports to boost qualitative research and training shall be provided to indigent students and their affluence counterparts.
Agriculture shall be given a new face lift. Commercial and subsistence farming culture shall be encouraged with the provision of improved yielding seedlings and subsidized farm implements and machines to aid easy cultivation. Agricultural extension educational pep talk shall be organized to enlighten our farmers on the latest farming methods. Fertilizer; insecticides, herbicides and soft loan shall be made available to our farmers.
If we can achieve the aforementioned targets, it means the solid foundation earlier talked about for other developments to lay on it is then built.
This time around, let there be a paradigm shift. A transferal from the entrenched sociopolitical aberration to the satisfactory ways of better practices as obtained in other democratically compos mentis climes. This can never be achieved by magic or miracle. There is no universal force strong enough to achieve this. It can’t be done by any prognosticator, necromancer or the most erudite political philosopher. It can only be done by mere men like you and I with a determined resolve and political will of our own. The time has come when Yala people have to consciously show those that aren’t with them when it comes to the sharing of democratic dividend that they got back bones; and that they wouldn’t condone the eccentricity of those that lead them by the nose in time past. One who has traversed across the length and breadth of Yala would agree that the people are psychologically, intellectually and politically prepared to effect positive changes henceforth.
Before I bid you farewell to this piece, I crave your indulgence to ‘yan opata’ as used in local parlance, because my voice is in my pen; let me thunder that Yala people shall no longer cast their precious pearls before swine again. I borrow from the words of Sidney Bremer that no tyranny of circumstances can permanently imprison a determined will. We have gained our emancipation from the manacles of those harvesting our patrimony and storing them in their family silos. Finally, Winston Churchill told the British parliament that a man is as big as his decision. I really don’t know how big or small your decision is. Note that the decision between a preconceived notion and a noble one is the prerogative perception of posterity. No matter what, we must heed to the candid counseling of Dan C. Daniel that if you have the opportunity to choose in life, choose the best. Gbo’le!
Comr. Ogar, Emmanuel Oko
Is political pundit, writer and the Publicity Secretary of the Young Democratic Party, YDP.