Richard Romanus|19 April 2017
"Power lacks morals or principles. It only has interests" —Horacio Castellanos Moya
The news of the planned defection of Senator John Owan-Enoh, the Senator representing Central Senatorial District at the National Assembly to the APC is unarguably the most trending news in the State especially on Social media as of today.
The reason is not far fetch. Senator Owan-Enoh has been a major political force to reckon with so long as Cross River State politics is concerned since 1999. It is even more so because, those who know him, knows his name is synonymous to the People's Democratic Party (PDP) having been a major beneficiary of the party.
Now, won't a story of a child whom after been breast feed, pampered and nurtured for 20 good years suddenly turns against his/her parents claiming not to know them make a headline in our Nigerian newspapers?
The truth is, I am not surprised by recent developments in Cross River State politics especially as it concerns Senator Owan-Enoh and the Governor, Senator Prof. Ben Ayade.
When the duo won their respective elections, I have had a feeling that, they will certainly be problems between them towards the build up to 2019.
My reasons where hinged on three major factors. One, the power hungry nature of Senator Owan-Enoh and his domineering tendencies of always wanting to call the shots. Two, His ambition for a second term and the possibility of the Governor grooming somebody to replace him. Three, I also a foresaw a situation where, the Senator will lead a rebel group against the Governor in an event that the Governor refuses to do his bidding.
His planned defection and the reasons I hear are behind his defection has only confirmed my thoughts. Like the saying goes 'two captains cannot sail the same ship'. Our dear Senator Owan-Enoh got more than he bargained for. He thought he was going to be allowed to call the shots as usual, He must have probably planned of running a parallel government house in his palatial home in Ikom where he will have National Assembly members, House of Assembly members, Commissioners and Special Advisers etc who will be loyal to him and will be doing his bidding little did he know that, the Governor already has him in check. His aspiration to at least return back to the Red Chamber is almost dead except APC decides to give him their ticket which again does not guarantee him victory.
Some people, worthy of note is my brother Simon Utsu, have argued that, the Governor has made a huge political mistake by not mending fences with Senator Owan-Enoh as it will affect his chances of reelection come 2019 but I beg to disagree. Yes Senator Owan-Enoh was popular but not anymore. His politics of making everybody loyal to him, a perpetual stooge has made those that made him popular especially among young people dump him.
Today, where is Egbe Jabengo, Barr Chris Mbu Njar, Hon Randy Ntui, Iby Ajogbor, Gab Odu-Oji, Hon Etaba Michael, Ebam Amanke, etc? The Senator owes a larger chunk of his popularity and elections victories to these men but today, some are in APC while the others have pitched tent with the Governor. Am sure they all have very terrible experiences and reasons to give for their actions.
Again, the Senators planned defection is also a visible way of showing how ungrateful, disloyal and disrespectful he is even to the very person that is behind his political longevity, Senator Liyel Imoke. I hear he has consulted him and in the former Governor unpredictable nature and calm, has given him a nod but that does not take away the fact that, In Senator Owan-Enoh political school, nobody and nothing else matters other than his interest.
As a matter of fact, if there is anything the Governor and the People's Democratic Party (PDP) must worry about is how to ensure that they bring out a sellable candidate from either Obubra or Yakurr since the other four LGAs have had their turns at the Senate. A sellable candidate from either of these two Local Government Areas is a complete work over for him and his party.
Make no mistake about it, Senator Owan Enoh is no doubt one lawmaker that has distinguished himself in the floor of the National Assembly courtesy of his sound contributions while also impacting positively on the lives of his Constituents through his various empowerment programmes but I don't think asking him to give way for someone else after 20 years is too much to ask as we hear is the bone of contention between him and the Governor. After all, not even the sterling performance and popularity of Sweet Prince and the intelligence of Senator Victor Ndoma Egba was enough to protect them from Senator Liyel Imoke's onslaught against their return bid.
For me, His planned defection is solely for his political survival. That is, life after 20 years as a legislature.
Is a Social Commentator