Obubra & the Possible Tenor of Voting come 2019 —by Wani Enang

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13 December 2018

Time and deliberate mindfulness not to dissipate energy throwing water on the back of a duck are the two ultimate reasons why I won't engage in the luxury of offering background analysis, or provide a preamble to this write-up. I'll rather deal with the kernel straight up.

These are the likely factors which may determine how Obubra Local Government Area will vote in 2019…

Gov. Ben Ayade's appointments, whether statutory or non statutory have not favoured the Obubra people. Perhaps not every one of you have forgotten the wailing and lamentations that followed the release of appointment into Gov Ayade's executive council, it was only Obubra, despite its mass and demography that had only one nominee as Commissioner. There won't have been a more demeaning affront and continued "look-man-foolish" on the Obubra people. This deliberate act left an indelible scare on the hearts of the political class.

As I speak with you, while neighbouring LGAs with a smaller voting population are carting away over two hundred, some over three hundred, some close to that appointments, Obubra, with way over one hundred thousand (100,000+) votes, with consistent and unwavering loyalty to PDP have less than seventy less than 95 appointments. What can be more demoralizing? The breakdown of appointments in Central Senatorial District are as follows;
1. Abi (the smallest of them all)= 104
2. Etung (2nd least) = 308
3. Ikom = 289
4. Yakurr = 199
5. Boki = 209
6. Obubra = 89

It's election eve and there is so much disenchantment and discontentment amongst especially, the young, ebullient, versatile and corrosive youthful population that constitutes the energies with which we approach and prosecute every election.

While I summon the moral courage to thank the governor for donating a pontoon(which is about the only thing the governor has done for us) to service a small percentage of the riverine community (because it is not all the riverine communities the pontoon services), I'll like to equally remind him that his deliberate refusal to commence a single project in Obubra may likely be an albatross on his elections.

Permit me to quickly remind you that sometime mid 2018, the Obubra people were deceived with a "Yellow Maize Farm/Feed Mill" project to be cited in Ochon community. The proposed site for this project was to be an area of land being managed by government, were villagers mostly women carry out early planting of crops like yams, cassava, maize, groundnut, mellon etc. These crops are usually planted around December/January/February, so that by July they'll have harvested even the yams.

In June of 2018, the governor went for groundbreaking in his usual pomp. Obubra women and men were force to prematurely harvest their crops amidst tears and pleas for a little more time of about a month or two, that fell on deaf ears of government agents. With tears of pain and frustration, they watched their farms being bulldozed by heavy earth moving equipment. It was a pathetic sight to behold, the pain was unimaginable, all in the name of government project.

Ladies and gentlemen, as I write this article, that place has turn a forest, with no sign of intention of citing a project in there. Those are the electorates we are going to face. Those are the people we are going to campaign and solicit for votes from, of course, your guess of what the results will be, is as good as mind.

It is compound knowledge that this government have been awarding contracts, especially in MDAs like SUBEB etc in various LGAs across the state. This has been an avenue of patronizing and pacifying selected  stakeholders.

In some instances, in some local governments, 2, 3 or four stakeholders, or leaders are brought together and given a contract job to execute, so that at the end of the day, they could share the profits therefrom. This has never happened in Obubra. Our leaders are murmuring and silently complaining bitterly. But the dangerous aspect of it is that, they are not speaking out, for obvious reasons…

This is a very crucial and painful emotion laden, yet precarious issue we have had to grapple with, recently. Obubra has until a few weeks ago been plaque with incessant communal and inter-state wars, especially between the Osopong l & ll people in Obubra l state Constituency and our Izzi neighbours of Ebonyi state on the one hand, the Iyamitet/Ababene both in Obubra ll State Constituency and the Onyadama in Obubra and Inyima/Nko communities of Yakurr LGAs.

In none of these occasions of avoidable clashes has the governor's intervention come on time, if at all it will, talkless of any deliberate action by government to address the immediate and remote causes of these conflicts to forestall further reoccurrences.

There was once, after a catastrophic invasion of the Izzi people on the Osopong people of Obubra, the governor sent in aid to the internally displaced people(which I sincerely thank and commend him) and that was all. As I speak, there is no adequate security measure to protect the Cross River boundary in that axis, hence, the continuous reoccurrence of war in this area. Our men are still taking turns to sleep in the forest to protect their communities.

Now, this is how serially Obubra is neglected. A couple of days ago, the governor had a presidential commendation for his quick intervention into the Biase communal clash, are they superior humans than the Obubra people?? The question we are now trying to figure answers to is, "At what point had we been made a lesser or no heir to the Cross River patrimony"??? Why has successive governments been in a haste to show us so much disdain, disregard and disrespect!?

Conclusively, these are the likely factors that may determine the voting pattern  of Obubra  LGA and as loyal party man who is committed to the success of  the party, I thought  it is imperative to bring these issues to the fore, because I believe if properly and promptly address, will brighten the chances of our beloved party in the fourth coming elections.