14 December 2019
ABI stands on a tripod. While A represents Agbo, B stands for Bahumono and I for Imabana. The local government area on the whole is made up of 10 council wards, namely:
5. Ekureku I
6. Ekureku II
7. Imabana I
8. Imabana II
His Excellency, Senator Liyel Imoke ‘institutionalized’ zoning in Cross River State PDP and we, the beneficiaries of this equitable political configuration cannot afford to erode this legacy bequeathed to us by our political prodigy, Senator Liyel Imoke.
It began with the Bahumono extraction in 1999, and Hon Onyia Osim from Usumutong/Abeugo council ward became the beneficiary.
Then in 2003, it moved to the Agbo axis, with Hon Eko Atu from Itigidi council ward becoming the chairman of Abi local government council.
In 2007, it was Imabana's turn to benefit from the zoning structure, and Hon Chuks Agube from Imabana council ward 1 took the saddle as chairman of Abi, completing the first zoning circle.
Consolidating the zoning formula, the chairmanship position again in 2010 moved to the Bahumono axis. Hon Franscis Ettah from Afafanyi/Igoni-Igoni council ward, in what signaled the beginning of another circle, became the chairman of Abi local government council.
At the expiration of Hon Franscis Etta's tenure in 2013, the Agbo axis again took the office through Hon Edith Amadi from Ekureku council ward 1.
To complete the second circle, it automatically becomes the turn of Imabana extraction to produce the next chairman of council in 2020.
It will therefore amount to political banditry, greed or mischief for anyone from either the Agbo or Bahumono axis, after benefiting from the second circle of zoning, to seriously contend the position of Abi Chairmanship in 2020. It is rather nauseating, if not invective to our sensibilities for anyone from these two axis to genuinely pursue an ambition to become Abi council chairman in 2020, particularly considering the fact that Bahumono in the person of Hon Davies Etta from Ebom/Ebijakara council ward presently occupies the Abi state constituency seat in the State House of Assembly; Agbo on the other hand, in the person of Rt. Hon John Gaul Lebo from Adadama council ward, in no distant time, will occupy the Abi/Yakurr federal constituency seat in the National Assembly.
Expectedly too, Hon Franscis Ettah from the Bahumono axis and Dr. Mrs Betta Edu from the Agbo axis will represent Abi as commissioners in the State Executive Council. As it stands, Imabana which completes the Abi tripod is without any elective position neither is any Imabana son or daughter designated as commissioner in the State Executive Council.
We cannot afford to change the goal post in the middle of the match. Justice must be allowed to serve its full course. What is good for the goose is equally good for the gander. It is only fair and equitable that Imabana should be supported to produce the next chairman of Abi council not only because it is the right thing to do but because it is in principle her turn to complete the second zoning circle.
It is okay for anybody from Agbo or Bahumono to vie for Abi Chairmanship in 2020. Understandably, it is one of the many political gimmicks employed by politicians to seek attention and attract interests but when such aspirations is deliberately calculated and intentionally pursued to the extent that it threatens the established zoning structure that has over the years made our local government transition seamlessly and rancour-free as a political party, then such selfish, inconsiderate and insensitive posturing deserves to be condemned and collectively scuttled by a rational party like the PDP.
We have found bonding in zoning. It must be sustained in the interest of our party politics and collective success.
Ideba is erstwhile CPS to the Speaker of the 8th State House of Assembly