As the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC in Cross River goes to the primaries to select its flagbearers for selected elective political offices especially the office of governor, it has become imminently important that the debate of who should deputise the APC governorship candidate comes to the front burner.
To begin with, let’s talk about which senatorial district and particularly which local government area the occupant of Deputy Governor should emerge from: majority of political pundits will agree with the present author that the occupant of governor will emerge from the southern senatorial district barring any unforeseen circumstances. Currently, some opinion shapers have speculated that the APC Deputy Governor aspirant will come from Ogoja. These analysts are hinging their assumptions on feelers of where the governor is likely to tilt to. One of the analysts has mentioned a politician from the northern senatorial district, in fact, this said politician is from Yala. But, the fact still remains that Ogoja has been short-changed in the entire scheme of things in the northern senatorial district of Cross River.
The question of present day Ogoja being left out from the political scheme of things in the senatorial district was first brought to the fore by no less a young visionary, Godwin Nyiam, who by reason of conviction on 5th July 2018 resigned his involvement with the federal civil service in University of Calabar, Calabar to defend the inclusion of Ogoja back into the political grid of the state. Nyiam contested the party’s senate ticket and had 5 votes with late Sen. Rose Oko (may her soul continue to rest in peace) coasting to victory with 496 votes.
Despite not making it at the primaries then (even when we know that primary in Nigeria’s partisan politics is not an election per se but a reflection of the internal decision making process of the party) Nyiam stayed put within the party despite his unsuccessful attempt to clinch on the senate ticket. This is a demonstration of loyalty to the party unlike others who defected out of disappointment.
Wabbily Nyiam would eventually grab the party’s senate ticket for the elections in 2019 And from the Mbube axis of Ogoja with 4 political wards and 13 communities, Godwin Nyiam while in the same Mbube with Wabbily Nyiam distinguished himself delivering his community with resounding victory for Oko who had lost in every other community. That’s how the Rose Oko versus Wabbily Nyiam senate elections fared.
Recall that during the 2022 by-elections in Ogoja-Yala Federal Constituency, APC lost resoundingly in Ogoja evidently because of the advantage of Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe but Nyiam ensured victory in his own community housing the polling unit of Jarigbe. Godwin Nyiam in winning for the APC never lost his community to the opposition unlike other state politicians who failed woefully to deliver their various communities.
The reasons for these feats are obvious: Nyiam has street credibility, through reaching out to the traditional rulers of his community (gifting very recently one with a car gift. Beyond that, Godwin Nyiam facilitated the political franchise of his community during the 2022 by-election which held in Ogoja-Yala Federal Constituency by constructing shades for electorates in his community to be able to partake in the elections (not even the government and/or age-long politicians could succeed at that). Further still, in the 27,000 votes recorded in the 2019 general elections for Cross River North, Bakor had factual votes, Mbube has actual votes. That is, out of 27000 votes total vote cast in Ogoja, Mbube Nation had seventeen thousand.
Again, another credible reason why Nyiam is the man for that job is that the state house of assembly constituency of Ogoja is zoned to Bakor leaving Mbube Nation empty hence, the need for the Mbube people to clinch the deputy Governor seat so, it is only fair and natural that the senate seat should rather return to Mbube.
Finally, in the entire of Ogoja, particularly amongst the those gunning for deputy governor, who is the youngest? Who is younger than Godwin Nyiam? And who connects with the elderly class despite being young more than Nyiam?
The acid test of Godwin Nyiam’s popularity (which I think the APC in Cross River can leverage on) is his carnival-of-some-sort-of-a-wedding ceremony: People from every nook and cranny across the 3 senatorial districts of the state paid a visit to Ogoja to grace the occasion. Transcorp and the entire high way was blocked during his wedding with different people across the state and beyond party lines.
So, it’s safe to say that with Nyiam there’s street credibility, youngness, with a likeability/mass appeal across the 3 senatorial districts, and all this demonstrates that he is tested and proven and these with little opportunities like being the DG of DoPT.
Written by Jonas Mpiele