Friday, 7 July 2017

Open Letter: The battle for Central Senatorial seat Old Obubra Seeks Liyel's Help come 2019

6 July 2017 

Your Excellency,
Senator Liyel Imoke, 
Former Governor of Cross River State. 



Your Excellency, just at the young age of 30 years, you were elected as Senator to represent the Central Senatorial District of CRS in the Nigerian Senate in 1992.
With the truncation of the Third Republic, and the return of the military to power in November, 1993 when Gen Sani Abacha, as he then overthrew the interim National Government of Chief Ernest Shonekan and abolished the democratic institutions at the State and National levels, most especially the National Assembly, you returned to your private life, but still kept your eyes on the State, hoping that a day shall come through the ballot box, where you shall again have an opportunity to serve not just your immediate constituency of Abi/Yakurr federal constituency, central senatorial district but the entire state. 

As when the opportunity came with the return to civil politics between 1998/1999 you demonstrated your avowed commitment to serving the State when you worked very hard for the emergence of an Efik man, Mr Donald Duke to become Governor in 1999, there after, erasing the erroneous notion/believe that it was impossible for an Efik man to win election into the office of Governor of CRS. Of course, it is still fresh in our memory how a group of people (me inclusive) under the umbrella of Atam Congress agitated seriously to truncate the reign of Governor Duke in a desperate attempt  to stopping him (Duke) from having a second term.

Sir, it is on record that you scuttled that process and made sure Mr Donald Duke had his second term in office, you ensured that for the first time what can be described as political unity was attained across the State, through the effective zoning of office for elections and appointments. 

In 2007, you became Governor of CRS, after serving the Nation as Special Adviser to President Obasanjo and later Minister of Power and Steel, you also served briefly as Minister for Education, under Papa OBJ. Given the roles you played in the political history of CRS and Nigeria, from a very young age, there's no doubt that God has been good/kind and benevolent to you as a person by placing you in leadership positions you've occupied. I thank God for you sir.

Leadership comes with responsibility, and we are happy that so far you have not failed in discharging this responsibility providence has bestowed on you, the latest being that you ensured power was handed over to the North as you did promise years back that your successor will come from the North of CRS in 2015.

Your Excellency, though it's over two years since you left office of Governor, and somewhat retired to private life/business, your position as political leader of our state cannot be denied/questioned or taken away from you. In fact, it is in this critical but auspicious moment in our political history in the Central Senatorial District that your leadership acumen/wisdom and ability is most needed as the count-down to 2019 general election gets closer. 

Sir, it is not for nothing that God created you as an Itigidi man, from Abi Local Government, Central Senatorial District of CRS. I believe that amongst other numerous reasons, it is for a reason/ moment like this that the Yakurr Nation is crying out for JUSTICE, EQUITY, and FAIR-PLAY on the political turf, God has created you leader for this times/situations.

Your Excellency, please recall that, since you went to the Senate in 1992, Old Obubra, consisting of Abi, Obubra and Yakurr LGAs, these areas have not again produced a Senator for the Central Senatorial District,  from records, it's 27 years ago since a Senator showed up from this zone. It's pathetic and worrisome sir. It is a fact that Old Ikom, comprising Etung, Boki and Ikom (LGAs) have been in the Senate for the district since 1999, which will make the zone 20 conservative years in the Senate in 2019.
Those who argue that Old Obubra could not have produced a Senator for the zone from 2017 to 2015 may be right because you were Governor of the State, but would they be right too in arguing that Old Obubra didn't deserve/have a right to produce a Senator between 1999 to 2007? Some may reason/argue that you HE Liyel Imoke was Special Adviser, Minister for most of the period with Mr John Oyom Okpa of blessed memory who served as Deputy Governor during the first term of Mr Donald Duke, that it was impracticable for old Obubra, let alone Yakurr to produce a Governor. 

The above line of argument falls flat when the fact is established that the position of Special Adviser and 
Minister are appointive and not elective and only come by consideration based on the Leader/President's discretion/prerogative/Choice.

On the issue of Senate for the Central Senatorial District, it is on record that the Obubra/Etung Federal Constituency has produced a Deputy Governor in the person of Late John O. Okpa between 1999-2003, and are currently occupying the position of Senate through the current Senator, Sen John Owan-Enoh, who incidentally falls under Old Ikom, as he is from Etung. It would amount to the height  of Injustice to Yakurr in particular, if Senate returns/remains comes from Old Ikom/Obubra/Etung Federal constituency combined. 

This is so because since HE Chief Clement David Ebri served as Governor between 1992/1993, Yakurr has not produced a Senator, the highest office from Yakurr was the position of Speaker through Hon Bassey Eko Ewa, during the administration of Donald Duke. Having waited patiently for this long Your Excellency, it is the turn of Yakurr to produce the next Senator for the Central Senatorial District sir.

Ordinarily, one would have thrown the demand open for Abi/Yakurr, but having served as Senator before and Governor, it is appropriate and godly to state that the next in line for the position for Senator is Yakurr,  even though the area has produced a federal representative position for a sort of balance. 

Sir, you have achieved political stability for the State on two different occasions, I pray your next task should be to ensure YAKURR produces the next Senator for the Central Senatorial District. 

This you should do for history to completely vindicate you, and the long-held erroneous impression that you hate the Yakurr people.

God bless you sir, as you hearken to the cry of the Yakurr Nation for 2019.

Thank you. 

Goddie A. Akpama 
Former Chairman IPAC CRS Chapter.