Monday, 29 January 2018


|29th January, 2018|Eugene Upah

Standing at almost 6ft 5, Honorable Jarigbe Agom Jarigbe, popularly known as Jari, is the member representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency in the green Chambers of the national assembly. It is his first outing in the legislature and the first (official) elective position he has held, but the pragmatic, unassuming, visionary, people-friendly and youth-oriented Jarigbe has surpassed the performances of his predecessors and stands out amongst most of his peers in the national and state legislatures. Always wearing a welcoming smile, and found in company of friends, fans and constituents - the ardent young man cuts the picture of a hardworking man, of course, he is.

Aside the giant strides Jarigbe has recorded in less than 3 years at the national assembly, what speaks volume is his visibility in the house during plenaries (debates) and other oversight functions. He’s an example of the kind of youth oriented leader Nigerians across boards should emulate/copy in their style of leadership. Going by precedence, one can conclude this is the first time the good people of Ogoja/Yala have gotten it right in the national assembly since I started following political activities in 2003 whilst still in high school.

Honorable Jarigbe’s capability has never being in doubt owing to previous stellar qualities he had shown in the past. For instance, I understand (if my memory serves me right) that he was in-charge of the renovation/reconstruction of the General Hospital Ogoja during the government of Senator Liyel Imoke as Governor of Cross River State which saw to the overhauling of the hospital that gave it the new face lift it has today. Again, he also saw the rehabilitation of other government infrastructures across the state during that same government.

An opportunity most young people at his age would cease (quickly) to enrich themselves and abandon the projects; afterall, that has been the norm. What even stands him out is not the fact that he delivers promptly – it is the fact that as a young man with lots of streets savvy/knowledge in him he opts for the choice of service delivery to his people rather than enrich himself by amazing wealth, porsh cars, houses, et al within his first outing as the average Nigerian Politician would do. He understands the plight of his people and heads straightway for the panacea.

For instance, the creation of a simple WhatsApp group by one of his constituents; Mike Udam or so,  canvassing for the establishment of a federal University in Ogoja got the attention of the Honorable Member who later staged the matter before the floor of the house, and as I write this, the matter is being considered and as I learnt, it is pushing by the light of the day but not for some bureaucratic bottlenecks and fierce competition amongst members of the house. Quote me today; even if it is the only thing the Honorable member succeeds in his four (or eight year stay) as the case maybe, the people of Ogoja/Yala will heave a sigh of relief. Jarigbe will be to the people of Ogoja/Yala what President Trump is to the white supremacists, if the bill scales through.

Again, another constituent had prior to his visit/home coming in December 2017, posted pictures (on this platform) calling the Honorable Member’s attention to the dilapidated Ishi-Aya, Ibil Ogoja (which is my immediate constituency) Bridge. That Bridge connects Ogoja from down town Nkum Irede Ward and Ijama in Yala Local government areas of the state. The said bridge had been in a terribly sorry state since I was in Nursery school. What got me amazed was the speed with which he swung into action. This guy should be encouraged and (or) even given a bigger challenge. Afteral, if a child fails a class he repeats; so also if a child passes a class (with excellent grades)…These, amongst the bills, motions and other individual human capacity development/empowerments initiatives anchored by Jarigbe are the core quotients of my analysis.

Let me give a little clue of how I understand the person of Jarigbe. God forbid it happens, but the very day you hear that the terrorist Fulani Herdsmen sect enters an Ogoja land to wreck havoc, Honorable Jarigbe Agom is the kind of person that will suspend his official assignment, return home and mobilize constituents into the farmlands to confront/chase the Herdsmen out of town in a gallant martial arts style.

If the Northern Senatorial Districts nay Cross River State in general has this kind of leadership across boards we will not seldom complain of good governance. To me, he’s the bridge builder at the confluence point and one of the finest collegiate students of the Liyel Imoke’s (political) grooming/mentoring and this is the true meaning of the #NotTooYoungToRun.