Thursday, 22 March 2018

Dear John Gaul Lebo, an open Letter To John Gaul. by Ifere Paul

A Letter To John Gaul. 

Dear John Gaul Lebo, 

First of all, let me join the world to congratulate you for reaching another milestone in your years on earth. Recently, you celebrated your birthday. It is the blessing of God that has seen to your many years on earth, and I pray for more years for you. Amen! 

Hon John, God may have blessed the day you were born. He set you up for greatness. And has kept pushing you for many successive glorious. 

I was in China when you were elected into the Cross River State House of Assembly. I mean your first tenure of 2011. I have looked at you as one of the most blessed young men from Abi LGA. In fact, 2011 elections sent many young people into the Cross River State HoA. While in that assembly, your name kept repeating and reverberating due to your sterling leadership qualities then. 

In 2015, l kept mute about your re-election campaign because I thought to myself that it will be great to have someone like you as speaker of the house of assembly. One with the experience to command the respect that comes with that office. I thought as a young man, we'll be seeing an emerging youth leader that would lead the central senatorial district to a more cohesive district whose ambition will send fears to the spins of our common enemies. But I was wrong. 

You became a puppet to be used by a non official co-governor. You sold off your conscience that you may be favored against the pains of your assembly members. You were fed full with greed, and disappointed the many masses that depended on the assembly house to bring bills that will ease their pains and pittance. You sat down and folded your arms as Frank Ayade pillaged our commonwealth. For you, the little bribes that came your way so often, are enough as long as your quest to remain perpetually relevant in the polity is assured. 

Mr Speaker, I don't want to sound characteristically immodest of my usual self. But you are the most depressing and disgusting speaker in the South-South, if not the entire country.  

Not only did you oversee the passage of some of the most ridiculous bills in Nigeria, you also watered graft and planted the tree of corruption. Sir, until date, your house and its members has never thought it wise to set up a committee to investigate many of the elephants projects dotting the Cross River State budgets. You and your members never thought it necessary to investigate the arrest of Frank Ayade (the co-governor) in 2016 by EFCC  in the misappropriation of 2.7 billion naira bailout funds. 

You have never thought it necessary to set up a committee to investigate the contract scandals in SUBEB, where many of the contracts were awarded to the first family and their cronies. 

How about the illegal sale of plots of land inside the water board. Well, how can you set up a committee to investigate what many of you in the assembly benefited from? How about the colored water supplied to the public, or the lack of it? Until the African Development Bank and World Bank sent their auditors to audit water board, what was the assembly doing? Mr Speaker, you're just a big disgrace. 

It is alarming that you people are busy running around sourcing for help to free Frank Ayade from his arrest by the EFCC once again, rather than question the source of the 20 Million Dollars he was arrested with. isn't it time we begin to question and ask for purposeful leadership? Why do you turn yourself and the entire house of assembly into rubber stamps? 

Mr John Gaul, I was reading about your achievements that included passing the bill to promote and protect hawking in Cross River State. It is ridiculous to pass a hawking bill to law and call it achievement. 

Mr Speaker, there are so many projects in the 2016 and 2017 budget that are not even started but whose allocations have been paid to their contractors. These contractors are still within the first family, and the house of assembly is not asking questions. 

It is sad that retirees from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, etc, are still walloping in poverty. Many of these senior citizens are suffering from life threatening illnesses and ailments. So many  cannot afford common pain killers. The HoA has not been able to ask the Governor or relevant authorities charged with their payments questions even as the State has received three consecutive bailouts for the sole purpose of paying these retirees. 

Over the years, Sir, you have become more of a-sir-yes-sir man. Everything passes through the house of assembly with ease, so long as a few naira have entered your account as against the accounts of your members. 

Rather than protect your members, you have joined forces with the executive to work against your members. In so many instances, you did so because you were told by Frank Ayade. It is wrong to team up with the executive to oust Hon Elucate Ekom for defecting to the opposition. That was tyrannical of you. 

Mr Speaker, in some other instances, you teamed up with the executive to deny your members their legit allowances. Your members work in the harshest of conditions. No water to flush common toilets, no light because the Governor will not pay for the diesel. Same apply to the living conditions and living quarters of your members. How about their welfare? Car allowances? Furniture allowances? Refurbishing and repairs of assembly members quarters? It is sad that some of your members are living with snakes, lizards, scorpions, and other creepy creatures in their houses. 

You are a failed speaker and a failed politician. To believe that the Abi/Yakurr Federal Constituency will find you worthy to elect you to represent them in the FHoR is to believe that the Ostrich will hatch a hamster from her egg.  

However, you have a little time to show Cross Riverians that you'll stop scooping them for your relevance. You have a little time left to do the right and the needful. Stop being a rubber stamp. 

Thank you so much for finding time to read through this. 

Be assured of my warm regards. 

My name is Ifere Paul.

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