Sunday, 5 August 2018

BAR CHRIS AGARA :PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN


By Dominic Kidzu.

Few politicians in the modern era exude a depth of quiet and unspoken energy as does Barrister Chris Agara. He says few words, delivers them deliberately, softly, but pointedly. There is a certain suasion one comes away with. As if having been touched in the spirit, directly, by an overarching pressure capable of removing all worries and doubts. That eerie feeling permeates the aura around Agara, in a manner that restores self believe among those who throng to his presence in his ornate palace on a daily basis.

Each time I have visited with him, either in the company of my long - time friends,  Victor Irek Okpechi and Victor Okimenang, who we also call "Minchera" or at his own invitation, I have inevitably felt this imposing power, have been sucked into the conviviality in the atmosphere and the cultivated presence of class in its basic simplicity. Although Chris Agara groped his way up the Herculean stairway to wealth and comfort through grit and grime, he prefers to give it all to the creator, replacing the sum component of his man - effort with the benevolence of fortune. I am sure that it is for that reason that he does not include the fact that upon arrival in Port Harcourt, his first job was that of mixing cement and sand for his temporary boss, a mason, at a construction site. I'm safe therefore to point out the fact that Barrister Chris Agara started life as a handy -  man, a general Man - Friday, and slowly climbed the steep and difficult ladder of life, in business and learning.

His early education began in Ikom, right up to Velos Secondary school, after which he secured a job as a primary school teacher in Obudu at the age of 19, Storekeeper in Cross River Water Board at 20, before moving over to Lagos and ultimately to Port Harcourt, the city of his destiny. Today, Chris Agara has earned three university degrees in law and business from Nigeria and the United Kingdom, while sitting at the head table of corporate boardrooms, including Garagam Nigeria Ltd, Titan Projects Ltd, Titan Integrated Environmental Management Ltd, AA Universal Agro Industries Ltd, and AA Diversities Ltd. It is not a secret that he has been a close ally of the Governor, Senator (Prof Ben Ayade) and has been working with the Governor to industrialize our agricultural sector in order to add value to the produce and increase earnings.

Many commentators on the subject, have severally enumerated the wide expanse of his philanthropy, to all manner of people, and his pacification and trouble - shooting efforts, amongst the diverse peoples of the homes of his heritage, himself bestriding the two local government areas of Ikom and Obubra by birth and by inclination. The story is told about how he brought peace to Obubra local government area by bringing together the estranged communities of Adun and Okum who were locked in a bitter war of attrition that led to severe destruction of lives and property. He is said to have personally hired a surveyor to clearly demarcate a mutually acceptable boundary between the two communities and  remedied the huge damage with a donation of several millions of naira to each side for reconstruction of their damaged houses and farms. He is also said to have sorted out the internecine raids of Isobor, Ofonekom and Apiapumtet communities in Obubra by their neighbors from Ebonyi state, which has led to a more lasting rapprochement. I have heard stories of the employment, scholarships and medical bills of people of all tribes and climes he has provided and the legendary open arms with which he receives all who stray unto his path.

Money is a shy visitor, you must provide the comforts for it to come visit, and to stay. Money has come to Chris Agara, and it appears to have come to stay. There has always been a relationship between money and power. Those who find one are never at peace until they have found the other. Dangote can deny his interest in the Presidency of Nigeria all day long, that's his prerogative, not mine. I think he is just bidding his time ,and when he does strike, it will be bull's eye. The vulture is a patient bird. Thankfully, Chris Agara is not denying his quest, he wants to represent Cross River Central, come the 9th Senate of the Federal Republic. And that, is the heart of the matter. Now it seems that nothing has been left to chance,  in the  mobilization of incendiary political arsenal to help him clinch the diadem. From the people at the  grassroots to government functionaries. From the clergy to the handlers of the party and from financial resources to spiritual wellspring. The die, it seems, is cast.

Having ran the race twice in the past, without success, and continued to support the PDP financially in spite of that, Bar Chris Agara is upbeat that this time is the time appointed by the Almighty for him to realize his age old dream to go to the Senate. The droves of people from the six local government areas of the Central who throng his precincts daily are clearly an accessory after the fact. He says his passion is Agriculture, and his agenda for the Senate is to help make legislation that will facilitate a revolution in that sector and bring the greatest good for the rural farmers in terms of zero sum interest on credit facilities, improved varieties, access to mechanized farming tools and also improve the value chain of agro - products for optimal financial gains for the farmers.

As the Party Primaries loom ever closer, Chris Agara is positioning himself as the man to beat for the Central Senatorial ticket of the PDP. As much as the Governor has been playing an even hand in his dealings with all aspirants, everyone knows him as his long time friend and associate. But Agara refuses to behave like the rooster which takes credit for sunrise. He maintains that although the Governor is his close friend, his ticket for the Senate is in the hands of the people. Twice Barrister Chris Agara has eaten the head of an owl, and so can no longer fear it's eyes. This third time, however, he believes the crown, the owl and all, belong to him.

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