Thursday, 11 November 2021

Cross River 2023: Watch Out For The Underdogs by Agba Jalingo



An underdog is a competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest. A weaker opponent or a person who has little status in society. What we love most about the underdog is the true grit required to achieve their success i.e. overcoming odds, surviving chaos and working really hard to win. We root for them, bet on them and tell their stories time and time again. And there has never been one told more often than David and Goliath or Nigeria beating Argentina and Brazil at the Atlanta Olympics.

As the 2023 governorship race spins off in Cross River State, I am watching out for the underdogs. My reasons may not and do not need to be agreeable to you but they are still my reasons, nevertheless. Having reported Cross River State intensely and passionately for 10 years now, I have seen, heard, read, perceived, processed and handled information that gives me serious concern about making the mistake of electing a governor from the same flock that has been ruining our State since 1999.

Among that flock, regardless of the political party they now belong to, they have shared so many things together, covered so many secrets together and participated in so much corruption together such that, none can call another to order when public interest is at stake. Infact, their target of becoming governor is actually to measure up their ego that they also became governor at some point and not to develop our State. With all the credit they give to themselves for running our State, Cross River State remains at the bottom of every development index in Nigeria. We cannot say in all honesty that they didn't do anything, but what they did has not changed our situation. The progress they made did not progress beyond the bottom. We are still at the bottom.

Some of the characteristics of these overlords among others include, procrastinating to declare for governor until it is donated to them by their cohorts in closet. They are usually late entrants. They are disinterested in direct campaigns that require them facing a critical section of the electorates; usually because they don't have answers. They prefer to only reach the voters via billboards and posters and speak to us for five minutes in non-interactive large noisy crowds called campaigns. They are characteristically very evasive and transactional.

But the underdogs have earned their street creed. They maintain their reputation and don't wait for things to be thrown at them. They go face-to-face with powerful influences. They have grit. They are courageous and resolute and they go for it with determination. They are empathetic. Successful underdogs make it their business to know the value system of the prospects. Let's put it this way, they have been there. Winning underdogs don't work alone. They have a great team they rely on, the team is made up of leaders. Unlike the transactional overlords, the underdogs are good at building and keeping relationships. They are passionate and likable. The under dogs know how to use their opponent's disadvantage to their own advantage. That's the character we need as our next governor.

So as the 2023 permutations hot up in our State, instead of making it a battle between the political parties, let us stake it between the best and the good. Instead of making it a battle between youth and aged, let us focus on solution providers. Rather than making it a battle of the senatorial districts, let us make it a battle between the top-dogs and the under-dogs.

I will look out for the under dogs.

Yours sincerely,
Citizen Agba Jalingo

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