Cross River North Bye-Election: Why Majority of Young Cross Riverians Believed In Jarigbe — Odey
By Odey Otunu
I am very sure that an objective and insightful Nigerian of CRS extraction won’t be proud of the political situation in Northern Cross River. I feel terrible too because we are heading to nowhere no matter how excited supporters feel at every turn of event, celebrating today and having your victory reversed the following day, like the statement of a wounded soldier from the war front when the Thane of Cowdor rebelled against King Duncan in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, “when comfort seems to come, discomfort swells”.
I found out that majority of Hon. Jarigbe Agom’s supporters are actually a generation of young people who have stopped loving their Governor long ago for failing them, yes. I actually sympathize with this position because to be honest, the incumbent Governor of CRS completely missed it, no matter how aggressive he tries, he won’t get it right anymore, you don’t strive for a first class or second class upper in the third university year.
Dr Stephen Odey on the other hand drew his support army from different angles, some are supporters of the Governor, a failed Governor, he failed his people but has put food on the tables of less than 5% of the population of Crossriverians who in turn must die for his ambition to pull through.
Dr Odey also has his own support system that he developed while he lasted at the juicy Universal Basic Education hub, as he dispensed some tangible privileges to allies. I know a few of Dr Odey’s supporters who are equally silent haters of his excellency even though he is the chief benefactor of their hopeful.
There’s this opinion of mine that may not go down well with some but it sounds objective to others who have applauded it and felt so too as a political solution. If his excellency actually meant well for a political structure which he inherited from his predecessors, he would have gotten it right with limited resistance from the National ruling APC. The simple elevation of the present Ogoja/Yala MHR to the Senate and then Dr Stephen as a replacement. It would have been a win win for his excellency.
Dr Stephen is a young man, started active political activities from 2011 as a legislative aide to Senator Ayade at the age of thirty eight, he later became the head of the state’s UBEB, a position he held until this favor fell on him as Governor Ayade’s choice for Senate. As a state senior political office holder, Hon. Odey would still have enjoyed a movement from where he is to the lower federal law creating chamber, a place Hon. Jarigbe has been over five years and has fulfilled some hefty political expectations, but then, he would not have been called a Senator yet, but today he is, and may still be after the verdict of the “author and finisher of his fate” the Nigerian Supreme Court, a court that performs miracles, can turn a loser’s story to success. That is where the hopes of both Jarigbe and Odey lie.
The situation is not new to Nigeria’s political system, anyone who has power is liable to abuse it, but the difference today is that, the incumbent Governor of Cross River State hasn’t lived up to his responsibilities as the first executive governor of Northern CRS extraction, countless of failed projects and failed promises, these have made the people to believe more in a member of the lower federal legislative house, who has become a rescue institution that more people turn for help.
A few months from now, we shall all go and take our rest from this drama series, either Hon Jarigbe Agom or Dr Stephen Odey shall be announced a Senator by the Supreme house of the Nigerian Judiciary, nothing will happen. Some men may still decide to go and initiate subsequent seasons like Hollywood HBO.
When it finally takes that turn, the two contenders won’t loose so much, only their beneficiaries would have some feelings of defeat, they have been winners at various points, both champions league finalist are strong teams, if Jarigbe wins, Stephen shall return to the Juicy Primary School Board, a place that pulled him out of political obscurity, and continue the execution of UBEC/SUBEB Projects and still live like a Senator. If Stephen wins, Jarigbe will remain in the House of Representatives and maintain his crowd of supporters.
We would only hear supporters of the defending champion ranting to the supporters of the first runner-up about how he told them, but then, outsiders, heads and staff of various democratic infrastructures especially in Abuja should have smiled away with millions of naira that use to belong to the bewildered Cross River, then a few years later, Hon Jarigbe Agom and Dr Stephen Odey may form alliance and become one of the best examples of political symbiosis to the amazement of their warring supporters, who have been busy with typing congratulations on social media platforms at the turn of every favorable event.
Odey Otunu is a political strategist, national commentator and consummate knowledge Public affairs analyst based in the FCT.