Home » Opinion » Abi/Yakurr Rerun And The Need For APC To Embark On An Issue-Based Campaign – Simon Utsu

Abi/Yakurr Rerun And The Need For APC To Embark On An Issue-Based Campaign – Simon Utsu

It is no longer news that the Appeal court sitting in Calabar has ordered for a rerun between the PDP & APC in two wards (Ekureku 1&2) as an aftermath of the Abi/Yakurr Federal House of Representatives election.

What is making the news these days, is the attempt by the APC’s candidate to focus on inanities and non issues in the build up to that rerun. Before I continue, let me remind every one that as a public commentator with a passion for the progress of Cross River state, I am at liberty to comment on burning issues and/or even take sides irrespective of wherever they occur in the state.

Let me expatiate on my first paragraph with a couple of specifics. Shortly after the appellate court ordered for a rerun, supporters of Chief Dr Alex Egbona without provocation from their opponent, stoked up the flames by threatening fire & brimstone if the mandate was taken from “their son”. Some even saw the court judgement as a declaration of war and threatened to march down to Adamama where the former speaker hails from and start a communal war. (Wait for this) Others even threatened to go all the way to Itigidi where former Governor Liyel Imoke hails from and start a war if he(Liyel) did not back down on his support for John Gaul.

Even though I am not a war monger, I can tolerate the first invective but to threaten to attack Imoke’s village? Come on! That was ingratitude and disrespect on another level.

Alex Egbona should kindly call his supporters to order else, we will conclude they are acting according to his script. When he(Dr Alex) just decamped to the APC last year, I watched a video where he was welcomed by stakeholders. In that video, he sang the praises of Abi strong man, Elder Bolaji Anani (who was present) and even sang a song he had composed for him “I know a great teacher, who taught a Alexander”. Impying that Elder Anani was the man who taught him the rudiments of politics. It is good to praise those who taught us in school but even better when we praise those who gave us our first big work experience/break. If Anani was Alex’s “Great Teacher”, then it also follows logically that Imoke was his “Great Employer”.

He was the man who gave him the platform to practice whatever Elder Anani had taught him. Imoke deserves equal if not more credit because it was under him that most of us got to know about an Alex Egbona. It was under him that most of his(Egbona) so called loyalists emerged. Hence, I’m of the opinion that Dr Alex Egbona should also release a song of praise for Imoke. Asides that, he should also urge his supporters to be calm and show respect for Imoke.

Secondly, I recently watched a couple of videos where an indigene of Abi purported to be a fan of John Gaul, was “indicted” by a lynch mob, for breaking into Dr Alex’s house in Abi and attempting to attack him with charms. In the first video, the suspect seemed to be confessing under duress; someone on the sideline(away from the camera) asked him questions and dictated specific answers to him in an attempt to indict the speaker. That video was done by one Kevin Idaka, a supposed staffer of Dr Egbona. In the second video of the same suspect done after he was released from custody and in a more relaxed atmosphere, the suspect said he wasn’t an intruder but a regular visitor to the compound of Dr Alex Egbona. He also said he wasnt there with an ulterior motive but was in the premises to wash the cars of Dr Alex and his wife as he usually did. He had already begun his rounds after buckets filled with water were provided for him when things took a strange turn and the accusations were made. The suspect claimed he was slapped by Dr Alex and had to make the first confession of being an intruder with intent to harm after he was cornered by siblings of Dr Alex, threatened at some point and at some other point, promised a federal job in Abuja and a couple of other niceties. The second video was recorded by a youth leader in Itigidi.

Well, I’m of the opinion that all these dramas and scripts aren’t necessary. Like I said in the subject of this post, the APC’s candidate and his team should focus on the issues on ground. I pointed out a fortnight ago that the people of Abi/Yakurr had suffered some very poor representation in the last 20 years and that there was a need for a paradigm shift from the handouts representation to some very effective representation. The manifesto, temperament and readiness of former speaker John Gaul, convinced me beyond doubt that he was the better choice, reason for my supporting his candidacy.

When I stuck my neck out for him, some said I was doing so because of monetary gains; in the same breath, the same people said he’s very stingy! What a paradox. Right Honorable John Gaul Lebo had already drafted five people oriented bills he was going to sponsor at the House of Reps and this was done even before the election in February. He also has a robust plan in place to optimise the usage of the ITM Ugep so that the people of Abi/Yakurr get the chance to be trained (FOR FREE) on present and emerging Information Technologies so that they would be primed to compete and thrive in the future which is going to be too complex and sophisticated for technophobes.

These are the kind of issues I expect the APC’s candidate to focus on and not mud slinging, baring of fangs or the campaign of calumny he and his team seem to have embarked upon.

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