The delegates of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in Boki Local Government Area, over the weekend turned a consultative meeting to a prayer session to spiritually bind themselves to the interest of one of the senatorial aspirants, Dodeye Arikpo who came to consult them over the party’s primaries in two months’ time.
Being the demand of the party chapter chairman, Mr. Robert Obi who had earlier declared the chapter’s 100% support for the aspirant, both the elders of the party, youth leaders, statutory delegates and traditional leaders formed a circle round about Dodeye Arikpo who they asked to go on his knells as they offered prayers of prosperity, faithfulness, and success.
This uncommon “politi-religious” scenario followed the aspirant’s appeal to the chapter and wards executive councils to partner him in his on-going project aimed at liberating Central Senatorial District from what he described as a menace to leadership.
Stating the value he holds for the local government, Dodeye Arikpo said that despite how industrious the people of Boki are, they are the ones who have suffered most from past and present political leaders in the district.
“Boki has a special place in my heart. You are a very hardworking and industrious people but for a long time now, the people you called your leaders have lied, deceived, and shortchanged your destinies. They have abandoned your old ones; making some of them go to their graves with these high hopes.
“But, things have to change and you now have a chance to turn the tables around.
“I am not here today because someone somewhere endorsed me to be here. I have not borrowed money from anywhere to come throw around here and have you impressed that I am truly a big politician. What you need is opportunity not money; You want electric power not a hair dryer machine; You need a good road not motor bikes.
“The problem with our contemporary leaders is that they come to us with what they feel we wanted not actually with what we told them we needed. They do not take the pain to find out our needs and as such, they keep feeding us with meals we do not need to eat at a giving time, thereby compounding our problems even the more.
“Boki is plagued with a lot of challenges – security as topcoat! We just have to blame it on our leaders. What mechanisms have they put onboard to harness all the communal misunderstandings that have been going on here in Boki? Instead, they incite one against the other as a tactic to have us stand apart in other for them to excel in their political mischiefs. I am a security expert, well trained and certified, and am promising Boki that their season of insecurity would soon be over.
“I am not a regular politician who comes here to throw money around and make promises he cannot remember after swearing-in. But, I want to assure the good people of Boki that I will bring development to this area by persuading local and international investors to this place – that is after I must have settled the security challenge.
“Since after 1999, Boki has been too backward in the politics of Central Cross River State; but, I shall bring an end to this stigma!” Dodeye Arikpo pledged.
Consolidating on the message of the aspirant, Hon. Elemi Alaga, the Director General of Friends of Dodeye Arikpo (FODA) echoed the senate hopeful’s message of an all-inclusive leadership style upon his success next year – stating that Dodeye Arikpo was coming with a programme to carter for the old, the youths, children, and women. Elemi said that just like the former governor’s “Project Comfort”, Dodeye’s “Project Hope” would not leave any Boki son or daughter out of the loop as everyone would go home smiling by the end of the day – while advising them to take a reasonable decision today to salvage their tomorrow.
After the prayers that lasted for about 20 minutes, the chairman of all the wards chairmen, Chief Obi John Obi exclaimed that “the deal is done!” According to him, the senate aspirant was awaiting inauguration as all the wards chairmen present have resolved to give him (the aspirant) all the 55 delegates votes he required from the wards.
The chapter’s women leader, Mrs. Rosemary Abu who also assured the aspirant of their support advised Dodeye Arikpo never to relent in prayers – stating that just as they have prayed for him today, they will continue to commit him in their day-to-day prayers.
With emotions moving all around him, the senate aspirant, Dodeye Arikpo could resist to spell his appreciation to the people of Boki as he comforted them saying that God Almighty shall answer their prayers; noting that through the grace of God, he was not going to let the hopes and trust of Boki down.