Home » Dodeye Arikpo » Oka Obono And Dodeye Arikpo: The Bill Clinton Dilemma – By Sebatian Eko
Sebastian Eko

Oka Obono And Dodeye Arikpo: The Bill Clinton Dilemma – By Sebatian Eko

On February 10, 2007, Barack Obama, then junior United States Senator announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States and went on to secure enough delegates to become the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election. He was the rst African-American in American history to be nominated by a major party.

In one of Bill Clinton’s remarks, he said, he has been waiting for that day when an African-American will via for the ofce of the United States President and how he will throw his weight and persuasive skill behind that candidate.

Earlier in January 2007, Hillary Clinton had announced her interest to run for the office of the President of America and true to that “there always has to be a first”, she became the first woman to clinch the nomination of either major U.S. political party.

Again, Bill Clinton told Americans how he has waited for that moment when a woman will via for the highest office, the office of the President of America and how he will so support that female candidate to show the feminist in him.

According to him, he never thought that both ideals; an African-American in Barak Obama and a Female candidate, Hilary Clinton will be contending for the Presidency at the same time, worse off, the female being his wife and the African-American a good friend.

Here we are that yours truly and many like me are today faced with that Bill Clinton kind of dilemma.

I have been an advocate of having intellectuals in politic and also an advocate of generational shift in politics. Never did it cross my mind that both will surface at the same time, one a great friend in whom we share similar thought patterns and the other fullling the “Not-Too-Young-To-Run” and most of all, family. Two close calls. Besides, both are sons south of old Obubra which deserves the Senate seat in tis dispensation, with very close family ties vying for the same office, the office of the Senator to represent Central Senatorial District of Cross River State. The only difference being that they are both vying on separate political platforms unlike Obama and Clinton on the same platform.

Now, both Obono and DA are going in for the APC and PDP primaries respectively to become their party’s nomination among several seemingly competent and charismatic aspirants. APC adopted a thorough “Pre-Primaries” screening exercise, while PDP used disqualification as their elimination processes.

The pre-primaries screening exercise and the adoption of direct primaries by the APC is a clear demonstration that the APC wants the best and want the people to choose their leaders. This is laudable.

At the screening exercise, the grapevine has it that some aspirants spent hours with the screening
committee while some like Prof Obono spent just the time necessary. One wonders why this difference. Unconfirmed reports alleged that the certificates presented by the aspirant that spent longer time with the screening committee were questionable and in this season of certificate scandals, the Committee was being very careful the aspirants they clear for the primaries. One will not blame them, they don’t want to take any chances and they shouldn’t.

Recall that it is the NYSC certificate scandal that cut short the services of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. As if this was not enough, the same NYSC certificate reared its head in the Governorship aspiration of the Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, and according to media reports, Shittu has been disqualified.

APC must have been very weary of fielding aspirants which her opposition will chew on and cost them the ticket. Today, we have an electorate that is very informed, highly sensitive above all, a vibrant media.

Here we have Professor Oka Obono, an erudite
scholar, an intellectual par excellence whose
curriculum vitae alone is heavier than the treasures amassed by many a politicians in their eight to twelve years of political self-venture and dis-representation.

One whose pedigree in academics, at home, and in community service and service to humanity transcends the boundaries of Cross River Central, beyond Nigeria to the West African sub region and continental Africa.

While on the other hand we have the amiable ever smiling Dodeye Arikpo, (DA) a young man who
understands the politics of Cross River State having been in the corridors of it for sixteen years or so. Also, he learnt political strategy under the political chess master, Liyel Imoke. DA, an ex-intelligence ofcer whose expertise shielded his principal from the dangers of the ofces he occupied also for over sixteen years. An experience that will be useful for the conflict prone Cross River central. Here is DA, one that is hand-in-glove with the “Never-To-Young-To-Run” aspirations of the now-generation, with a political pedigree that goes back to the illustrious multi-faceted Chief Dr. Okoi Arikpo SAN of blessed memory.

At this point, the nCommunity Mirror urge you
delegates of both parties to cast your APC delegates votes for Professor Oka Obono and the PDP delegates vote for Dodeye Ikpi Arikpo for the same reason of who each of them is and would become and for what we represent.

We strongly advise all delegates to think not of the immediate benets which has been the bane of the poor leadership experienced generally in the political scheme, but think much more of being a part of instituting a legacy.

In APC, there is no better aspirant, Prof. Obono is the aspirant to beat while in PDP, DA is the face of the youths. We say this without prevarication, because the Senator Cross River State Central needs now is one that will resolve the multi-faceted debilitating, and delimiting challenges it is facing. Which is why you need to present a these strong candidates to the extent that whoever emerges in the end is one that the people have chosen.

In Prof Obono’s vision you’ll nd a well thought-out and articulated actionable, realization, workable, feasible and measurable work plan.

In his website, you see his vision clearly, starting from the “We Need Changes” slogan, mind you not just change but “changes”. There he said he represents the “dawn of a new democracy and a new era in politics”, that is the intellectualism to be infused in politics.

Most interestingly you see him in what he says. He said it is his belief that, “”We have power as a people to create opportunities and expand access…”that is, anything man can think of, and certainly, as he rightly pointed out, “this is why service and effective representation matter.” This is him.

Even truer is his belief that “We can transcend partisan politics when it is important for us to come together as Nigerians and Cross Riverians in the interests of our people”…that “poverty, hunger, disease, and unemployment are not card carrying members of any political party”. Herein lies the maturity needed at this time. It is not a winner takes it all, it is really about service.

His well thought out six-point agenda are realizable, not the usual bogus promises, not sky scrapers nor highways in the sky not to invent cars that will drive themselves kind of promises. They are rather simple, realizable and measurable. Simple enough for another to build and improve upon.

DA has carried on touching hearts, reaching the
unreachable with one promise, uniting the people for the good of the people. There is a saying that “the world gives way to those who know where they are going”.

Sebastine Eko
Chairman Editorial Board
nCommunity Mirror.

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