27th September, 2011
It was true when a famous writer of blessed memory, Harvey Firestone, said: â€œYou get the best out of others when you give the best of yourself.â€ Calvin Coolidge, another writer crowned it this way: â€œNo person was ever honoured for what he received. Honour has been the reward for what he gave.â€
These sayings are quite fitting in describing the person of the Governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke, who is now being rewarded with calls to re-contest next yearâ€™s governorship election, for his fulfilment of the numerous campaign promises he made to the people.
The Governor is not being rewarded with these calls for what he has received, but for what he has given the people across the 18 local government areas of the state. Everywhere in the state, the impact of his administration, which has now spanned three years, is being felt by the people, irrespective of their political, social and cultural affiliations. No wonder those who have endorsed the Governor for another four years, beginning from 2012, include members of political parties other than the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which is the party of the Governor.
They, alongside members of non-Cross River State communities resident in the state, are witnesses to this transformation and have agreed that it is only a man with vision, foresight and characteristics of a statesman such as Governor Liyel Imoke that can change the face of the state in three years. Of course, the Governor is not a magician. He has only achieved this through selfless service and commitment to duties.
One thing must, however, be stated clearly here: That those behind these calls are not imaginary and personalities with no less credentials as being argued in some quarters. These are distinguished Cross Riverians, who have either served the state in lofty positions as partners to this current makeover of the state or are witnesses to the numerous developmental changes in the state. These are men and women, who through their sight have seen and are appreciating what they have seen. These ones are different from those who will see, but pretend not to see the revolution being institutionalised in the areas of agriculture, health, road construction, education, water supply, sanitation, wealth creation and employment, tourism and investments, manpower development, environment and public finance management.
These accomplishments are also being appreciated by hordes of visitors to the state, who are eyewitnesses to this wind of change blowing across the state. Some of them have lived with the people of the state for a while, compared the transformation of the state with their statesâ€™ and are now wishing they could exercise their franchise in Cross River to vote for the Governor to continue in office. Of particular note is the endorsement of the Governor by Cross River State members of the National Assembly, who have noted with pride the rapid changes in the state, in the last three years. They have argued that if the Governor could do this much in less than four years, then he would double, even triple these strides if given a chance in another four years. Lawmakers across the Local Government Areas in the Central Senatorial District of the state are also among those endorsing the Governor for another term in office.
Communities of Cross River indigenes in major cities in the country are also conscious of the Governorâ€™s accomplishments that they have, several times, declared support for the administration and risen up in defence of its policies and programmes.
Another source of support is the Calabar-based socio-political group, Calmun Consultative Assembly, which is an amalgam of bodies like Unity Circle, Youths in Action, Progressive Youth Movement and the Progressive Forum, and Stakeholders of the Northern Senatorial District of the state. At their various gatherings, the groups have vowed to vote massively for the continuity of the Project Liyel/ Efiok 2012 Mandate due to their conviction that the duo is capable of delivering on the mandate.
The Boki, Ikom and Yakurr caucuses of the PDP are also on the list. At Wula, where the Boki stakeholders, comprising members of the academia, political class and business community met, the people listed the responsive style of leadership of the Governor and the adoption of seven-point agenda of the administration as factors arousing their love for Governor Imoke.
In a statement by Ikom Caucus of PDP, the people also endorsed the candidacy of the Governor for the 2012 governorship election. They described him as â€œan effective and humane leader, who has distinguished himself as a great manager of men and friend of the rural folk- a man who has shown tremendous loyalty to his friends, generosity and goodwill to all, whose charity and humanity is not in doubt; a man of dexterity, sagacity and foresight, who has made Cross River State proud.â€
At Ugep, where the Yakurr people converged to express their support for this continuity, the Yakurr people specifically thumbed up the administration for involving sons and daughters of Yakurr. They are also pleased that the administration has among others, constructed and renovated over 15 Primary Health Centres in the Local Government Area; Nko-Agoi Bridge, Ekori â€“Beach Road, Ekori-Imabana Road, Idomi-Adim Road, Inyima-Ekpeti-Asiga Road and the renovation and provision of medical equipment to Ugep General Hospital.
They are also appreciative to the government for providing free medical services for children under five years and pregnant women, commencing work at the College of Technology, Ugep, renovating secondary schools in the area, with provision of laboratory/ Information Communication Technology equipment, standard tables, chairs and classrooms, and completing several rural electrification projects across the local council.
Their conviction is no doubt a reflection of the feelings of the people of the state in other Local Government Areas, who in the coming weeks are planning to come out in huge numbers to declare support for continuity. The Governor has, indeed, driven transformation to all communities in the state, and responded to the yearnings of the people by improving on the infrastructure he met on ground. Yet, there are still some, although an insignificant portion of the people, who are hard to please and do not believe in Liyel- Efiok 2012 ticket. They are doing so for selfish reasons. They see government as a platform for self-enrichment. And they are not pretending about it. They have failed to realise that true governance is by consolidation and sustenance of policies that leave behind lasting legacies.
While they are not to be condemned for their disposition, there is an urgent need for them to reflect on the policies and achievements of previous administrations in the state and compare them with what has been recorded in three years in order to see the need to support this administration in words and deeds to help propel Cross River State to enviable heights.
â€¢Oham, a public affairs analyst based in Calabar, wrote this article for TheNEWS