If Yala Must Be Developed; No More Conventional Prejudices

By Ogar Emmanuel – Calabar

This piece may perhaps goes out as a rebuttal to the barrage of words sent to me in attempt to gag me yesterday over the article I wrote about Yala. For the record, I’ve always been a proud Yala man and I pride myself so in almost all my doings. But I’m not proud to belong to a generation of people that seems to be satisfied with the constant state of backwardness. I’m one of the disquieters poised to cause sociopolitical uneasiness in my LGA until we feel the taste of development like the flavour of our salt.

I was compelled by force of patriotism to pen the article. I was (I’m ) worried, disturbed, disgruntled and disappointed over the stunted and shunted growth or underdevelopment of Yala even with the numerous advantageous political positions Yala has held and still holding as you read from me.
I wrote it as a mirror-image of my embittered heart when I compare Yala LGA with her counterparts!

As a proponent of sociopolitical and cultural development of the society, having the flair for the entrenchment of the pivotal philosophies of social contract, I envisioned that the short but powerful piece would trigger sociopolitical awareness and social change, and afterward heats up the cold enthusiasm of those privilegedly entrusted with our mandate to begin rural development in Yala. It was my desire that an indaba would be called sooner as a result of the post.

I’m in my late 30s. I’m old enough to express and exercise my inviolable and inalienable rights courageously and honestly without minding whose ox is gored. Hence, over 3 decades ago, I can sadly vaunt that Yala is pitiably stagnant. Not just stagnated but lagging miles behind development! Shamefully, we pride ourselves as a people with so many political officials.

We’ve many young men that have been gagged because they kissed the lips of Jezebel. They have lost their voice(s). Many of them want obtuse leaders. Leaders without moral and physical courage (s). This is so because they’ve bowed blindly to opinion formed beforehand. This is known as conventional prejudices. If we need change, then we must hold unto Einstein’s opinion.

Albert Einstein in a letter to a professor emeritus of philosophy at the College of the City of New York, defending the appointment of Bertrand Russell to a teaching position stated,” Great spirit have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinion; courageously and honestly. ”

Because of prejudices, we lack all social amenities. No portable water; zero rural electrification, alarming rural-urban drift, high youth restiveness, no banking facility(ies), no drugs in the health centres, most clinics and infirmaries are homes of street urchins and ruminants animals, no asphalted road, no street light ( solar light) and the once great Okuku market is a shadow of itself. Okuku police station(rented) and roundabout were built more than 40 years ago, but as I type, they’re in sordid and rustic phases of dilapidation.

Nostalgically, about this time last year, I was hired to carry out evaluation exercise in 3 LGAs (Biase, Ikom and Yala) in Cross River State. As I traverse the length and breadth of Yala in particular, I wept for my people. There was no road from Okuku to Yache even on bike. Before we got to our destination, we got off the bike many times to avoiding falling.

It’s not my intention to present Yala in this manner — in fact I’m feeling ashamed already. Methinks we’ve jointly failed ourselves and there’s therefore a prevailing need for paradigm shift. A shift from the abnormal we blindly see as normal to the “best-normal.” Consequently, if this piece criticises anyone, such fellow stands criticised.

For those that called to pooh-pooh the originating post, sorry, be prepare to express more contempts as I’ve steamed up my engine. Expect more!

You that asked if I was paid: no! I can’t be hired! In fact I wrote it while the preacher was delivery his sermon on Sunday morning. You can see that the time is already late. Thus, we can’t continue to handle matter of this urgent need with child’s clove. You asked whom exactly am I. OK, I’m simply who I’m ! I’m against moribund convention that keeps us behind in development. I’m against ethnicity and tribalism in whatever shades it appears! I’m for humanistic ideas. I’m for comradeship and chivalry.


Comr.(Hon) Ogar Emmanuel Oko
Is from Ijegu Ojor.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher @theluminenews.com, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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