Issues In The Cross River State PDP Crisis – By Barr. Vena Ikem.

By Admin

Beyond the entertainment and the street value of the glib talk surrounding the much vaunted talk of the crisis that has engulfed the PDP chapter in Cross River State are real existential threats to the survival of the party in the state and indeed the shaping of the direction of the Politics of the state moving forward. As an active figure in the crisis, it has been difficult for me to comment much on it and so my writing on this platform as in many others has rested for a while out of understandable prudence. Everywhere I have engaged with friends and supporters I am constantly asked why I have stopped writing. The truth is that I have not stopped writing in my head. Translating what I write in my head to paper (?) Keyboard (?) Or clipboard hasn’t been that easy for me Mostly because the truth hurts and I hate to write anything but the truth.

This morning I have decided to overcome my caution and try to put in clear perspective few of the issues that to my mind reflect my understanding of the issues of the crisis. They probably boil down to just one issue:

Governor Ayade’s obsessive desire to CONTROL ALL THE LEVERS of POWER in the state!

For most us who are active Politicians does this not sound strange to us?

I believe that most of us have directly or indirectly heard the Gov’s boast that he became a Governor without structures. Or better put without structures of his own. We are also aware that the Gov throughout his first four years in office didn’t bother to establish what politicians loosely call “structures” in that same sense. The question that arises is thus: why is the Governor who rose to office without structures suddenly fighting a do or die battle for party structures? Why so when he is no longer going to be contesting a State wide Election that he is suddenly obsessed with establishing structures at the point of his departure? Why the change of strategy?

Those who argue that the Gov is entitled to do as others, say so out of blissful ignorance and I would not join issues with them. I will allow them to enjoy their blissful euphoria. I remain concerned with the substance of the WHY!

Clearly, the National Assembly members and the rest of the not-yet-conquered-by-the-food-on-table politicians feel threatened rightfully because the Ayade Government is not remarkable for keeping information from leaking. Indeed there is no secret in the Govt at all because “secrets” leak even before they have been completely formulated. The reason for this is obvious to me. The Governor’s boastfulness is the major reason. So in this case when he started boasting that he will retire every older politician in the state and prop up his own generation of leadership, he didn’t expect that others would be willing to be retired at his convenience. His determination to retire others met with a stiff resistance because nobody would take such a threat lying low.

But more fundamental is their concern for the FUTURE of our state! If the state of affairs under Gov Ayade are allowed to continue under his chosen and handpicked successor there will no longer be Cross River State because the little that is left will be shared between the two families.

Furthermore, the reality that statecraft has deteriorated to an all time low is evident. The absolute control by the Ayade family of the resources of the state to the total exclusion of all other stakeholders, leading to unprecedented hardship and poverty has made the struggle to become a popular street rebellion fueling it’s popularity to fever pitch.

The truth remains that an estimated above 90% of the population of the state support the resistance to the Governor. Prayers are said daily. Priests and pastors pray for it’s success, including his appointed prayer advisers. Traditionalists pour libations day and night. Indeed it is unfair to suggest that some of his family members are not in support of the resistance because many are. I can say this authoritatively being in the center of it all.

Consequently, Cross River State is occupying the unenviable number one spot of states in Political crisis, due simply to this unnecessary exercise in control. A deft politician would have nipped this in the bud long ago when the Congress became imminent with a simple on the table Negotiation. But no! Some not so young Turks from Yala, have decided that what they want is what is Ayade’s wish! Is it not curious that both actors for the two positions being contested that is tearing the Party apart and giving the Gov sleepless months are both from Yala?

Prudence would demand that as APC is finally putting their act together, the Gov would take a second look to realize that the challenge at hand might lead to a situation that will render all that he has achieved so far in politics nugatory. If the Senate of CRS Northern Senatorial District is lost to the opposition under his watch as sitting Gov, after losing the Federal seat in Yakuur/ Abi federal constituency, he would be finished as a politician. It would clearly show that what has been said is true that it took only his predecessor to prop him in office and without him and the National Assembly members his Politics is zero.

He should consider seriously the consequences of leaving office with his Senatorial district in the hands of the opposition, and possibly losing the state to the opposition, given the not so tidy state of affairs he knows he will be leaving behind in the state.

In saying this I am not unmindful of the fact that he is in some ceremonial talks with the opposition. As things stand, if he loses the Senate seat in the north, the value of his so called negotiation will be reduced to mockery! Yes, the opposition will still be talking and encouraging him but they will treat him like you treat the enemy you just conquered in a war. Negotiating surrender after a war is not the same as negotiating peace before the war, a fate Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu of blessed memory, tactically left to his deputy, General Effiong when he saw clearly that he had lost the Nigerian Civil war.

My penny advise: this is the time to show leadership. The more the crisis lasts the more sympathy the Gov is losing and the nearer the terminal point of his regime. Be wise!

Falling into the temptation to allow himself to be dragged down has been largely successful because the Gov took the bait of wrong advise and went into a battle he did not understand, did not prepare for because he underestimated the opposition and underestimated even more the level of disaffection within the administration which will continue to lead to sabotage and distrust within the palace! It’s downright dangerous!

Questions to ponder would include:

*What possibly could the state executive do against a sitting Gov?
* In all this fight what contribution has having the present state Exco added?
*The resources deployed to this fight are they justified?
* Those collecting all the money so far spent have they given value for the money or is it just a bazaar to collect.

* Has the fight been worthwhile or has it become an ego massage?

*Are you counting the reputation cost of the fight? Being demystified close to leaving office is it healthy?

I leave pundits to ponder on my penny thoughts. Remember leadership is not easy. It gets tested through a furnace once in a while. For Ayade this is the ultimate test of his leadership and so far he has not come to the table yet and time is running out.

Vena Ikem.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are strictly that of Vena Ikem and does not represent TheLumineNews.


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

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