The Impending Battle For The Soul Of Cross River North BY DOMINIC KIDZU


This is by far, the most expected battle ground in the elections of 2023, more than the FIFA World Cup in Qatar after, ofcourse, the Governorship itself. And the reasons are quite simple. It is already shaping up to be the contest between the Leviathan and the people, the monstrous influence of government and the convinced resolve of the citizens. The dramatis personae are also both equally determined to win the diadem and bring the trophy home either as a personal memento or the carcas of a slain elephant to be shared amongst all, at the village square.

Who would have thought that the day will come when someone will look a sitting Governor in the eye and stake a similar claim to his cherished fancy. But that day has already come in the Northern Senatorial Zone because the Governor dropped the ball. And now the die is cast! And the man of power and means, the gorgon medusa, finds himself standing bare nockled in the ring with the man of the people, who he has driven to become his nemesis, poised for battle in Philipi.

If only Professor Ben Ayade had heeded to the often repeated cliché that “a stitch in time saves nine” , Napoleon’s Waterloo may well have been averted. But he did not. He spent too much time listening to the sound of his own voice and dancing trendy steps to the singing and clapping of his appointed choir. No wonder Oscar Wilde wrote that “education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

In the sunset of 2014, Senator Jarigbe Agom was as excited about an Ayade Governorship as Ayade himself is now inebriated by the pomp and circumstance of his own reign. It was he who broke the news to me in Ikom with excitement, that Governor Imoke has asked Senator Ayade to go ahead and pick the Governorship form. Jarigbe thereafter pulled all the stomps to help put him in office, buoyed such as he was with the idea of a Northern Governorship at last, and his ironclad belief in the ability of the then Senator to positively come through for the North and for the state.

Alas, no sooner did Ayade ascend the apogee than he looked down from Olympus cursing the base degrees upon which he recently ascended. (I’m sure Shakespeare wrote something of the sort). And then he kicked away the ladder, sending it cantering unto the ground. Oh, what a tragic fall that was! Out of the ashes, however, Jarigbe rose like the phoenix in classical mythology putting on an iron coat to become not even a third term Congressman, but a Senator of the federal republic.

As Senator, Jarigbe has reset the standard for that office and carved a broad new spectre for himself where even angels will fear to thread without his express permission. He has been creative, resourceful, caring and generous. He has shown the people of the North that it is possible to bring the dividends of democracy to them from Abuja and the people believe him. They believe him because they have seen his work and felt his impact both personally and in their communities. The even call him “the Governor of the North”.

Governor Ayade is by all means also a worthy son of the North and a scion of Obudu. With his government left with only a few months to put to shore, he has appointed thousands of people into nonexistent offices to help him win back the Senate. For him it is an existential threat and failure is not an option to contemplate because his pride, his future safety and happiness are all at stake. For Ayade the senate is both his life and his future.

As government appointees prattle and rattle with irreverent pomp and bombast, gushing out expletives and adamant Facebook posts, the word on the street is saying otherwise and every signal continues to point irrevocably in the direction of the Unconquered Generation and its army of self-convinced, self-propelled combatants. Welcome to the Kingdom of BIVAS, the boogeyman of the men in power and of power.



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

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