By Ike Uchechukwu – Calabar
Angered by the mayhem which ensued in about 4 local government areas in Cross River for 48-hours, the Obong of Calabar, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu V, has asserted that if he had his way, he would have asked that the state’s governor, Ben Ayade, waited (stepped aside) for the people to set up an interim administration for him to look and learn how things were to be done.
The Royal father made the assertion at the weekend when former governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, National Assembly members as well as political heavyweights in the state paid him a visit in his palace.
He added that he was so unhappy that the peace and calm that the people used to have here(Cross River )has been taken away because they, the politicians have also failed.
His words:” If I may ask one question, are the youths just coming up today? They have been in your (Imoke) administration and the previous administration.
“They had been there in your administration and in the previous administrations. Are they just coming up today? The youths have always been there. Why has this (looting, arson) not happened before?
“I have been watching and I am so unhappy that the peace and calm that we use to have here is taken away. Why? Because we have failed; Who have failed? The politicians have failed. That is why we sit down to watch you people, there is a need to change.
“And if I had my way I could have said, this governor, should wait, let’s set up an interim administration then he starts learning and looking at how administration is actually done.
“We don’t allow people to come in and do anything the way they like it. No. there is a principle, there is a policy that should be adhered to.
“I mean, nobody talks to him; he doesn’t talk to anybody, no matter what happens you, (Imoke) used to call me from time to time when there was need for that. But this one, he wouldn’t call you. Even when you call him, he doesn’t answer the call.
“Nobody talks to him, but rather what are we doing? We are all running away, I realize that every politician needs to build a fort for himself. Taking the youths that don’t even know what is happening, around himself and another politician doing same.
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“So let’s look at it critically, why has it not happened. I realize one thing and I have to tell you the truth. The key is that the party that I use to know, called themselves a family, and that was the way the party was going, and that was the way the people looked at themselves, and it was a family.
“As such you were always discussing with people, and taking ideas from the people; it was from there that it extended to other set of people to maintain peace and order.But when there is a total blanket separating the two, what do you think will happen?
“What you people were building has been destroyed.You were building a time bomb gradually and now it has exploded! Now we start looking for where the problem comes from. We know where the problem comes from:
“It is not from those youths, it is the way you politicians handled them. And please, I am happy that you are here, and you gathered all these people that are reasonable and care for the good of the state. I am not talking about Calabar alone.
“Please tell our Excellency (governor Ben Ayade ); even though you say it is not time to put blame, whether you like it or not, the bulk stops on his table and we have to have a solution to this problem.
“We have to face it; right out there we don’t need to play around with it, we cannot continue this way. You tell him that there is a need for total reconciliation; a total rehabilitation of whatever he has been doing.
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“Everybody matters in this state. He should be able to talk to people. In those days, the chairman of the party use to be a father, the governor runs to him; and the governor doesn’t take decision without input from party members,
“I think our high brother up there came and turned it round and gave the governor the power to do all things and all sorts.
“Gradually it becomes a conflict of interest where they want to be the same thing at the same time and they start fighting themselves. What were you doing? a small Cambodia; that at the end of it nothing is happening at the centre, than war and war only,” he said.
Speaking further, the Monarch expressed anger over the devastating destruction adding that he doesn’t blame the youths but was angry about the dimension the whole event took.
He said: “We don’t want that to happen. We have to address this issue. It is not those boys that I am blaming; yes I blame them because they have gone beyond the limit of what they could have; they could have gone to the streets and make noise again and again and everybody will know that something needs to be done properly.
“But when you go to destroy all that others had suffered to put in place, which is the only aspect of it that I am not happy about.The key is that there have to be a change of attitude, everyone of you should have access to the governor, and he should listen.
“And even now that we have professor and professor in administration set up, we expected that we should have the best. That you open their door and people come in and give you an idea, if you don’t like what they tell you, throw it away, but have a face, there is a whole mix up because the way he has treated even the politicians and the people around, that is the way he has treated the security people.
“He doesn’t treat security people well …
“Because if he had treated the security people very well , this couldn’t have happened. I called the Commissioner of Police, he said, oh, there is nothing we can do. We called the Army, they said, no o, we have been asked not to do anything there. In that situation, that is a total break down of security.
“The Governor is the Chief Security officer. He should be holding security meeting regularly with these people. And this thing would not have happened if he had called the security people together after hearing what happened in Lagos and other places. Called them together and tell them, look my friends, nothing should happen in my state. They will act and work.
“But the way it went, all of them relaxed because they even standing there and seeing the boys going round and even when we called them, they said no o, we have been asked not to do anything .
“My house was on the list of those to be attacked.”
“Somebody like me that has not gained anything from the political class , my name was said to be in the list of places to attack. That they should come here, that he has been sending palliative to me. They should come and break this small hot and take everything, if possible, burn it. Why? That is somebody you call and he will not pick your call?
“Everybody matters, we don’t need to be professors, no matter the level we find ourselves, at least we still have our 60% intelligent quotient that we were born with. Education takes 40%. And you have to mix the two to grow.
“If you allow education to take more than that, then something is wrong somewhere. My advise id that let the administration have a rethink and work with everybody, from there everything will calm down and it will end there,” Obong submitted.
Vanguard News Nigeria.
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