Politics

CROSS RIVER GUBER RACE 2019; JOHN UPAN ODEY AND LEADERSHIFT

As the 2019 general elections draw nearer in the state, the tempo of political activities will no doubt increase. The secret meetings, the subtle campaigns, and the rash of newspaper articles promoting various aspirants are few of the activities that will certainly form part of the pre-election politicking.

In my home state of Cross River, different aspirants are already jostling out to occupy Peregrino House. Many of the gubernatorial aspirants in the two main political parties have formed (secret) committees with the task of lobbying stakeholders for support. Several articles are also being published focusing on the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the major contenders.

According to a recent article by Ogar Emmanuel Oko of TheScribe; “many of the aspirants are in the same league of Brutus and Casca. They’re bereaved of idea. They enjoy plundering the peoples’ patrimony. They really want to continue lording over the ordinary man. Their operation is analog in nature. They’re unreceptive to modern style of leadership and governance”.

Painfully, because they are averse to modern style of leadership and governance, what we have seen lately is campaign of yabbing, name dropping and abuses. The same blackmail me; i blackmail you kind of politics, politics of the old order, politics of hate and discrimination, politics of mudslinging.

John Upan Odey (Jnr) vision which is devoid of the above is a new Cross River State where socio-economic challenges are non-existent; quality of life improved, healthcare, employment and youth/women empowerment will take their deserving predominant space.

H.E as fondly called his friends and admirers, launched himself into political limelight in 2011 when he resigned from the bank (briefly) to seek to represent Obudu/Obanliku/Bekwarra Federal Constituency under the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). He won the admiration of all, including his opponents due to his display of his calm, wisdom, and exceptional leadership qualities. From then, while building his professional profile and gaining multiple promotions and experience, he has been a strong supporter of the progressives, a foundation member of the APC, and a leader.

The crux of the matter in this piece is to highlight the need for ideas driven and issues based campaigns when the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, gives the go ahead for aspirants to showcase what they have to offer the electorate.

There is need for new innovations to reflect the increasing demand for new ways of governance. What Cross River people need is something new, a brand of politicking that will be attractive to them, a brand of campaign that will add fillip to the yearning for genuine and responsive leaders to govern the State.

In 2017, he resigned from a very distinctive and high- paying position (with attendant privileges) as Group Head, Retail Banking to present himself for service to his people, as Governor, Cross River State.

His mission is to revive and transform Cross River State into the No.1 investment destination in Africa by harnessing our potentials and utilizing our comparative advantage of hospitality, rich natural(soil, climate, weather, and environment), and human services.

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