Published on 19 August, 2020
Sometimes back in year 2010, one of the toughest primaries was held to pick the Chairmanship candidate to fly the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Yala Local Government Council.
Yala was polarized with two powerful political factions. On one side, was Hon Gabe Ugor (Yache Ward) as aspirant and Mr. Godwin Odama (Gabu Ward) on the second divide.
The magnitude of the preparation for the primary election was so tensed that the entire Yala LGA was frozen below zero degrees. It wouldn’t be necessary to mention the names of the political heavyweights supporting these aspirants then but of importance, was simply the fear of uncertainty and anticipated violence that gripped Yala LGA. Indeed, many political pundits described it as the “Clash of the Titans).
However, with the tensed atmosphere then, the primary election venue was shifted to Calabar for fear of violence Yala was known for in the time past.
At about, 8am on that fateful day of the primary in the Cross River State Library Complex, Murtala Muhammad Highway in Calabar, interest groups and supporters began to gather in clusters outside the complex awaiting the conduct of the election.
People were seen in splinter groups discussing the event and possible outcome of the battle royale. That Saturday morning was a like the judgment day
The Nigerian Mobile Policemen numbered about a 120 officers cordoned off the surroundings of the Library Complex. Some of these Policemen manned security inside the premises of the complex where supporters were seen gathered in groups talking in low voices and whisperings while some inside the main auditorium.
Cool and fears engulfed the atmosphere both inside and outside. More than 40 of the Mobile Policemen were seen with their trained dogs around the complex.
At about 10am, the Senator Sandy Onor led primary election Returning Officers checked in the delegates to the hall of the complex amidst the visibly sterned looking policemen and their dogs. Within half an hour, a 146 delegates had been checked in.
One striking event that that took place on that day which informed this write up was the sudden appearance of two wonderful and powerful sons of Yala. Do you know them? They were CHIEF (BARR.) JOE AGI (SAN) and Chief P. K. BELLO.
These highly respected personalities were equally delegates making a total number of 148 persons. Nobody had expected them since they rarely participate in the highly sensitive LG primaries. They were cleared and checked in. Very visibly inside the hall as soon as they came in, two of my opponent strong supporters (names withheld) approached them for votes support.
I heard their discussion clearly as I was sitting close to the entry point where they were confronted. I didn’t bother to walk up to them for votes canvassing like my opponent supporters did.
In their responses, the duo vehemently rejected the lobby. The exact discuss between them for obvious reason wouldn’t be reflected here verbatim. But what I won’t keep away from my readers was the cool shoulder, Chief Joe Agi (SAN) and Chief P. K. Bello extended to these vote seekers.
Voting began at about at about 11am. One after the other, delegates were called out and ballot papers handed out to them to write the name of their preferred aspirant.
My Agent was Mr. Boniface Okache and Mr. Tony Ojugbo for Godwin Odama. They stood by the ballot box and could see clearly the names delegates were writing on the ballot papers.
The serene atmosphere and strictness with which Senator Sandy Onor conducted the primary was the first of its kind in the history of all the LG Elections in the State. Many compared it with the conduct of the British Parliament.
As said earlier, both Chief (Barr.) Joe Agi (SAN) and Chief P. K. BELLO flew in from Abuja that fateful day and headed straight to the primary election venue to cast their votes.
These highly respected sons of Yala voted for me on grounds of credibility and rich credential advantage. Of the total 148 votes cast, I defeated the State Government backed up opponent with 77 to 71 and became the PDP Chairmanship candidate for the 2010 LG Elections.
Without contradiction, that election became the first LG primary, the Yala people summed up courage to vote against Government directives.
That victory will ever remain memorable and that has informed my decision to always support the peoples choice in Yala. I am a product of Yala benevolence and insistence. Ultimately, with God on my side, I went ahead and won the General Elections and became the Chairman of Yala Local Government Council. Indeed, my victory in the General Elections held later that year was challenged in the Court by the opposition party flag bearer and it was still the Law Chamber of Chief Joe Agi (SAN) that defended my victory.
Now, the caption of this tale after 10 years. In my personal upbringing, I was thought to repay good for good and kindness for kindness. Though, many don’t play politics of ethics and morality. I strongly differ in my school of thoughts. I uphold the philosophy of repaying “good for good” and that is my reason for accepting to be the Director General of Chief Joe Agi (SAN) Campaign Organisation for Senate by-election today.
Finally, I therefore urge all the Yala sons and daughters in the All Progressive Congress (APC) who directly or indirectly benefitted from my administration to come out in numbers and cast their votes for Chief Joe Agi (SAN) on the 3rd of September, 2020 being the day of the CRS Northern Senatorial District By-Election primary.
Kindly, join me in repaying the kindness of Chief Joe Agi (SAN) in all his 2020 elections.
Thanks and God bless.