NORTHERN SENATORIAL BY-ELECTION: WHY I THINK HON. JARIGBE SHOULD NOT RUN.

BY: Richie Romanus

Yesterday, one of our finest federal lawmaker in the State and member representing Ogoja/Yala federal constituency, Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom dropped a bombshell on his personal Facebook page with the caption ‘I refused to belong to a conquered generation’. The statement which elicited a lot of reactions may not be unconnected to the forthcoming Northern Senatorial District by-election especially as rumours are rift that he may likely join the race.

Well, like somebody rightly alluded, Rt Hon Jarigbe Agom has the best claim to the red chamber. He has virtually everything it takes to be a Senator and an effective one at that.He has shown capacity, capability and competence in his almost 5years stint at the green chambers. Infact, with a support base that cuts across the entire Northern Senatorial district, his senatorial aspiration would be one of the easiest sell. The only thing he stands to loss in an event where he joins the race for the PDP ticket and losses, maybe his money and time. Every other thing including his seat as member representing Ogoja/Yala would still be there waiting for him. But i wish he can resist the pressure of not contesting at this time. For me, it is not a perfect time.

In his book, leadership gold, John Maxwell said the following “Handled well, defining moment can cement a relationship and bond leaders and followers for life, Handled poorly, defining moment can cost a leader his credibility and end his ability to lead”. He continued by saying that ” Defining moments put the spotlight on us…Our character isnt made during these times, it is displayed”! The forthcoming bye-election is nothing but a defining moment for Jarigbe. Can he proof his love for his Yala brothers by throwing his weight behind one of them to complete their tenure in the Senate or will he throwaway the robust relationship he has shared with every single one of them over the years even before he got the opportunity to represent them at the green chambers? Can he use the opportunity that has been provided by this bye-election to proof that the lingering fight between the governor and some National Assembly members is not about an ambition but the general good of every party man and woman? Can he proof to the world that he is not the arrogant, corky and over ambitious young man his haters readily called him every now and then?

Making the post at the exact same day, the rumoured candidate of the governor, Dr Steve Odey made a consultative visit to his home Local Government, Ogoja, i would be a fool not to understand the strong sentiments of the Rt Hon considering the fact that Ogoja remains the only Local Government that has not tested Senate in Northern Senatorial district. I also understand that, nobody in Jarigbe’s political standing wont be angry about the governor’s style and approach of politics where everything and anything he says is like a decree and must not be questioned but like the bible rightly puts it, there is a time and season for everything. A time to plant and a time to sow….”

Rt Hon Jarigbe must put anger and bitterness aside inorder to take informed decisions. To proof that he is not among the conquered generation, he must strategise for the future. If he supports anybody from Yala at such a critical time, am sure the Yala man will reciprocate same gesture when an Ogoja man goes knocking in the nearest future. Like Carl Sandburg opined “Time is the most valuable coin in your life. You and you alone will determine how that coin will be spent. Be careful that you do not let other people spend it for you”. He must allow time to bring the Senate seat to his doorstep and not allow one man’s dictatorial tendecies to push him to misuse the time meant for consolidation and solidification of his relationship with the people of the north.

Dont get me wrong.My called for Rt Hon Jarigbe not to contest the forthcoming bye-elections is simply as a mark of gratitude for a people who had chosen him over thier son in the last elections and a people he has shared an excellent bond of friendship and brotherhood with as their representative.

Make no mistake about it, I will remain a big fan of Jari anyday, anytime and will respect his decision moving forward because like they say, it is only he who wears the shoes, that knows where it pinches.

-RR.

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