When you hear of a master game player,a strategic planner ,a silent achiever and a political permutator, Senator Liyel Imoke is the first name that should cross your mind,a fine gentleman,tall with attractive physic like an athlete, soft spoken but always thoughtful of the next political move.
This is because,for over 30 years, Senator Liyel Imoke has remained relevant in the political cycle of Cross River and national politics.
First being elected as a Senator at age 30,and special adviser to president Olusegun Obasanjo, Liyel has continued to learn how to grow politically but one wonders of his growth is directly proportion to the downcast of his rivals.
One of the most powerful ministers in the President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, controlling both Power and the ministry of Education, no doubt he’s considered one of the pillars of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in Nigeria.
He once boast about rendering the very much loved and cherished former governor of the state,Mr Donald Duke irrelevant and politically handicap.
“Since I stopped supporting Him(Donald Duke)have you heard anything about his political career bearing fruits?
He went ahead to say how much he sacrificed to make Donald the governor of Cross River State and how he was willing to clinch the presidential ticket for his old friend and partner but the latter decided to play an isolated politics.
No one will doubt all these said about Donald Duke because Senator Imoke was one of Obasanjo’s favorite man doing the dirty deals for the government.
From 2007 till date,Donald Duke has remained politically frustrated, as all attempts to contest for the highest office in the land ended with very poor results.
Senator Victor Edoma Egba was the leader of the 6th and 7th Senate with many tipping him to become the President of the senate in the 8th senate but his hopes were dashed when he fell out with the then Governor ,Senator Liyel Imoke.
Senator Ndoma-Egba lost the primaries in PDP to Senator John Owan Enoh in 2015 and his final casting from the Cross River Politics was announced when he lost pitifully under the APC to Senator Sandy Onor of PDP.
Many political Analyst said Mr Fidelis Ugbo was the captain that left the Imoke’s ship floating while he was on sick leave abroad for many months in 2012,Imoke was incapacitated but the then Secretary to the state government, acted like a friend maybe with hopes of being rewarded with the PDP’s ticket at the expiration of the Imoke-cobham ticket in 2015, but just like others who were before him,he was disappointed at the last minute.
Since then little have been heard of Mr Ugbo even with attempts to run for the governorship under the platform of Labour Party and APC.
Prince Bassey Otu
The prince of Calabar in Cross River Southern Senatorial District, often called the “Sweet Prince” by his admirers because of his attractive looks,he enjoyed sections in the Federal House of representatives and then rewarded with the senate position.
When Prince was asked to retire voluntarily to give way for the third member of the 3 wise men,he refused and Imoke silenced him without stress,Prince had since contested twice under Labour party and APC but on both occasions he lost.
Many predict that Prince is currently broke and could consider reconciliation with Imoke if opportunity calls.
Prince Jeddy-Agba ,a natural prince from Obudu ,an oil and gas magnate and currently a minister in the Buhari’s Cabinet, he was once tipped to be the flag bearer of the PDP to contest as the governor of Cross River State,but his hopes were thrown into the sea,as his slot was given to one of his arch rivals,and the seating governor of Cross River State,Ben Ayade.
Just like every new bride, Ayade was much talked about and brought much criticism to his successor,but he was loved and then,he got absolute powers to run the state,and such powers corrupted him absolutely .
A beneficiary of the Imoke magnanimity, but currently out as the latest veteran to be displaced and replaced ,their bromance didn’t last for long,repeatedly they had fallen out,but like politicians they look for ways to settle themselves.
With the latest blow on the governor’s face,one wonder if he can ever recover from it because the structure of the party,PDP has been taken away from him and little can he do to reclaim the already fading glory.
When next you talk about the Jagaban of Western Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu,don’t forget to recognise the Obong Crocodile of Cross River politics,Senator Liyel Imoke, the expert in retiring political veterans.
Culled From: Opera News Hub