As events unfold towards the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Cross River chapter elections slated for Friday, June 19th, 2020 at the U.J. Esuene stadium, one issue that has continued to generate intrigues and bickering in the minds of both actors and observers alike is the newly inaugurated CONGRESS PLANNING COMMITTEE (CPC) of the state congress. The CPC which is likened to INEC is the body responsible for the conduct of the election.
Considering the enormity of mandate the body has, one would have expected an independent structure with no interest. However, the reverse seems to be the case as the committee which was inaugurated by the present state chairman, Prince Ndiyo Ndiyo happened to be skewed towards the interest of one of the contenders for the position of the state chairman.
Members of the CPC include Attah Etim Attah- Chairman (South), Victor Bassey- Secretary (Central), Emmanuel Olayi- Member (North), Eyo Boco – Member (South), Emmanuel Takon – Member ( Central), Ukor Brown – Member (North), Representative of the Ministry of Youths as well as two advisory members which include the state chairman and the Director of Administration, Ministry of Youths.
A critical look at the list indicates that over 80% of the members are allies of one of the aspirant in the forthcoming election, Comr. Dan Obo. Findings equally revealed that some of the CPC members have shown biased and favouritism to one contender already and this ought not to be so as the youth council happen to be an apolitical group.
Contextually, Comr. Victor Bassey – the Secretary of the CPC happens to be a well known ally of Comr. Dan Obo. As a serving chapter chairman of the PDP in Abi Local Government Area, one will wonder what his interest in an apolitical group like the Youth council is. Mr. Victor has been seen canvassing for support for the candidature of his friend Dan in many fora. Can he then be trusted to conduct a free and fair election in which he has a vested interest?
On his part, Comr. Emmanuel Olayi has in many occasions canvassed support and openly endorsed Comr. Dan Obo using his official Facebook handle. He has been seen following him to different consultative forums, canvassing support for his candidature, can he be trusted to conduct a free and fair election?
Furthermore, Comr. Ukor Brown has equally been seen canvassing support openly for the candidature of Comr. Dan. As a close friend and ally of Comr. Obo, he has been following him to various locations canvassing for support, is that the same person that was drafted into the CPC that is empowered to conduct a free and fair election?
It is often said that he who seeks for equity, must go with clean hands. It is therefore incumbent on the serving state chairman, Prince Ndiyo Ndiyo to have a rethink and reconstitute a Congress Planning Committee (CPC) that is free, fair and without vested interest in any aspirant. For the sake of justice, fair play and equity, the CPC should be revisited and members should be independently minded with no vested interest.
It is our hope that if this is done, it will go a long way to restore confidence and trust in the minds of the voters, observers and entire youths of the state.
Eba Alobo writes from Calabar.