YAKURR PDP POLITICAL GIMMICKS: THE FORSAKEN INYIMA WARD

YAKURR PDP POLITICAL GIMMICKS: THE FORSAKEN INYIMA WARD

The political intrigues and gimmicks that greeted the recent handpicking of the People’s Democratic Party’s Local council chairmen, Vice and Councillors  is still raising dust especially in the ranks and file of the PDP in Yakurr Local Government.

The Local Government which is made of thirteen wards is unique due to it’s large size and diversity. Amongst these 13 wards, the position of Chairmanship, Vice and other top offices like Party Chapter chair, Speaker, House of Reps, Commissioners, Board chairmen, Special Advisers, Personal Assistants etc  has been rotated throughout 12 council wards except Inyima Council ward which since 1999 till date cannot even boast of the position of a Special Adviser to even Chairman of council nor the state governor.

Inyima which happens to be the border community between Obubra and Yakurr has over the years been ravaged with a long-aged boundary crisis which has resulted to destruction of lives and properties. The community has always fought to maintain the territorial integrity of Yakurr Local Government as it has been embroiled in the “boundary tussle” between Yakurr and Obubra. This crisis is intense to a point where the two Local Government are laying claims to who owns the portion of land presently occupied by the Inyima people. It became worse at a point when they contemplated dividing the community into two halves for both LGAs. This has over the years resulted to series of communal clashes which has bedeviled the community and left it underdeveloped, impoverished and stagnant.

Presently, the community which has a voting strength of over four thousand people has been nicknamed the “forsaken clan” in the scheme of Yakurr PDP politics due to its lack of the “Who is Who” among the party caucus and leadership ranks in the Local Government.

Since 1999, other communities in Yakurr have either produced Chairmen, Vice, House of Assembly, Speaker, Commissioners, SSA, PAs, Board Chairmen or even House of Representative members but Inyima ward has never benefited from even the party chapter chairmanship position from inception of democracy till date.

For instance, in the present dispensation, Ugep has the Commissioner for Water Resources, Obol Goddy Ettah, Idomi has the Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Inyang, Ekori has produced a three time House of Rep member, Hon. Bassey Ewa, Mkpani has the speaker CRSAH, Nko produced the last Chairman of Council, Assiga has the former Chairman of Water Board, Dr. Godwin Igile amongst other SSAs, PAs, Board appointments etc while Inyima has none.

Unfortunately, the present caucus of the PDP led by Prof. Inyang who is from the minority Idomi that has suffered the same fate with Inyima over time until he came into limelight through his appointment as commissioner decided initially to zone the Vice chairmanship position to Inyima and as such allowed the Speaker to handpick one of his protégés from Ekpeti (the neighboring community which shares the same ward) to become the consensus councillor and then the same caucus reneged on their earlier agreement and allowed Dr. Igile to use his influence to handpick Mrs Maria Obeten from his Assiga community to become the Vice Chair. As a result, the Inyima community is left with absolutely nothing as always and this time even the councillorship position was taken away from them.

The implication of the action of the present caucus of Yakurr PDP is that the Inyima community has been neglected, rejected and forsaken in the political calculation of Yakurr politics and this long-age neglect has raised the issue of whether the community is actually seen to belong to Yakurr or not.

The questions begging for answers therefore are: Is Inyima not part of Yakurr? Is there no competent hand in the entire community to fly the Vice chair flag as earlier promised by the party caucus? Now that the only councillorship position which the community is always consoled with has been taken to settle the speaker’s boy, what is left for the Inyima man? Are the over 4,000 eligible voters of the community not important? Should a border community which has fought tirelessly without support to protect the territorial integrity of the Local Government continue to be be the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in the political gimmicks of Yakurr? Is it a crime to be among the minority of minorities? Can nothing good come out of Inyima?

All these questions are begging for answers from the present leadership of the PDP in Yakurr. The community has been in a state of dilemma on the steps to follow to reclaim their stolen mandate. The people are therefore appealing to the state governor, Obol Ben Ayade, the PDP state leadership, the National Assembly leadership of the party and all other stakeholders to intervene and see that justice prevail in the present handpicking of candidates for the March 2020 Local Government Election in the state.

YAKURR PDP POLITICAL GIMMICKS: THE FORSAKEN INYIMA WARD

The political intrigues and gimmicks that greeted the recent handpicking of the People’s Democratic Party’s Local council chairmen, Vice and Councillors  is still raising dust especially in the ranks and file of the PDP in Yakurr Local Government.

The Local Government which is made of thirteen wards is unique due to it’s large size and diversity. Amongst these 13 wards, the position of Chairmanship, Vice and other top offices like Party Chapter chair, Speaker, House of Reps, Commissioners, Board chairmen, Special Advisers, Personal Assistants etc  has been rotated throughout 12 council wards except Inyima Council ward which since 1999 till date cannot even boast of the position of a Special Adviser to even Chairman of council nor the state governor.

Inyima which happens to be the border community between Obubra and Yakurr has over the years been ravaged with a long-aged boundary crisis which has resulted to destruction of lives and properties. The community has always fought to maintain the territorial integrity of Yakurr Local Government as it has been embroiled in the “boundary tussle” between Yakurr and Obubra. This crisis is intense to a point where the two Local Government are laying claims to who owns the portion of land presently occupied by the Inyima people. It became worse at a point when they contemplated dividing the community into two halves for both LGAs. This has over the years resulted to series of communal clashes which has bedeviled the community and left it underdeveloped, impoverished and stagnant.

Presently, the community which has a voting strength of over four thousand people has been nicknamed the “forsaken clan” in the scheme of Yakurr PDP politics due to its lack of the “Who is Who” among the party caucus and leadership ranks in the Local Government.

Since 1999, other communities in Yakurr have either produced Chairmen, Vice, House of Assembly, Speaker, Commissioners, SSA, PAs, Board Chairmen or even House of Representative members but Inyima ward has never benefited from even the party chapter chairmanship position from inception of democracy till date.

For instance, in the present dispensation, Ugep has the Commissioner for Water Resources, Obol Goddy Ettah, Idomi has the Commissioner for Lands, Prof. Inyang, Ekori has produced a three time House of Rep member, Hon. Bassey Ewa, Mkpani has the speaker CRSAH, Nko produced the last Chairman of Council, Assiga has the former Chairman of Water Board, Dr. Godwin Igile amongst other SSAs, PAs, Board appointments etc while Inyima has none.

Unfortunately, the present caucus of the PDP led by Prof. Inyang who is from the minority Idomi that has suffered the same fate with Inyima over time until he came into limelight through his appointment as commissioner decided initially to zone the Vice chairmanship position to Inyima and as such allowed the Speaker to handpick one of his protégés from Ekpeti (the neighboring community which shares the same ward) to become the consensus councillor and then the same caucus reneged on their earlier agreement and allowed Dr. Igile to use his influence to handpick Mrs Maria Obeten from his Assiga community to become the Vice Chair. As a result, the Inyima community is left with absolutely nothing as always and this time even the councillorship position was taken away from them.

The implication of the action of the present caucus of Yakurr PDP is that the Inyima community has been neglected, rejected and forsaken in the political calculation of Yakurr politics and this long-age neglect has raised the issue of whether the community is actually seen to belong to Yakurr or not.

The questions begging for answers therefore are: Is Inyima not part of Yakurr? Is there no competent hand in the entire community to fly the Vice chair flag as earlier promised by the party caucus? Now that the only councillorship position which the community is always consoled with has been taken to settle the speaker’s boy, what is left for the Inyima man? Are the over 4,000 eligible voters of the community not important? Should a border community which has fought tirelessly without support to protect the territorial integrity of the Local Government continue to be be the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in the political gimmicks of Yakurr? Is it a crime to be among the minority of minorities? Can nothing good come out of Inyima?

All these questions are begging for answers from the present leadership of the PDP in Yakurr. The community has been in a state of dilemma on the steps to follow to reclaim their stolen mandate. The people are therefore appealing to the state governor, Obol Ben Ayade, the PDP state leadership, the National Assembly leadership of the party and all other stakeholders to intervene and see that justice prevail in the present handpicking of candidates for the March 2020 Local Government Election in the state.

In the words of Martin Luther king Jnr “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”. May this injustice presently perpetrated against the Inyima people not be allowed to degenerate into a threat to justice for all other minority communities who are suffering the same fate across our dear state and are dying in silence.

Eba Alobo is a Public Affairs Commentator  from Inyima.

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