Obono-Obla: The Man, Whose Time Has Come, By Peter Ubi
Irrespective of the negative statements from some quarters; the disrespect to his person from presumptuous individuals; he has remained calm knowing politics is a game of interest so he plays hardball, he continues to play tough even in post-election season, and he is unapologetic to his critics. In my view, he retains an unquestionable integrity with a loyal mindset, and both his opponents and fans respect his dexterity.
Who is “he” making top for the moment? Stay with me!
While the nation waits for President Buhari to appoint his Ministers, there is no hiding the fact that serious lobbying is taking place under the cover of known and unknown political forces. And in Cross River, given the national suspense, much is said and written of the “he” on the possibility of been nominated Minister. And ministers serve at the pleasure of the President, meaning they can be dismissed at any time by the President, and in our case here in Nigeria, President Buhari will take his ministerialappointees to heart.
A Ministerial appointee may be a career Service Officer from the ministry of his appointment or a political appointee who has gained the favor of the President or Political Party in the nomination process. In most cases, career service persons should serve a tour of approximately four years whereas political appointees customarily may tender resignations upon the inauguration of a new president. Though almost all states in Nigeria produce ministers due to the recognition of our federal character principles in past government, it will seem President Buhari may follow a different direction in line with his “change message” …change comes in different forms, and Nigerians are waiting to see the ministerial list under the IDEOLOGY of BUHARISM.
Our National reality is that Nigeria faces so much challenges, and quality minister are going to be critical to all efforts to reset our national priorities straight. We cannot speak about a ministerial position without considering what smart choices of candidates must be made due to so many challenges out there. President Buhari has no choice but to squeeze everything to put individuals that will manage our limited national resources in order to be as effective ministers as possible in their national assignment.
I remember a discussion with Chief Lai Mohammed – a notable member of the APC and
Chief John Odigie Oyegun the APC party chairman; both boldly stated Chief
Okoi has done well for the Party upon mentioning him to them
In recognition of Chief Barrister Okoi Obono-Obla, my “he” character here, I’m reminded of the words by an American President (Theodore Roosevelt) “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The quoted words are qualifying of Chief Okoi. His courageous battles over time with the establishment order, especially in Cross River State are admirable & befitting of the above quotation statement for the simple reason that he (Chief Okoi) his in the arena. And considering all factors of our Politics, one must be in the arena of Politics to fully understand & appreciate the political games played in our nation’s capital-Abuja. Chief Okoi to the best of my knowledge is well-placed to navigate the national political arena.
Because Chief Okoi is a Cross Riverian from Central Senatorial Zone, my focus and interest must be that of Cross River ministerial slot where possible. For this reason, and on the merits, I can’t think of somebody else who is more qualified to be appointed Minister from within the APC in Central Senatorial Zone than Chief Okoi Obono-Obla. Yes I said so!
And let me with sentiments say with fear, for the purpose of equity, given that Southern Cross River Senatorial District has produced the Deputy Governor of Cross River, while the Northern Senatorial District have the Governorship, the Central Senatorial District should not be denied the Ministerial Slot…Central deserve it. There must be a political balance in a PDP dominated Cross River State.
If loyalty must also count, Chief Okoi remains loyal to Mr President, his track records speak for him, and any other option in my view will be a disservice.
On several occasions, Chief Okoi was appointed to committees of serious importance by the APC party leadership to represent a variant view point. Is it our National Media, one could find him on network shows discussing national issues. I remember a discussion with Chief Lai Mohammed -a notable member of the APC and Chief John Odigie Oyegun the APC party chairman; both boldly stated Chief Okoi has done well for the Party upon mentioning him to them.
For Chief Okoi’s service to the APC from the days of its merger with other political parties, to chief Okoi defense for humanity and the ordinary folks where he has acted out his civil societal activism -particularly in Cross River state without question, to his interest on seeing our people progress without being cheated of their birth rights comes from the heart, and this in no doubt makes him a contender for the slot of Minister. As a lawyer for more than 25 years, chief Okoi has tested the limits of our judicial system.
Chief Okoi is an author of a book on leadership, his gotten more than 100 articles published on Law, been on panel discussions on national security, corruption, and other national and state issues. A native of Ugep, Okoi is married to Justina Oka Obono-Obla and has two lovely children.
While I’m sentiment on picking Chief Okoi out, my believe on his qualifications for the position of Minister is not in doubt. And if am wrong, prove me wrong with a more qualified candidate in Central Senatorial Zone who was so central and loyal to President Buhari’s candidacy, his message, and campaign in all of the President’s attempts till his final success at the polls on March 28th, 2015.