Since October 2018,  the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Boki Local government area and by extension the entire Boki/Ikom Federal Constituency has been enmeshed  in crisis resulting from the fall out of the October 3rd, 2018  APC National Assembly primaries. Thank God the Bokis have finally put an end to the quagmire.

The issue in contention was: if the primaries committe was right to have declared Victor Abang- Mature as the rigthful winner of the primary election. Armed with a petition, Hon Cletus Obun had sought the intervention of the national working committee of the party which in turn (after fair consideration) had submitted his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), as the rigthful candidate of the party in the upcoming February 16th Presidential/National Assembly election.

SEE ALSO: Ikom Traditional Rulers Endorse Sir Victor Abang for House of Reps 

For Victor Abang, a political solution was more appropriate. His strategy was to develop a template for internal resolution of conflict. For him, it was an all-Boki affairs and the people must take charge. Hence,the initiation of a political resolution to the quagmire which led to the mediation of distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Prof. Oshita Oshita, General Obi, Engr. Ray Nandi, Barr. A.B.T Tase amongst others. However, when it became apparent that the mediation effort was not viable, he resorted to seeking redress in court, having perceived that his fundamental right had been infringed upon, since he was declared the winner of the primary election with over nineteen thousand (19000) votes.

To me, taking Obun out of the context was an aberration, considering how he had given so much for survival of opposition in Boki L.G.A in particular and Cross River State in general.  Without doubt, Obun has sacrificed his relationship and personal interests for the survival of progressivism in the state. For anyone to undermine him was the hieght of political sacrifice and betrayal.

On the other hand Victor, a fine gentleman and philanthropist who has been declared by most party members as the rigthful winner of the primary election, would also be seen to have faced grave injustice if denied the opportunity. Note: In the cause of protecting our political interests, one fundamental thing that defines one's leaning is personal interest. This is also in conformity with the first law of nature; man's yearning in life is for self preservation. So, it is possible that Victor Abang could have relied on his instincts  as a rational being seeking to define his interests and preserving  self when he decided to contest and to reclaim his mandate.

My decades-long relationship with Hon. Cletus Obun has remained the most inspiring moments of my life. From educational support, political mentorship and major contribution to the overhaul of the persona, he has aided the transformation of Simon Abang from a gregarious fellow to a budding strategist. Obun has been a major force towards my advancement in the circle of enlightenment. On the other hand, Sir Victor Abang, the soft spoken gentleman- philanthropist  has remained not just a long standing family friend of over two decades but has become one of the closest family members with whom we are well pleased. So, amidst the close relationship I have developed with Cletus and Victor, handling the quagmire and coming out clean without undermining my relationship with all was the biggest challenge of my life. Infact it was a serious dilemma.

Faced with this dilemma, it  became important that I take decisive steps towards managing  the challenge without undermining long standing relationships. For me, keeping relationships remains a fundamental principle not just because of my fair knowledge of diplomacy and states relations but also as a personal conviction and an inner yearning for a fair and just society.  Achieving this therefore, I sought the opinion of associates, friends and mentors. Almost all were on the same page: the people have spoken. Even if the voice of the people wasn't heard clearly, the court which has always been regarded as our beacon of hope has also spoken. Victor  Abang- Mature is the APC candidate for Boki/Ikom Federal Constituency. To this end, as a rational human being with fair understanding of the dynamics of the game, coupled with the fact that our society is in dire need of peace and development, it is important we follow the part of cohesion especially for the fact that the court has spoken.

I have been in these trenches long enough to have a fair idea of the dynamics. Most of my friends and associates who could not survive the tide left the fold. Notable among them are, Barr Colins Atu- Bistu, Mr. Maxwell Etta, Bisong Amoros etc... A few of us have remained stoic and steadfast believing that the "end does justify the means". Even when in most cases we were seen to be at a cross-road because of the impasse, we have remained resolute . For me, sitting on the fence in times of crisis does not explain my conviction. I am a resolute person whose actions define his position not minding the consequences. Secondly, political prostitution is not my way of life neither am I a "come chop"politician; rather I see politics from a progressive standpoint where human existentialism is at the centre of the vocation. And so, when it became apparent that I have evolved as a force that will aid the direction of the cause of our societal history it became expedient that our approach and positions at all times must reflect the interest of the people . As such, since the people have spoken let's go with them. Let's go with Mature.

The uniqueness of this conflict is that it can best be discribed as "a storm in a tea cup" since it is an internal party affair. But the  strategic thoughts of Robert Opiaohomar who discribed the Cuban Missile crisis as the domain of the scopion also can be used to discribe our precarious situation. With the facts at hand, the maxim simply implies that conflict amongst two equal forces has the tendency of consuming all.  So, the question now becomes, are we going to allow our brothers or the entire Boki interests to be sacrificed on the alter  of personal interests?  The answer is no! For me, then, after wide consultation and deep soul searching, I have decided to go with the people; with Victor Abang- Mature for the sake of the Boki nation.

My action has nothing to do with my relationship with Hon. Cletus Obun, who has and still remains a factor in my political career, neither does it have any undertone but it is  a conviction and a resolve for the sake of the Boki nation.

I will always remain grateful to Hon. Cletus Obun and his entire family for sustaining together a long standing relationship.

Also my gratitude goes to Sir. Victor Abang for sustaining the long standing family bond.

My profound appreciation goes to Engr. Ray Nandi, Barr. A. B. Tase and Mr Willie Tawo who have always believed in me.

Also, I appreciate the role of my family and friends who were there with their most useful advice in the time of my dilemma. Notable amongst them are: Victor Abang-A.B Bangkok, Dickson Abang, Frank Abang-Frank  K.K., Barr Joseph Odok, Udeme Ralph, Nsan Ogar, Paul Bisong-Mbodo and Duglas Asu, my childhood friend.

Finally, the interest of the bokis has been clearly defined--Victor Abang- Mature is the candidate for APC in Boki/Ikom Federal Constituency in the upcoming presidential/ National Assembly elections.

Let's go with Mature!
Let's vote APC!
For the sake of Boki nation.

Simon E. Abang, is a member of APC; he writes from Calabar

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