By Magnus Effiong
The immediate past State Security Adviser, SSA, Central, Mr Ransome Odey, has said his decision to join the race to represent Ikom 1 State Constituency in the Cross River state House of Assembly was for equity and justice.
In a chat with Journalists in Calabar, Odey, who was also a Director in Ikom Urban Development Authority and helped in cleaning up the ancient town, lamented that apart from Barrister Ogar Ndoma Egodo who was Chairman of Ikom local government council many years ago, Yala Nkum ward, where he comes from, had never held any elective position since creation.
Appealing to other bigger wards in the Ikom Council area to play the roles of elder brothers by encouraging the ward to produce a representative in the House, Odey also said his people have no accessible road, besides other infrastructures.
He said, “I’m one person who will never watch someone else being oppressed; I hate it to a fault. My pastor used to say that the Almighty created me strong to defend the weak, so every time I see myself in a place where someone is being oppressed, I don’t need any prompting, I just stand up to fight for it.
“I joined politics, PDP in 1998. So I have been in the trenches from 1999 till date. Before I joined the All Progressives Congress, APC, with our Governor, there was no PDP election that I wasn’t the chairman of the security committee in Ikom local government. I’ve been in the trenches; I’ve fought on all levels.
“I held the office of State Security Adviser, Central, until recently when I resigned because I have a conviction that Cross River state needs another voice in the House of Assembly to speak for the minorities, for the oppressed, for the vulnerable, for Ikom.
“Ikom 1 State constituency is the economic hub of the state. It is the biggest town close to the border; it is like a conference town. It has the largest number of non indigenes co-habiting in the place. So we need a robust representation that can translate all that into fortunes for the constituency.
“So I think my stay within the corridors of government has given me an inside knowledge of how so many things are and should be done. To even make matters more pitiable, Yala Nkum, the ward where I come from, has not had any person in an elective position except that Ndoma Egodo which many years ago. During Governor Clement Ebri’s administration years ago, our son was appointed a commissioner, and those are the closest we’ve ever had.
“Besides, we don’t have a road to Yala Nkum. We understand that a road contract was awarded to Bulletin and as soon as Bulletin got payment, their CEO died on his foreign health trip. So that contract ended. The contract was re-awarded. The contractors came to the site and left two weeks later. The road is almost impassable during the rains.”
While appealing to leaders and people of other bigger wards to give him a chance to also represent his people, Odey said, “Whether we like it or not, the big brothers are big so that they could accommodate, defend and fight for the small brothers.
“We are a minority in a minority and if it is done on the basis of population strength then we would never get anything unless it is judged on a basis of competence and justice. That is the only platform that will enable us merit this position. Yala Nkum man has never gone to the House of Assembly.”
Odey also narrated his exploits as Security Adviser, noting “I was able to achieve peace for the people of Iyima and Onyadama, today, there is no violence, no conflict between Iyima and Onyedama. Those were areas that were fighting almost on a daily basis. They have done peace celebration twice and we attended. They planted trees as a symbol of peace, they are no longer fighting.
“Yakurr has not fought with any of its neighbours since we came on board. For the Bahamono nation, the wars between Ebijakara and Ebom, Usumitong, Ediba has ended. Today, as we speak, Ebijakara is almost going back to their land, and in fact they have started retuning. We have made peace between the Bahamono nation. They were all at war, but as we speak they have all embrace peace.
“Look at the Boki crises, the southern estate host communities, we have returned peace to them. You see, the war between the Obubra communities that we usually have every year among the Ofatura, Ofodua Apiapom, Ovonom people, have also not reared its heads.
“This time, as the rumour starts in the morning, by evening it is dead. The only one that eventually broke out was the Iyamitet and I was in the thick, in fact I was at the center of it. We made sure we returned peace in two days.”
He therefore called on the Governor, the APC leaders, stakeholders and indeed all Ikom people to support his bids to represent his people in the House, saying his capacity to deliver was not in doubt.