There is growing agitation by Nigerian and Cross River youths alike for a paradigm shift in our politics and polity. In fact, world over, this is what has become the new trend.
However, because of the complexity and the huge amount of money required to fund elections in Nigeria, it may be herculean a task for the younger generation to want to change the status quo holistically.
What is more realistic is for the youths to begin to put themselves together to start climbing the ladder gradually from local government, state assembly, national assembly, state government and them the federal government.
The easiest way to have a youthful President in Nigeria is first to start by having youthful Governors. Nigerian Governors are so powerful that if youths dominate, it’ll be easy to influence the system and set the ball rolling for new generation of leaders in Nigeria.
Cross River State has a history of producing young, handsome and smart Governors. Chief Clement Ebri became Governor at his 30s, Donald Duke became Governor at his 30s, Liyel Imoke was Governor at his early 40s and so is Governor Ben Ayade. 2019 shouldn’t be an exception.
Ahead of 2019, all the people justling to succeed Governor Ayade are all older than him except one ; John Upan Odey. If we as a people have set a pace that other states are copying, I see no reason why we should go back and start recycling old leaders; old in age and the number of years they have been in government.
Many people have talked about experience. Well, while it’s true that experience in some cases count, it’s not true that experience can be substituted for knowledge. Contrary to the cliché that experience is the best teacher, history has proven that knowledge not experience it! This is so because experience without knowledge is futility while knowledge without experience can stand.
For instance, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra is said to have performed credibly. He brought his knowledge of financial management into use as Governor not his experience (I doubt if he ever had) as former political office holder.
Show me one great inventor and I’ll prove to you that what was instrumental in their inventions was knowledge and not experience.
Like Upan Odey would say “I come into this race not as the oldest or most experienced politician but I come into this race from the heart and my authenticity and vision complemented by your support will open a new door of prosperity for Cross River”.
Chief Clement Ebri was not a failure as Governor. Apart from his sting as NUJ Chairman, I’m not very sure he was a political office holder at the time he became Governor. Knowledge, wisdom not experience!
John Upan Odey is young but blessed with the knowledge and wisdom of Solomon. His rapid growth in the banking sector is a pointer to this. From corp member, he grow to become a group regional head in one of the banks he worked with in less than seven years. Those in the banking sector know that this is an exceptional feat.
Every young person that want the growth of the state must support John Upan Odey aspiration not because he is the oldest but because he’s the most prepared. He should be supported not because he has the deepest pocket but because he has the deepest heart to do the things that will matter to everybody.
While other states are repositioning for youth takeover at the centre in 2023, Cross River which is the pace setter shouldn’t be left behind because of the sentiment of experience. Solomon, the greatest king in the Bible had no kingship experience anywhere. Like Odey, he was blessed with wisdom and knowledge not experience.
Wisdom and knowledge are the two scriptural recommendations for leadership not experience.
A vote for Upan Odey is a vote for the unity of APC and a total emancipation of Cross River State from the hands of the reactionary leaders.
– JUO Media Council