The senator representing Cross River Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator John Owan Enoh, the latest to declare his gubernatorial ambition, has said that he decided to join the race to rescue the state from what he calls three years of irresponsible governance.
Owan Enoh who declares his ambition at Ikom, the political and economic headquarters of the central zone, said in a message inviting people to his formal declaration. The message marks an end to months of speculations about his gubernatorial ambition.
He said he was ready and willing to change the narrative, noting that the state had suffered under-development in the last three years. “My inspiration to take a shot at this contest is drawn from a deep reflection on the prevailing decadence in the style of governance that we have seen in the last three and half years.
“I should have been persuaded by a reluctant conscience that the current situation in our state would abate someday, but I am rather minded by the huge debt I owe posterity and the deep spirit of altruism which I believe is the hallmark of good citizenship to embark on this redemptive mission for our state.
“There is no doubt that the state is today mired in a downward spiral-bind of unpalatable human development indicators and a yawning gap in all social development indices.
“Unfortunately, the foundation that was laid in the state by the first two administrations at the turn of this 4th Republic in 1999 and the enormous goodwill the state garnered prior to the inception of the current administration in 2015 have been drastically eroded. We are faced with an enormous task of rebuilding our state from the ruins of misgovernance and lacklustre disposition to the yearnings of our people.
“No one among us needs be reminded of our state’s pride of place in the comity of states in Nigeria before the emergence of the current administration. Those achievements that were recorded within 16 years from 1999-2015 and the sterling legacies that we were bequeathed with have all been torn into shreds while our beloved state is now tittering on the brink of imminent suffocation.
“Given the very precarious situation of the state at this time, I believe that visionary and transformational leadership with strategic introspective thinking and innovative solutions to our socioeconomic woes is urgently desirable to rapidly move the state forward in order for us to achieve our full potentials as a people.
“I am aware that the task ahead of us in rebuilding our state is quite herculean. But as an incurable optimist and a unifier of both human and material resources, I believe that the task is not insurmountable. I am convinced that with a collective will to forge ahead in solidarity, backed by a dynamic, credible and responsible leadership founded on a well thought-out economic development blueprint for our state which I will be providing, we can rise above the odds and stem the tidal wave of underperformance.
“I have been well known with my legacy of service in the legislative arm of government at both the state and federal levels. All through my life, I have grown with a strong conviction to offer service. This conviction influenced my early decision that attracted me to the Junior Seminary. Looking back now, the Seminary prepared me more and better for the life I live today as a politician. Above all, it taught me humility, service, sacrifice and seriousness on worthwhile issues.
“I will endeavour to form and lead a crack team to right the wrongs of today and overcome the critical challenges we face at this time in order to build a prosperous future for our state. Our plan of action will be to tap into the vast human potentials we have and make the most of our enormous factor endowment to rapidly accelerate the development of our local economy.
“I wish to appeal to all those who have lost faith in our state to rethink their positions and reorient their minds by joining me in redirecting our energies towards restoring dignity and public trust to governance once more in our state. Political Leadership is indeed a trusteeship held on behalf of the people. This trusteeship demands that a leader stays loyal to the people.
“At this juncture, permit me to lay the cards bare on the contentious issue of zoning. I won’t make any pretence here that zoning which is the rotation of political offices notwithstanding its drawbacks is good at providing stability in the system through equity upon which the state’s political development can thrive.
“However, there is no gainsaying the fact that our state is facing an unusual situation at this time that requires an unusual response. Suffice it to say that as good as zoning is and the sentimental coloration that goes with it, the destiny of our people is far more important. Besides, we cannot afford to sacrifice the future of our state on the altar of ethnic bias at such a critical time in our history.
“The current situation in our state is strikingly revealing that we must hinge our political choices in the next election on the back of merit if we must redeem the times and get our state out of the woods in record time.
“Against this backdrop therefore, I wish to state unequivocally that my declaration to contest the 2019 Governorship election is not predicated on the fact that I am an Ejagham man or someone from the Central Senatorial District. I am in the race as a Cross Riverian who is fired up with the interest to provide competent and meritorious leadership which our state is in dire need of at this time.
“I dedicate this race to all Cross Riverians who believe in our shared prosperity as a people and I believe that my aspiration is their aspiration which is in tandem with the urgent need to salvage our state.
“My family and I have prayed and will continue to pray for God’s direction and guidance at this time and always. I would implore you to join me in continuous prayers as we undertake this onerous redemptive mission for our state.”