Many know that Sam Asebe and Alex Egbona are very close friends. That is very correct. Asebe therefore knows Egbona because from childhood, they have been there, supporting and working with each other for the good of their community. In this interview, he spoke about their relationship and recalled how he felt when Egbona was declared winner of the House of Reps election.
How well do you know Dr Alex Egbona?
I have known him closely for over 30 years now. I was born and brought up in Ikom, in Cross River State. When I finally came back to my place, that is Ekureku, it was not quite two years before Alex graduated from the university. He had finished from his service when I met him. Then he went for counsellorship election. I just picked interest in him. He is a nice guy and likes good things. At that time, anytime I come back and he sees me with fine shirts, he will say 'where did you get this kind of fine shirt? I like it.' That is how we started. I like fashion and he also likes fashion. That’s what put us together. But as time goes on, we discovered that we share many other things in common, one of which is the desire to improve the life of our people and community.
What is it about him that you know that the rest of us don't know?
What I know about him is that he is someone that is very focus and hardworking, somebody you can trust and depend on because he is a sincere and very friendly person.
What does he mean to you?
He means a lot because he put smiles on people's faces. For such a person, for me he means a lot because even the word of God said we should be our brother's keeper. So I see that he is someone that loves his people so much.
What deep thoughts about the development of the community that you share together?
Well, like I said before, what we share together when it comes to community development is that we empower the youths, the children; we do a lot of programmes here in the village. We make sure that we support our younger ones to go to school. I am doing it, he is also doing it, that is what we do together. He is a politician and I am a business man. Why I support him is because I know that he has a foresight; if he goes to the government he will make things easier for the people, me as a business man, I know I cannot carry the whole load on my head so I need the support. He has what it takes to help out.
How did you feel when he won the election?
That was one of the happiest days in my life. I felt fulfilled, that he has made it and if you ask how? We have been trusting God for that position and if I look at it, he is a man that thinks of others, he has the capacity, zeal, mindset, everything; he has all it takes. The day I heard about it- I knew it was coming because I worked seriously for it- I worked hard, I sat down and educated my people on what it takes and what it is for Alex to go and succeed. He is going to bring a very good image to our community so that people will key into it. So, we are not too surprised that he won. We are happy.
What are we looking forward to in Abi/Yakurr?
He should know that he is in the legislature, not in the executive. We want to see good representation and anything that will bring good representation to our people, in terms of placement of job and all that. One of the issues bothering us most is the boundary issues. Before, we did not have a reliable representative there, but God has given us one now. SO we believe that the government will pay attention to our cries especially our boundary issues between us in Cross River and Ebonyi State.
Is there a time you did some special prayers for him?
Wow. So many times, I prayed for him and his family. I am a Redeemer; there are some years we declare fasting and prayers for 100 days and I keep it. We just finished the one of 40 days a few months ago. Last year, we did 70 days. So when I do all these things, he is one of those that I pray for. I pray for him and his family for them to succeed. In fact, after he won the election he came to me in Abuja in my house we were talking, he said some things, he asked me some few questions and I responded, then I asked, do you know why I supported you? He said no, then I told him, I supported you because one, you are a good person, two. you are a good person, three, you are a good person, four, because I know that we have the same characteristics.
In 2015, he made an attempt to occupy that seat, one thing led to another and he lost it. How painful was it?
Well, it was painful because it was the same people who we thought were with us that betrayed us. I don't want to mention names here, but you know the area where we come from, our people, I don't know whether it is because of lack of exposure or because of envy, I don't know; they don't like seeing people grow and I don't believe in that. I grew up in the north. There is an adage that a man with people is a man that is really a rich person. In other words, we know how rich you are from the number and quality of people around you. Now that we have someone like Alex representing Abi/Yakurr people, I think it is a thing of joy. Those that were fighting him not to go there, at least God has shown them that he is above them. That is it.
What will you like to tell your kinsmen from Abi/Yakurr, especially at this time that Egbona is the only one from the opposition party to have won an election?
Well, I will tell them that they should pray for him and the expectation that they are having, they should not expect more than what he will do because he is just going to represent the two local governments. I know he will make sure that what belongs to us will come to us. He is not in the executive arm of the government that can give us contracts. No, No. I know he is a good person and he can share 70 per cent of what they will pay him with his people. What I will say to my people is they should pray for him. But people should not expect him to go and build bridges because he is not in the executive. They should just pray for him and continue praying for him. I know he has a very large heart.