Mr Ikpe Emmanuel, special assistant to the governor of Cross River State on special projects has spoken of the determination of the people of Cross River northern senatorial district to work against the re-election of the sitting senator, Rose Oko for what he called non performance and poor representation at the senate.
Ikpe, a native of Atiekpe in the Obudu Local Government of Cross River State said he nearly lost his life in 2015 while working for the senator who was not in the country throughout all the election processes-from primary to the main election.
He said despite the sacrifices that the people made to secure victory for her, the senator had become inaccessible to the people. He also said Oko did not represent them as expected, hence their decision to mobilise against her return to the upper chambers of the National Assembly in 2019.
Excerpts of the interview: I have been in this political business for about 20 years now. I contested as a councillor for about 15 years ago. I have worked hard for our politicians in government both past and present. My team and I have followed the train of politics in Cross River north right from 1999. Till date , my stake in Cross River north politics is to protect and defend rightful candidates.
What sacrifices have you made for politicians in the past? Did you any point in time risk your life? Let's talk about it
I have made a lot of sacrifices for my party. The present senator representing northern Cross River was very sick when we were doing her elections. We needed force and plenty of pressure to win her election which nearly end(sic) my life. My team and I are regretting why we went extra mile in Rose Oko's election because she has not done anything for the people of northern Cross River.
How do you mean, that she has not done anything for the people?
I mean poor representation. We don't want her again. A better person needs to be send(sic) to senate.
In detail, can you say what you expected and why you are disappointed?
Senator Rose Oko has failed. She was supposed to take the five local governments of northern Cross River together, but for 3 years, we don't know whether Cross River north has a senator. See what central and south senators are doing, empowered youths and doing projects that will help the districts.
Considering what you did during the elections, to the extent that your life was at stake, have you made efforts to reach him during these three years?
I expect her to b up to date but she is not. My team and I met her in Abuja to discuss with her what and what we will like her to do to impress the people of her district. She ignored us and sent N10,000 to us and we travelled from Cross River to see her. And this is the person I died for during elections.
Will I be right to say that you are angry with her for not compensating you for the role you played during her election?
I am angry with her for not helping our people of northern Cross River, not me as a person
What criteria will you set for any aspirant before the person can enjoy your support?
He must be a cheerful giver, open minded and ready to empower his people. I will only
If you meet your senator now, what will you tell her?
You have failed us.
And if she asks for explanations, what will you say?
You have failed to empower your people, you only remember your people when it's close to elections.
If she tells you to give her one more chance to prove herself, what will you say?
No chance for non performers. Our district must move ahead.