By Inyali Peter
The widely anticipated December 9 Supreme Court verdict has come and gone. This is the time for us all as a people to reflect on our pains and gains and collectively and holistically initiate ideas that will move our dear State, Cross River forward.
For me, there was no victor and no vanquish. Governor Ben Ayade won. Joe Agi, SAN won. Cross River won.
For those who have been tagging me, calling and texting to get my reaction, I congratulated the Governor as soon as I came out of the court room yesterday. I was not for or against Agi or Ayade. I stood for justice and against injustice and I’m happy and proud I didn’t follow the bandwagon.
I stood for justice and I got justice. The presiding judge affirmed that the governor falsified his age which was the issue before the court. How the judges changed it from age falsification to age qualification that ensure the affirmation of the perjury was not punished is what I can’t explain because I’m not a lawyer.
But then, this has set a precedent whether good or bad in our nation.
The apex court gives a landmark judgment that becomes a reference point to lower courts. This has opened a new chapter in our judicial system and we now clearly understand that forgery and falsification is no longer a punishable offence before the law.
Cross River state belongs to all of us. We must continue to engage the government tenaciously to bring out the best for our people. Governor Ayade should critically reflect on the success and failures of his 18 months reign and make the necessary changes to bring about positive change that will better the lots of our people.
Like Odey Ochicha will always say, “Government may not be able to fix all of society’s problems, but it stand a great chance. This is because it represents the collective”. Government must take the lead for us to follow.
We must all come together to build the Cross River of our dream. Governor Ayade and other government officials should and must understand that this coming together and support will not only be in singing praises but having the boldness to point out the loopholes in government policies. We will continue to criticise and engage government even if the governor and some people may not like our way of support but our love for our dear state is above anything.
Congratulations again Governor Ben Ayade and Mr. Joe Agi, SAN.