Cross River State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, has urged politicians to shun bitterness and divisiveness to enable the building of a politically and economically stable state.
Imoke said this at the public presentation of a book, The Civil Servant and Public Administration: An Imperative for Good Governance, written by the state’s Head of Service, Mrs. Mary-Theresa Ikwen.
He noted that as bad as sectionalism, ethnicity and nepotism were, politicians these days seek relevance from them.
“It is obvious today that you can’t be relevant as a politician unless you create something that makes you relevant. You may find some people becoming relevant because they are championing ethnic cause. As politicians, we create a divide and rule tactic, which is why the country is so polarized,” Imoke said.
“As politicians, we have come to realise that our relevance comes from the small empires we create for ourselves. And as we continue to fight ourselves, like what some people are trying to do in Cross River State, these divisions are played up to keep us apart. This is what I have fought against vigorously.
“I like to tell people that no matter how you try to seek relevance, you can’t use your small community to make a representation in Abuja except it is the name Cross River State. I cannot go to Abuja today and claim to be representing Itigidi, as nobody knows Itigidi. But as Cross Riverians, we are proud because anywhere you enter and mention that you are from Cross River, people start asking questions about the various tourism offerings.
“Today, others look at us as achievers, as being successful in the community of states. It is what we are that makes us who we are and gives us strength and power as a people. It is imperative that we all speak with one voice, collectively, not as a divisible entity, in all issues as a people for the sake of Cross River.”