Contrary to widespread belief that the emergence of former House of Representatives member, Jarigbe Agom, as Senator representing Northern Senatorial district of Cross River state, has made the relationship between him and Hon. Legor Idagbo (representing Bekwarra, Obudu, Obanlikwu in the House of Representatives) sour, a chat with Hon. Idagbo in Abuja recently with Frank Kintum and Ignatius Ushie revealed the contrary.
According to Hon Idagbo, though he believes that Jarigbe Agom became Senator through the backdoor (as it is believed that he was not the Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the election), his relationship with him remains cordial. The Legislator who is currently Chairman of Nigerian Content Development Monitoring, as well as member of several other committees, reacted to some other issues.
Can you recall the key things you have done for your constituents as a Federal Law Maker?
A lot of things we have done, but if I may narrow it down, then I will tell you that we have done our own fair share in sponsoring some bills that have impacted positively not only on my constituents but Nigerians as a whole. I was the person that sponsored the Persons with disability bill, which has been accented to by the President and is an Act today, with the establishment of the National Disability commission. The aim was to create a condition that will enable people with disability function better in our society.
On the part of reaching out to my constituency, we have been able to attract trainings for them, placing those that are qualified in employment in public service, providing start up capitals for our people etc. Let me add that we are building a resource centre that will prepare our people technically for jobs in the Oil and Gas sector, Power and other related fields that may have needs for them. There is an on-going project TRAIN 7, the aim is to train and equip over 4,000 youths that will be gainfully employed in the Oil and Gas industry, ICT Etc. The TRAIN 7 is not only for my constituency, we are already have a welding and fabrication unit in our resource centre which will train our people, thereby getting them ready for such opportunities.
May I add here that I enjoy a very cordial relationship with my constituents hence I run an open door policy, I believe that you do more for your people when you hear from them therefore I constantly engage with my people through feedbacks from my legislative aides.
Are you planning to return to the House of Representatives or moving to the Senate or something else?
I need to be very clear on this, I am still talking and consulting with my constituents and political party, I have not taken any decision on my next political movements either to run again for House of Reps or not. Truth be said, Power belongs to God, if I must say anything to that effect I will tell you that am waiting on God, once I finish consultations I will make my decision known. For now, I want to finish my tenure well in the National Assembly and write my name in Gold.
You are solidly behind the Governor of your State irrespective of complains that he is not doing well, why?
You can only access a man’s performance based on the tools he is given to work. Comparatively, if you put together what His Excellency, Sen. Ben Ayade gets with his other counterparts in the South-South region, you will agree with me that the Governor has done well even with the meagre resources. Remember this is the first time the governor of Cross River is coming to the Northern part of the state. Initially people feel that nobody from the Northern Senatorial District of the state can make it to become a governor, remember I also aspired to that position, but at the emergence of Sen. Prof Ben Ayade, we all need to collapse our structure and support him. I choose to continue to support him because even from the inception of the government rather than support him, they seem to be too much rancour all in the name of discrediting the entire Northern Senatorial district, I choose to be different because as I stated earlier, Ayade is doing very well even with the little resources he gets as support from the Centre.
I give you a very key example, Ayade has brought governance to every home through the food on the table arrangements. People who never thought of holding any position are today at one leadership positions or the other and that to an extent has created lots of jobs for Cross Riverians. He is not a perfect, but to create the narrative that he is not doing anything is not correct. There is no Local Government that has no project in the state, some completed and others on going to be completed before the end of the Administration. Truth is that Ayade is doing well and I will continue to support him.
Put Ayade on a scale of 1-100%, what will you score him?
Well, if you ask me to score him sector by sector, the ratings will differ but on a holistic basis, due to the very little resources at his disposal and what he has on ground as compared to his predecessors, I can confidently score him 80%.
What’s your take on Ayade’s road project in the Northern senatorial district that has so far skipped Bekwarra where you come from?
Yes, it calls for some worries but let me state here that am in touch with both the Ministry and His Excellency the Governor, and I have the assurances that Bekwarra will not be left behind in the road construction hence work is still ongoing. May I also add that we must not emphasis on which Local government the road passes through or not, for me Infrastructure such as the road is very key and brings developments to an area. At the end of the day, we are all going to use that road irrespective of which Local government you come from. But I can assure you that, the good people of Bekwarra are in support of His Excellency of which he knows and will not let them down on the road project.
2023 is here, what’s your take on Zoning the governorship in Cross River state, either to the South or free for all?
For equity and fairness, let the governorship leave the Northern Senatorial District to the Southern Senatorial District. Recall, the leader of our great Party. APC (All Progressives Congress) and governor of Cross River has long taken that position, so I don’t have any trouble with that. In 1999 when this Democracy retuned to Nigeria, the governorship started from the South, moved through the Central and its at the North today, what is wrong with the circle to repeat again. I support that the governor be zoned to the South which the leader of our party is of the same opinion.
What gives you the confidence that APC will win in Cross River State in 2023?
My position has always been that you cannot tag a state APC or PDP, politics is dynamic. If you tell me some years back that I will be in APC today, I will tell you no! But today I am in APC. No state was created and tied to any political party. Power belongs to the people and they vote for whosoever appeals to them. I want to believe that so far, we have demonstrated trust and confidence in our people and party, there was a massive political movement from PDP to APC across all political wards and local governments . The people are still with us and we have delivered the dividends of democracy, so if I were you, I will wait till 2023, but I can assure you that APC will retain the state come 2023.
What is your relationship with other NASS members from CRS that are not in APC?
In the National Assembly we are all like brothers because of interactions across divides. Politics aside, we are all brothers. During National matters there is no party, but when the other parties are having strategic meetings, you cannot go there unless you are a member of that party. Recall when Hon. Dan Asuquo lost the mother, we were all there to commensurate with him. Politics without bitterness we still enjoy that brotherhood as Cross Rivarians.
And your relationship with Senator Jarigbe Agom?
I believe he became Senator through the backdoor, but we are still friends.