Generational Change 2019, Cross River may be looking to John Upan Odey Jr BY: Paul E.

Mr. John Upan Odey
Just recently  recently, precisely May 14, 2007, Emmanuel Macron, 39 years of age was sworn-in as the new President of France for a five-year tenure.

Emmanuel Macron emergence has once again opened a vista of fresh debate as to whether it was not high time different strata of governance in Nigeria started witnessing the emergence of youths, the younger generation to once again take over the responsibility of leadership.

Some informed members of the younger generation between the ages of 40, and below are quick to argue that it was time they were accorded the opportunity to shape the future of their social economic and political environments which belongs to them, as the saying goes.

To a great degree, these youths who have consistently demanded a generational shift in political leadership anchor their call on the fact that members of the older generation who have occupied the positional of political power and authority since they were toddlers about 40 years ago are still straddling over the corridors of power without any meaningful progress, especially in Nigeria.

A peep into Nigeria’s political history since May 1999 to date tends to support the proposition of the agitators for transfer of power to the young men and women who are at most within the age bracket of the Macrons.

Between the emergence of Presidents Olusegun Obasano 1999, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua in 2007, President Goodluck Jonathan in 2010 and President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, the average age of the Nigerian has been put at 60 years, while an aggregation of the age bracket of the governors of the 36 states since 1999 to date has been put at 50 years.

At the moment in the country, the only governor that is 40 years old is Governor Yahaya Bello of kogi State who emerged late 2015 by share act of providence when the original flag-bearer of his party the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu, aged 58, died suddenly after voting on Election Day.

In fact, it is generally agreed that the leadership of the older generation since 1999, which is described as gerontocracy has failed the people hence a shit to younger politicians who belong to the contemporary times commonly referred to as “Digital Age.”

However, informed comparison has established that states whose governors were below the age of 40 when they emerged in 1999, due to the age of their ideas, performed better and satisfactorily more than their colleagues who were older, with belong at best to the “Jet Age”.

In this context, Cross River State readily comes to mind when one takes into account the fact that Donald Duke emerged governor at the age of 37 in 1999.

It is on record that he performed tremendously in the eight years of his reign, setting so many records, and putting Cross River State on the world map of tourism, and foremost tourists destination in West Africa.

The Tinapa, Obudu Ranch Resort, Marina Resort, Urban Renewal , Secured State devoid of high incidents of criminal activities , especially kidnapping, the Carnival Calabar, Clean and Green Cross River, especially the state capital , Calabar and a host of other landmark achievements have been credited to him.

The same cannot be said of his successors, who even found it difficult to continue with or maintain some of these legacies, perhaps because they came in when they were far older than 40 years of age.

Donald Duke's immediate successor Liyel Imoke was 46 years when he became Governor in 2007, while the current governor Professor Benedict Ayade, who became governor in 2015 celebrated his 49th birthday on March 3rd 2017.

But all hope is not lost for Cross River State as there are indications that a rising star in the political crust, 38 years old John Upan Odey, is waiting in the saddle eagerly waiting for the appropriate time to step in and redeem the state from decay by returning it to its once glorious heights, which most Cross Riverians remember with by nostalgia.

Although he needs no introduction, this man of parts, John Upan Odey Jr, is not knew to politics, despite his intimidating background and credentials as a Youth Leader, Banker, Motivational Speaker, Philanthropists.

Given his background, as the son of John Upan Odey Jr, a renowned politician from Obudu and community leader, it is not surprising that John Jr. took after the strides of his father when he ventured very early into politics, and contested to represent Obudu/Bekwarra/Obanliku federal constituency in 2011 on the stable of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), against other politicians including one time acting Governor of the state, Mr. Francis Ada, who flew the flag of the Peoples’ Democratic Party(PDP).

It took the well-known impunity act of the Peoples’ Democratic party to manipulate the electoral process against John Upan Odey Jr. who was clearly poised to win the election.

But as a Spartan who does not give up John Upan Odey Jr. is back, and with a bang, as feelers indicate that he would soon throw his heart into the ring to salvage the state from the hands of the old order, and once again return it to the youths.

John Upan Odey Jr. will be less than 40 years in 2019 when the next governorship elections in the state will hold, so he belongs as a matter of right to the Digital Age, and is also hands-on, given his years of track record as a Banker and financial expert.

As a professional, John Upan Odey Jr. who is a graduate of the University of Uyo, is considered in many circles to be the answer-in-waiting to the crave for the youth to once again take over the position of governor in 2019, with a view to providing good governance once again to Cross Riverians.

Being from the northern senatorial district, close associates throughout the state believe that the accusation being made that Ayade from the north, has failed the state and there should be replaced, would be adequately assuage because John Upan Odey Jr. has what it takes to redeem the good image of the northern senatorial district from 2019 upwards, by proving that something good can come out of the north.

The point out that in terms of good governance, his would be peoples oriented as demonstrated by the youthful Donald Duke when he was governor between 1999 -2007.

Married with three lovely children, Although he needs no introduction, this man of many parts, John Upan Odey Jr, is not knew to politics , despite his intimidating background and credentials as a Youth Leader, Banker, Motivational Speaker, Philanthropists.

The youths of the state must capitalize on the opportunity provided by their one of their own, John Upan Odey Jr. to secure their future by throwing their weights behind him when he eventually steps forward to lead them to the Promised Land.

The youths made Barack Obama the President of the United States of America (USA) by trooping out in their millions to vote for him. In fact, every elected leader is made by the youths including the members of the old brigade that have toyed with their future for ages. John Upan Odey Jr. presents another opportunity for the youths of Cross River State to rise up and take their destinies in their hands. The clock is ticking! John Upan Odey Jr. inspired by Frances President Macron, eyes Cross River governorship!!
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