Editor's note: A public commentator and political analyst, Kingsley Akpet, in this piece raises a number of questions concerning the planned session by youths to brainstorm on the way forward in governance as the 2023 general elections draw near.
It is no longer news that the Cross River mega youth summit organizers are putting finishing touch to plans ahead of the February 19 youth summit, but the Governor Ayade-led administration, the general public and political stakeholders must as a matter of urgency question the original intention of the summit.
Should the state’s establishment fail to question the purpose and intention of the so-called mega youth summit; the negative aftermath effect of the summit will have heavy consequences for the state to handle considering the already heated political atmosphere experienced in the state.
What are the youths agitating for?
The organisers acknowledged that the Governor Ayade’s administration empowerment of the youth, is the best in the country; and that his cabinet is made up of sixty percent youths, if this is so; what then is the mega summit agitating for?
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How true is the rumor that the planned mega summit is the brain child of Oden Ewa, the chairman of the local organizing committee who plans to use the summit to rally support from youths and political stakeholders in the state.
Who are the delegates, facilitator and keynote speakers at the mega summit?
An ideal summit is designed to address issues and set up achievable goals. A good summit must have keynote speakers, development specialist and futurist with the singular goal of setting directions to be followed.
The youth summit billed for February 19, is a far departure from what an ideal summit is known for.
The likes of Kiss Daniel and Iyanya are billed to perform at the mega summit. One is left to wonder whether this is a summit or a political rally or an entertainment showcase
Safety concern at the U. J Esuene stadium
The U. J Esuene stadium was built in 1977 with sixteen thousand capacities as a multipurpose venue, The stadium is under FIFA strict supervision. According to FIFA rules no stadia under its supervision are not allowed to exceed the stadium official capacity.
Surprisingly, Ewa and his political and business allies seek to gather thirty thousand youths in a stadium that is only allowed to accommodate sixteen thousand people at a given time.
The government and the general public must immediately press the panic butten; by further questioning the real intention of the mega rally.
You may recall the stampede at a political campaign event of February 12, 2011, at the Yakubu Gowon stadium in Port Harcourt city, where over twenty thousand people were gathered to receive a presidential candidate of a popular political party; in a stadium that has only sixteen thousand official capacity, same as the U. J Esuene stadium in Calabar.
The event of that day saw at least twenty Nigerians lose their lives and many sustained serious injuries.
Are the government and the people of Cross River State ready for the first stampede in the history of the state?
A stadium with sixteen thousand capacity, gathering thirty thousand people is a sure disaster waiting to happen.
Governor Ayade and the All Progressive Congress leadership must resist the political trap that the planned Mega Youth Summit is setting up for them. As political campaigns and public endorsement is yet to beginning, according to INEC campaign rules.
Should the governor and the party leadership attend this campaign styled summit which is organized and funded by an aspirant of the 2023 Guber election in the state, this will be seen by other aspirants as an outright endorsement by the governor and the party leaders.
Governor Ayade and the APC leadership in the state must be perceived to be fair to all aspiring candidates of the Guber election in the state, by intentionally setting a leveled playground for all aspirations; because no one’s ambition or aspiration is greater than the other.
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