Ugo Aliogo writes on former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Emmanuel Ibshi’s, bid for the governorship of Cross River State
To live up to its name, the People’s Paradise, Cross River State, needs more than just an ambitious politician or a political jobber, especially at this point in time when the state is anything but a paradise. It needs someone with clear vision, undiluted acumen and a leader par excellence. Incidentally, all these qualities are embedded in one man that lives and breathes Cross River, a man that has tactfully been part of the state’s progress since the dawn of democratic rule in Nigeria.
That man is no other than Honourable Emmanuel Ibeshi, a man who can be aptly described as one of the founding fathers of modern Cross River State. Armed with a clear vision which he has nurtured over four decades, Ibeshi has now taken up the gauntlet to chall
enge the incumbent Governor in the coming elections. And this is not without reason.
Here is a state endowed with so many natural resources, a boisterous youthful population, a welcoming environment that appeals to all from home and abroad, almost incomparable natural habitats, including the last rainforest still available to West Africa, and a most accommodating people, which makes tourism a natural revenue earner; at this point the state, therefore, needs a man with the temperrament, wealth of experience and vision like Ibeshi to steer its ship.
The Man Ibeshi
Hon. Emmanuel Awhan Ibeshi is a Faculty of the Haggai Institute in Hawaii USA, (2006 to date). He teaches LEADERSHIP in the prestigious faith-based institute. He is a distinguished Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration of Nigeria.
His leadership qualities first manifested in 1984 at the University of Lagos where he did his National Youth Service. He served as STAGE MANAGER at the CENTER FOR CULTURAL STUDIES, UNILAG where he co-founded Theatre 15, a foremost workshop in the Centre for Cultural Studies that has metamorphosed into a full-fledged Department of Creative Arts in the University of Lagos.
He was the first National Treasurer of the International Christian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) headquartered in Sweden; a chamber of commerce founded by a Swedish gentleman, Gunner Olson who had a passion for Christian ideals laced with leadership qualities in the marketplace.
He had a brief stint in the banking industry where he served in the Federal Mortgage Bank as Corporate Affairs Manager. His relentless zeal for quality leadership and ethical values led him into the murky waters of politics in 1992. He was elected into the Federal House of Representatives in 1992. He served as the House Committee Chairman of Banking and Currency until the military coup of 1993 that scuttled the 3rd Republic.
In 1994 he was elected first National Publicity Secretary of then ruling Party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). In 2000 Hon. Ibeshi astounded the Nigerian public by refusing to support an amendment in the PDP constitution by the National Working Committee (NWC) to extend their tenure from 2 to 4 years without going through constitutional referendum even though he was to be a beneficiary. Based on his strong belief in the rule of law and tenacity to democratic ideals, he opposed it even though alone. He wound up taking his party to court insisting on the right thing to be done. The court ruled in his favour and the ruling party was forced to comply with constitutional provisions of the party and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
This became the first record in the annals of the Nigerian political discuss that a high standing political official could deny the perquisites of office and hold tenaciously to his ideals to enthrone democratic principles to his detriment. This action earned him an expulsion from the party which he challenged in court. He was eventually restored to his office when the court determined the case in his favour and he served out his tenure in 2001.
He was the Governorship Candidate of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in 2007. The result of the 2007 election is only too well known in Nigerian history as the precursor of the fall of the PDP that eventually led to its eventual defeat in 2015 due to lessons that are now being learnt the hard way.
Hon. Ibeshi holds a Theatre Arts degree from the University of Calabar and a Master’s in Communication Arts from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
He was born on August 14, 1961, in Obudu Local Government, Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State, Nigeria.
He has facilitated many leadership and management courses, workshops and seminars in the US, Europe, and Africa. He is widely travelled. He plays golf, guitar and loves swimming.