CRS Youth Summit 2022: Behind the scenes of a failed declaration

Photo of Cross River State Youth Summit


By Kingsley Akpet. 


The most heavily advertised event of 2022, which was meant to be the backdrop to the declaration of interest to run for governor by a serving commissioner ended as an anticlimax and colossal waste of funds and goodwill. 


The event was tagged CRS Mega Youth Summit but later rechristened as Cross River State Appointees Summit by PDP media boys.


 saw the governor's 6000 appointees, entire party structure and paid youth organizations cajoled, and induced to show up at the stadium to defend their food for table appointments. 


Two popular artists were brought from Lagos, just to bring in more fans.  

Still, the crowd which was advertised as 30 or 50, 000, ended up with about 5000 as the stadium has a capacity of 12 000 seats and was half empty. 


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It was a disappointing end for fans who attended the event as the main act of the day Kiss Daniel arrived at the venue of the summit at 6:30 PM, to meet an empty stadium. 


The would-be Co Governor, in the person of the commissioner’s father, had spent last week trying to convince traditional rulers and party stalwarts to come out in support of his son’s declaration but the majority turned him down. 


On the D - day he was right there, in the state box, in charge and giving Crossriverians a glimpse of how the government will look like if his son is given the ticket and wins 

 

The plan was to use the massive turnout and live coverage as an ambush for the digital governor, where programmed supporters would mount the stage and beg the commissioner to declare his interest and run or the youth would shut down the state. 


Too bad the plan leaked from some of his own colleagues who are also eyeing the number one spot and didn't want to be used.


The second blunder was trying to co-opt the NYCN into endorsing the summit with a hidden agenda through the backdoor, Once he decoded the plan; the bold chairman of NYCN immediately issued a disclaimer in a widely publicized press conference. 


The third blunder was that the organizers prepared a list of over 300 hundred "youths" in the organizing committee but didn't include a single member of the "old" APC youths thereby creating more factions in the party. 


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The radical old members who had been holding the party before the arrival of the Digital governor were very angry and threatened to also issue a disclaimer. 


Until they were settled but with conditions that the event would not be turned into an endorsement declaration.


All of this headache meant the organizers had to go back to the drawing board. 


T-shirts and banners with the endorsement message were quickly withdrawn or masked and people's speeches had to change overnight. 


However, trouble is not yet over for the organizers as some groups and individuals are complaining that they have not been paid what was agreed. 


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On the whole, the main beneficiary of the Cross River Youth Summit is the governor who used the opportunity to address the crowd and pass a message to the national HQ of APC. 


The crowd also helped deplete the PDP crowd which wanted to see governor Wike in action.


 But APC pays better and man must chop because country hard. 


Another beneficiary is Oden, a young man whose background is obscure and is not associated with any source of livelihood that can earn him the kind of money he is throwing around, except he is carrying a Ghana must-go bag for the commissioner.


The rumor is that he is hoping to be appointed chief of staff if his friend is made governor, And the chopping continues. 


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The biggest loser was the commissioner whose plans were thwarted by his political and administrative inexperience hence his sadness and dull performance on stage when he was called upon to speak.


The commissioner is so bitter with how the summit played out and vowed not to pay any outstanding balance owed to local media and other vendors who provided one service or the other. 


The local media committee is even threatening the loc that they will go to press with bad press about the commissioner and the phoney lifestyle of the chairman of the local organizing committee Mr. Oden Ewa. 


Political experience would have taught the commissioner that you don't try to outsmart the master.  


As the governor's body language is very critical to any aspiring candidate to the highest office in the state.

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