Ogoja is one of the oldest provinces in the traditional Nigeria setting, the old town is a mother of many other Local Government Areas in Northern Cross River State. Be it as it may be, Ogoja is a champion of not just Northern Cross River, but a champion of Cross River State and Nigeria as a whole. The Local Government is a warlord that has many swords that have butchered the perception of mental slavery in the old.
Just like Idah in Kogi State, Ogoja is an exceptional Local Government Area in Nigeria with many cultural histories attached to its name. As a traditional Ogoja man and a true believer of the Ogoja dream, I stand firm to say the true intentions of the musters of this historic Local Government Area are yet to be achieved.
My position have always been absolutely clear and precise, that for Ogoja to move forward, a generation of young think-tanks in the Local Government have to be mustered by a leader who understands the traditional Ogoja principles and can correlate it with the modern realities of the 21st century. Ogoja is not just any Local Government, neither is it a tribe, Ogoja is a movement of a group of people who believe in developing the little land they find theirselves in order to attract visitors. Hospitality is the core objective of a traditional Ogoja man, he sees a visitor as a storyteller that will someday tell the story of the Ogoja tribe.
Now, why am I supporting Barr. Paul Ishabor? It is eminent to note that before now, I have always maintained a neutral position when it comes to decisions that affects my people directly, but on this I have made my choice at an early stage because we have grown pass that stage of waiting. This is the time for political correctness and indepth thinking.
Who is Barrister Paul Ishabor? He is not just a politician but an active player in the rebranding and industrialization of Cross River State. Barrister Paul Ishabor is a 41 years old graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Calabar. After his University studies in 2003, he join the Nigerian Law School in 2004 and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2005. He then followed up to do his NYSC in the Ministry of Justice, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In order to perfect his legal knowledge, he started legal practice with I . A. Adedipe (SAN), Port Harcourt. He join the Cross River State Ministry of Justice in 2007 and was Deployed to Investment Promotion in 2009. While serving in Investment Promotion, he was upgraded to the rank of a manager in 2010
Paul Ishabor have been involved in the attraction and facilitation of business entry for the following major investors into CRS:
a. Wilmar International/PZ Cussons – $400m investment portfolio
b. General Electric – $1bn Multi-modal Manufacturing and Training Facility
c. Artee/Spar Group – $100m investment in a World Class Shopping Mall
d. Brentex Petroleum – $300m Pipes Mills Manufacturing Plant
e. Project Masters $100m Oil and Gas Fabrication Yard
f. Giant Cement – $600m investment in a 6 million MT Cement Plant
g. Premier Feed Mills – $100m Feed Mill Plant- Flour Mills, Calabar.
He had been involved in several projects too which includes:
1. The Conceptualization and implementation of the N2.5bn Songhai Cross River State Farm Initiative;
2. The Conceptualization and implementation of the 2 x 26MW Calabar Independent Power Plant Project leveraging on the $100m Indian-EXIM Bank Line of Credit (LOC) to Nigeria;
3. He was part of the CRS team that appeared before the Senate and House of Representatives Committees to defend the $30m CRS component of the Indian LOC;
4. He was amongst the CRS team to Mumbai, India for meeting with the GM, Indian EXIM Bank aimed at resolving the procurement issues of the EPC Contract for Calabar IPP Project;
5. He was part of the Cross River State Delegation to the 2nd Nigerian Investment Summit to New York organized by the Africa Business Roundtable.
6. He was amongst the Nigerian Government delegation to New Delhi, India for bilateral dialogue towards resolving all the issues surrounding the $100m LOC to Nigeria;
7. He partook in the conceptualization of the Cross River State Micro Finance and Enterprise Development Agency;
8. He was part of the team that bided for and attracted the CBN Entrepreneurship Development Centre (EDC) to Cross River State;
9. He was involved in the UK, DFID GEMs3 efforts that improved the World Bank ranking of Cross River State in the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria Survey.
His passion for Education have led him to several educational organizations and workshops. He is currently continuing his Legal Education at Alpha Juris Workshop Series in Criminal Procedure, Contract Negotiation and Drafting etc. He has a certificate in Managerial Leadership in Sales and Marketing from Lagos Business School. He has undergone a training in the Establishment and Management of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) by KW Group, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He understudied the development and growth of SMEs Industrial Parks in Ankara, Turkey using the OSTIM Industrial Park, Turkey as a case study. He participated in the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) Conference, Geneva 2012. He participated in the Roundtable Conference on Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility organized by Thistle Praxis Consulting in Tinapa, CRS.
His level of political exposure can be traced back to his student days as a unionist. He was President National Association of Ogoja Students World Wide in 2001/02. He was Senate President, Law Students Association of Nigeria, Unical Chapter in 2003. He was President National Association of Northern Cross River State Students (NANCRISS) in 2003/2004. He has also been President, Ogoja youth PDP Campaign Organization. He has been an active player in the politics of the PDP. He Actively participated in the 2003, 2007, 2011 & 2015 elections with victories for the PDP.
It is evidently clear that his character suits the high position of Ogoja Local Government Area.
Edward Ntebri Egbelo is a political commentator and the director PDP new media,Cross-rivers chapter he tweets from @eddyzaghi92