Thirty-eight days after being held in detention by the Nigerian
police, Agba Jalingo has written to his supporters, expressing his
readiness to withstand and face charges against him.
Jalingo, the publisher of Cross River Watch, an online newspaper, was
arrested for publishing an article exposing how Governor Ben Ayade
allegedly approved and diverted N500 million meant for Cross River
Ayade was arrested in Lagos and driven to Calabar, where he is being
held and tried for charges of treason, terrorism, disturbance of
public peace and cultism.
Jalingo, in a letter to his supporters, said he remained high in
spirit and would not “betray the noble values, which I have imbibed
for over two decades".
FULL TEXT OF LETTER
I am moved to send you a note from the confines of my loneliness. By
cosmic grace, the authorities of Afokang prison in Calabar where I am
confined provided a television in an open hall for all of us who our
deeds and/or misdeeds have confluenced. So I have the rare privilege
of seeing how people of goodwill out there are agitating for my
release from incarceration which I have endured now for forty days. My
most profound appreciation to all of you who have remained steadfast
in your agitation. For it is a natural instinct to so do even where
dictatorship is hellbent. Nevertheless, I wish to share my abiding
thoughts with you all. Namely:
1. That I am in very high spirit and in good health, at least for now;
and mentally prepared for the wilderness that those who want me out of
circulation have determined.
2. That for no reason whatsoever will I betray the noble values, which
I have imbibed for over two decades.
3. That even with the tortuous and heavy burden I am being made to
carry, for committing no offence, there is no bitterness in my heart
against anyone, including those who have put me in jail. For if you
allow myself to fall into bitterness, I am no better than my jailers.
4. That by the grace of God, I have gained serenity over the years and
I am carrying this cross with equanimity because I am sure of my
enduring values. I am aware that regardless of what may be taken away
from me or what I may have been taken away from, including my freedom,
my dear wife and my work, the real value in this life is buried within
me, even in jail; and whether I experience transition, ill-health or
any other problem of any nature, which the human being is capable of
experiencing, I will remain steadfast and hold on to the will of the
5. That my earnest prayer is not that my tribulations may cease,
neither do I desire that they may be more smooth or more wide, but
that some sweet fruit of good instruction may issue forth from the
sharp thorns of my suffering, that I may suffer more patiently and be
better able to offer up my suffering and adversity to the service of
Bear in mind that, in every traction and custom in Africa, when the
cosmic forces are agreed on the kingship of a man, the chiefs in
council take such a man into isolation. He is made to undergo the
age-long rituals in solitude and separated from the things he loves
most. All these are to prepare the king and make him worthy of the
throne. The timing is usually according to the tradition of the tribes
and the enormity of the throne. But in the end, having gone through
the solitude and isolation and enduring the rituals, he comes out in
shining armour to wear the crown and sit on the throne.
Even the Holy Bible says in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 4:14
that: 'For he comes out of prison to reign, though he was born poor in
With this firm assurance in my heart, I only pray God to grant me the
grace to be faithful in action and not anxious about success. To do
God's will and lose myself when engaged in this duty. That God may
give my weak efforts such fruits as HE sees fit and grants me the
grace and strength yo overcome this adversity.
One final assurance that I give to my people of Cross River, in
particular, is that "WE WILL OVERCOME THAT DICTATOR IN PEREGRINO
Dictatorship has never defeated goodwill and a determined people. Even
if I end up not standing with you in the summit, remain strong and be
rest assured that the arc of life is on our side and we will win.
When this wind has finish blowing yonder, and it shall soon; we will
look back and be glad we stuck our necks on the guillotine and history
will only be fair to us, our people shall be free, the will of God
would have been done and God's name will be glorified.
Remain faithful in prayers and accept my greetings and peace profound.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.