Monday, March 15, 2010

Akwa ibom politics: current stock –in-trade

On the recently commemorated Valentine's or Lovers' Day, I had wanted to send a LOVE LETTER to my loved one, my beloved Governor Akpabio. I also wanted to form a political support group, if only that would erase my age-old poverty or penury, but the true meaning of lovers' day aborted that dream. Yes, the true meaning of love. On that loveday the letter was put on hold. It couldn't reach the governor because of “power failure”, “poor network service” (call it what you may). At the end of that my letter I had wanted to ask the all-good-and-well adjectified Governor if he knew the stock-in-trade or the name of the current political game in the state, Akwa Ibom. In case he wouldn't know, I also proffered to him in the proposed letter the correct answer to the question which is NTE ADIA KE OBORO ONO.

Nte-adia-ke-oboro-ono in my simple analogy refers to the fact that no one likes to be identified with a loser. It refers to those who gain from this government and shout “Akwa Ibom Ado Okay”. Let me illustrate it bluntly: it is a well established fact that Governor Akpabio and Senator Udoedehe are at opposite poles, politically speaking. If supposingly I pitch my tent in one of the two camps, it behooves on me to stick to that camp (that's where my interest is and where I gain or hope to gain from). It is the master of that my camp that I have to worship or speak superlatively over about. In short, the other camp is non-existent; if at all it exists, there's “no vacancy”. The people I call nte-adia-ke-oboro-ono are servile flatterers, ants-on-honey, careful suckers, two-edged swords; Sycophants, you call them.
Support groups keep sprouting. A friend says he is going to come out with groups under the aegis of “Enyong ye Isong for Godswill Akpabio 2011”, “Saad ke Ukara Godswill 2011”, “Terms without termination for uncle Goddy”, “Utu ke oro owo akpa 2011” etc. “Good business”, he advised me to key in. “without singing his praises, you have nothing from the guy”, he added. I thank God that our long forgotten women now have their place in this business, talkless of our predominant youths. Our royal fathers and the church are now going mercantile. Oh! Aniefiok, how I wish I didn't sell this idea out! Spoiled deal.
Well … my business is not in making money out of this government. I busy myself with my own business after all I come from money. The only business I have with the government is contribute (just like this) to the welfare of the state and its citizens in entirety.

We have kings, we have peasants, in this state. The peasants or less-privileged or low-born (God forgive me) are complaining that the kings are with the state's money and they are feeling blessed to punish the people who voted them into power. These “fellow citizens” are much aggrieved but like Fella sang “suffering and smiling”. They say they don't want 5-star le-merridien or Ibom Airport treatment, but a simple Ibom Plaza type. My Governor, you might have not heard of these: the “common” Akwa Ibom people want the big screen at the plaza, the night life there (even under strict policing), the motor parks and all those aesthetics put in place by Attah's administration restored. Some motor-bikers say they know that you are only dilly-dallying with them because you need second term. There are complaints that you are claiming credit over some of Attah's projects while wanting the remaining ones to remain extinct to prove that your predecessor did little or nothing. I wish, dear governor, that you sometime take time out to interact or mix freely with such group of people that society calls “low”.

Those people have contributions to the development of this state. Oh! Arc. (Obong) Victor Attah! How I respect this elder statesman! Who would have known Akwa Ibom today without him? In sad remembrance of some of his wasted efforts, I wrote “luxury in squalor”. Governor Akpabio, please resurrect and rebrand Obong Attah's works.

Back to my valentine's day letter which didn't get to you, my dear governor. I wanted to send my unadorned congratulations to you. While some are writing your deeds on the marble, some are writing them on water. Despite how you try to please people, it is not everyone that appreciates. With the enough funds this state is blessed with, think of better projects that will better the lot of the common masses, not donations to a few fortunate or “arranged” groups. Old industries are crying for activation. The rich of this state is getting richer and the poor, poorer. There is wailing and gnashing of teeth. Dear Akwa Ibom Kings, please step out of your haven into the ugly territory of these wailing peasants and hear from them. Elections are coming again. It is these people that you will need.

When you were only one year in office, I wrote in the Shield Newspaper of Tuesday 3rd June, 2008. I told you that Chief Awolowo was looking for only one day to be president of this country but you have already spent one year on the guber saddle of this state. I congratulated you and encouraged you to jubilate and celebrate it, whether your enemies liked it or not. The article was entitled “Willy-Nilly, It's Hurray!”. May I hereby reproduce an excerpt of that very piece: “Dear Governor, you are man enough for the job of governing this State (I don't need a “thank-you” for this compliment, only your sincerity). As an Obong you must lead with the fear of God; as a barrister, do not turn due process to undue process. Of course, a lawyer does not mean the same thing as a liar. Just listen to yourself, be ruled by your conscience and have your attention fixed on the best things for your people. When selfishness and greed want to tempt you, please breath through your nose and stop thinking on your feet.

Be humane in the six letters of the word, let altruism be your watchword. Try to improve on the noble works of your predecessors, with his mistakes in brake. If you had promised to build the people a bridge where there is no river, go ahead and do that; if you had promised to put air-conditioners in our women's kitchens, please do just that. The citizenry know what they want and need. When you do a good part of these things, then let every unbeliever, every pendant, every demagogue, every cynic, every trouble-maker, every “blind” person or others of entirely different character downgrade your works. That would make them not Akwa Ibom constructors but Akwa Ibom destructors. They can whine, grumble, complain, criticize or write petitions that's their cup of tea, they should enjoy it.

Once you can deliver what the collective citizens of this state mandated you to do, you should have won a name which shall live as long as the undying pages of history shall endure”.
Please, mind this your present business, not all this stock-in-trade. This too shall pass away.

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