2023: Calming Frayed Nerves In Akwa Ibom Politics

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Politics

The murky political waters of Akwa Ibom State have again been ruffled since the endorsement of Pastor Umo Eno, as the governor Udom Emmanuel’s choice aspirant to fly the flag of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the governorship slot ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The media space and different political fora in the state have gone berserk with a fury of rancorous and discordant tunes laced with acerbic contents by those clamouring for the state’s political top job.

The telephone lines, Facebook timelines and Twitter accounts of Governor Udom Emmanuel; ex-Governor Victor Attah; the Oku Ibom Ibibio, Ntennyin Solomon Etuk, and ‘fathers of faith’ ostensibly seen as some of the arrowheads of the endorsement, might have been buzzing with palatable and vile remarks by supporters and foot soldiers belonging to the different camps of those wishing to occupy the Hiltop Mansion, Uyo.

Shortly, some stakeholders of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State, had inaugurated the state chapter headed by Augustine Ekanem, who, cashing in on that frenzy, also adopted Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, as their governorship aspirant for 2023.

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This might not have gone down well with other factions that felt marginalized and relegated to the background in the scheme of the party issues ahead of the contest.

Unexpectedly, politicians and their groups have generated much ripples and created a lot tensions in the already balkanized and traumatized polity.

Where the aspirants are disoriented or displaced by stronger opponents, their foot soldiers- the beneficiaries, who are mostly  the hewers of woods and the drawers of water, known in local parlance as ndito edidia nso (what will my children eat)- would shriek to be heard and be settled, if need be.

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When Obong Attah, for example, was ‘anointed’ in 1999, other candidates for the office howled. When Godswill Akpabio won the keenly contested primaries in December 2006, 57 other candidates bellowed to high heavens and wished the sky had fallen on the victor and his supporters.

When Udom Emmanuel won the governorship primary in 2015, the G-22 candidates sparked media outrage and orchestrated several petitions to whip sympathy that the process had been mortgaged and compromised.

So, there is no time politicians make things favourable for all or allow for a level-playing field in the political chess-game; it has always been the big man wielding the big stick on one hand and carrot on the other for those willing to eat the entrails of sacrifice to be whipped into the master’s line for the perks.

However, the greatest losers in the political ecosystem and bedlam are the electorates; the unemployed persons, the poor. The political office holders would enter the house built by them and shut the doors after using the electorates as cannon fodder to ‘win’ the contest.

As they stand outside the bedroom, they would only hear commotion but do not feel the aroma of power.

Therefore, since there are more than 100 political parties, we advise the aggrieved governorship and other aspirants to migrate to any of the parties to test their popularity, instead of perching at overcrowded tree to squirm.

It is puzzling that the aspirants always wait for their adoption. In other words, they are presumed not to be people-centric and lacking in populist programmes, otherwise they would not depend on the cabal for their success.

Let those wailing that the political door of mercy would be shut against them remember too that they might have done same to others to remain atop; let them know that they are not the most qualified but the risk takers; they should be reminded that they are not the most hard working but the most privileged and favoured.

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We want to call on the perceived losers in the two major political divides to veer off the track and form themselves into a mega party with strong alliance to wrestle the power baton from the outgoing governor.

Let them come with their solid manifesto and use such to convince the electorate rather than moving round to disturb the peace of the peace -loving people of Akwa Ibom state, most of them who have chosen to become completely apolitical because of the diabolical antics of career politicians fouling the system.

Once they continue to make a hell of noise, it would be deemed that they are unpopular, and have been crawling on the parties’ backs to power. Or, they are unable to effectively oil their structures to be in good stead to trounce their opponents in the so called major party during the elections.

We were born to see politics; and would die leaving politics to thrive. Let calm prevail so that it won’t detract the outgoing government from its avowed campaign to deliver all its abandoned projects encapsulated in its ‘Completion Agenda’ because the governor has pointedly sworn that his administration did not come “to commission monuments” (of the past era) and, it is expected that it should not leave any monument after May 29, 2023.

Therefore, enough of overheating the polity, let them maintain peace and stability so as not to rock the boat of the completion agenda. A word is enough for the wise!