Thursday, 22 January 2015

My people! my people!!

My people! my people!!

Mr. Umana Okon  Umana, a former SSG of Akwa Ibom State and a PDP-turned-APC member, wants to govern the State. If there is no miscarriage of justice in Engineer Frank Daniel’s case, he will win in a land-slide margin and become the governor. Mr. UOU, a detribalized son of Akwa Ibom soil, decided to flag off his political campaign rally at Abak Stadium last Tuesday, January 13, 2015 A.D. His Royal Aniefiokness witnessed the event.
That the people of Abak division (a.k.a Abak 5) had been maligned for over fifty years is not a new news. They had never produced a senator in their area. Mr. Umana promised that, this time around, they are going to produce someone in the hallowed chamber and there will be much government presence in Abak division to compensate them with. Speaker after speaker showed how much they love Abak, their own fatherland. The speech that captured my interest most at that rally came from Dr. Ime Sampson Umana (Ufan Ndito Ubuene). When he was speaking, my brother, Elder Udo Ekop Udo Usoro, went and whispered to him. Dr. Ime Umana opened up: “You say my time is up? No! I am talking to my people”. Dear God! How that utterance touched me!: “My People!”… And the elder Statesman continued talking to his people. The people themselves, believing in their political father, didn’t want him to stop talking to them. What a humane statement – “My People!”. As a humanitarian, remembering man’s inhumanity to man, my eyes were tear-jerking.

Who hasn’t seen how Governor Akpabio lavishly loves “his people”? Who is blind to the great love that binds Akpakib Oro? And outside Akwa Ibom, havn’t we witnessed how the Yorubas unite, how the Hausas unite, how the Igbos unite or even the minority Ijaws, Efiks, Itshikiris, Urhobos, Ishang etc talk with one voice? What happens to MY OWN PEOPLE, the Ibibios? Professor Ayandele described us as “atomistic society perpetually at war with itself”. What a derogatory remark! “Nsido ntak yak nnyin mimaha idem?”, Etubom Rex William asked. May the Supreme Intelligence grant grandest peace and Elysian bliss to that late musician’s ebullient soul.

I envy Dr. Ime Umana and Abak division or Abak 5. I wish MY PEOPLE (the Ibibios) were so or more bonded in love. Today, I want to write mainly about the Ibibio stock, myself being a proud aborigine (atukho-ntan) from Obong Itam in Itu Local Government Area. As I write, you have every license to call me what you may – a tribalist, an ethnic bigot, zealot, fanatic, dogmatist, sectarian, chauvinist. You can say I am inciting, instigating, stimulating, provoking, inflaming, inducing my people to rebellion or revolution. Call it whatever name, after all I was taught by Oga. I like the names, so far they concern My People. Ibibio isongo-o! Iyaa!  

My first piece for this year in this column – THE NEW LEAVES – was in many newspapers and the Net. I’m going to reproduce some excepts from that script to buttress my unconditional love for MY PEOPLE, and I am going to add some words of wisdom as elections are around the corner.

The excerpts: Akwa Ibom, our own dear native land, for the past near-eight years, had been ruled and ruined by an insensitive, unconscionable government. Our commonwealth is plundered with impunity, our state deep in debts, her coffers empty, and the citizens are whining and wallowing in penury and pains. My beloved people – the Ibibios – are pathologically hated, stabbed in the back and kicked in the teeth, unemployed, kidnapped, killed (more on death-row), raped, falsely incarcerated... insulted all-round, while our respected clergy and royal fathers, lured by pecuniary reasons, remain deaf-mute. My heart bleeds that, even our top military men, whom we should be boastful and proud over about, have cowardly turned to Boys Scouts and shrinked like snails or mfefehe iko, thereby giving room to a monster – an “Emerging Tiger”. Efik mbon ete “mkpokporo k’odok eto, owo imenke mkpo itop”. Ibibio nnyin ete “Idaha edim adoho etok-efok, Abia ifiadda etap. There was no preparation for an unexpected. Today, the tiger, despite brainless blunders, has become a god while we, wretched creatures, must bend our bodies if he carelessly but nod on us.

The outgoing government has taught us the lessons of our lives (give them a clap offering). A government we heartily embraced at inception! Wonders, they say, shall never end. But, in spite, let whatever evil they want to befall us with, I say, let us give thanks and praises to God. While they give us hatred for our love and while they impoverish us and have much comfort in their homes, let us have but too much gratitude in our hearts. This, as I see it, is the sacred and secret power of good over evil.

Selfishness and greed have eaten deep into our social and economic fabrics. Our politicians want but money and more money; none of them is patriotically equipped to serve and save. With insatiable appetites, they want to take over the earth and rule world-without-end, till deaths do them parts. The lucky emperor has all it takes to beat us to submission – the money, much more money, the army, the navy, the airforce, the police, stock-piled amory, thugs and trigger-happy snipers who delight in killing for fun or peanuts – what have we? Nothing, except God. Very humbly, my brothers and sisters, I am pleading for our re-unification and co-operation for a common success. Let us turn over new leaves. Remember my old write-up, “FUNERALS: RECIPE FOR CHANGE”. Let us bury all those known and unknown sins that retrogress us and P.U.S.H (Pray until Something Happens). Let us forget our bastardized judiciary and other corrupt agencies and leaders. Our arsenal must be spiritual not carnal. Luckily, God is standing by.
es, those who want to sing always find a song. As the first-born of the tripod (reference to my Ibibios), if we want to be head, we must hate being the tail. In each of us lies a hero. As William Shakespeare, the literature maestro, saw it “Every bondman in his own hands bears the power to cancel his captivity”.

Idung nnyin, mbok, ibuung ifia-o, mbak ekarika ama adi! My little brain is puzzled why brothers should love money more than their fellow brothers. Are your times in your hands? Brethren, let us join Engineer Ekpotu and other men of goodwill to turn the page. Let us cultivate positive attitudes and stop the “I am better than thou” or “I want to be the only cock to crow” attitude. PHd (Pull Him Down Syndrome) is not a good certificate or degree to be attained by brothers. If we and posterity do not want to perish or be doomed for life, there’s no better time to love and unite than now. I hope I am not talking or writing to killjoys. Unity, I repeat, is the sine qua non. A word to a witty head is superfluous (Owo eke enyenede utong ndikop, yak okop). But cheer up, my misused and misunderestimated people, for God will restore the years that the locusts ate. The end, they say, justifies the means, not the meanness. And everything, including this misrule, has a time frame and a price tag. Happy New Year!

Food for thought: The year is still very new and young. My people, please, let us all try to abide with the following pieces of advice: No matter what our resolutions are, the type of people in our lives has a lot to do in our journeys of life, individually or collectively. Let us never start or continue in the new year without screening the people in our lives. As my colleague, Nsikak Etuk, is used to saying, “Eyeneka akpe doppo, eyak enim; akpeyakka, emen ekama”. Evaluating people will make us know who to upgrade, downgrade or totally terminate. Let us always remember that not everybody deserves the front seat to participate in the drama of our lives. Anyone (ukot, imaan, eyeyen, eyeneka, enyene obio mme ofun) who is not adding any value to our lives shouldn’t be in the front seat of our lives. The dream of a sadist is for everybody to be miserable in life. Those who cannot see greatness in their own lives will never see anything good in our lives. Whoever sees or treats us as an option doesn’t deserve to be a priority in our lives. 

We should never put temporary people in the permanent places of our lives, and we shouldn’t be afraid of removing the wrong people from the right places of our lives. If it is our life (one life) as a people, then it is our right. Bros, we have been taken for granted much too long. So, let us be bold to take any decision concerning our lives. If they say “dem dey do nyanka” or call it pride, let’s tell them that it is class. After all, Akpan idoho iba. Ukang nnyin ebo “Ádo ekpe uman afo abiet ebot!”. Lions do not mingle with cats. No matter the economy of the jungle, lions will never eat grass. And even if education is free and compulsory, rat will never go to the same school with cat. Still, according to Nsikak Etuk, that would be “Uncommon Deformation”. My-brother-is-my-brother, let there be a departure from the norm or “business as usual”. What our Commander Andy needs are “deliverers with guts”, not killers. In Akwa Ibom, where are they?

Ekong nke-e! Idung isongo-o! Iyaa! Iban ino uyio-o (Ikpok Utibe). You can never go anywhere with negative people. Negative people are like cars without petrol and engine. You can only sit in such cars, but they will never take you anywhere. Beloved, let us never embark on a life journey with anyone who is not going anywhere in life or willing to add value to our lives. Such a one is only verbose and vain – an empty cymbal. Mbok, nobody should make us unhappy without our consent. If they say we deserve to die, let us tell them “Hail Killers! Those about to die salute you!” 

When Victor Bassey Udo Adiaha Attah, the Akwa Eduek Ekpe of Asutan Ekpe and Ada-idaha ke Efik Eburutu, the former Governor who brought money-rain into Akwa Ibom State (Our Father Who Art In Akwa Ibom) was received as Political leader of the Ibibios, I wrote an article – “Daddy, O-yo-yo!” to welcome him. I added another piece, “Obong Attah, A Word With You”. This particular write-up (food for thought) is for the generality of Ibibios. Yes, no man is an island or a lake entirely on its own. Ibibio, mbok, itoyo item ake Akwa Esop Imaisong Ibibio ekenoho: “Yak ibobo nte abek ifia. Ubok mmum, ubok mmum, enye atuud ukpa”. If unity indeed is strength, then, amongst us, let there be cross-pollination of love.

My people vote wisely. Thank you. Remain blessed.

No comments:

Post a Comment