Thursday, 19 February 2015

Of Unoma's goof and PDP's survival battle

Of Unoma's goof and  PDP's survival battle
Hardly a day passes without one being treated to one bizarre news item or the other. Of course, at a time like this, one just has to brace up for anything and everything. Political seasons often come with its peculiar events. Some are simply nightmarish; others are weird while, there are ones that leaves you wondering if Armageddon is just some whiskers away. Daily, we are served a cocktail of menu; the ones we expect and those we loathe with passion. To save your head, you dare not talk. Just be content being a keen listener and follower. As a journalist with a clear defined role in the society, mine is to keep my ears to the ground, bring the nosey side of me to the fore and, most times, also eavesdrop on people especially when you are in a season like this.
One will scarcely lack what to write on because wherever you find yourself these days, you are basseted by a dose of stories that catches your fancy. 

In ogogoro joints, hair dressing saloons, markets, taxis, Keke, newspaper stands and the like, political talks and arguments are never in short supply. They come in abundance. No dull moment. In my culture of keeping close tabs on the pulse of the society, I was jolted to the marrow the other day when I learnt of Unoma Akpabio’s scathing attack on the person of Umana Okon Umana, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 gubernatorial polls in Akwa Ibom state. The governor’s wife is said to have launched a verbal ballistic missile on the Nsit Ubium born politician. She derisively dropped the bombshell that UOU is a short man hence no one needs him to be a governor, or better still, that Akwa Ibom does not need a short man as governor. When I learnt of the tale, I quickly waved it away as one of those hearsays that has become the order of the day in times like this. But on further probing, I discovered, albeit to my chagrin that the ‘’Grand Commander of Women’’ in Akwa Ibom really said that.

Since then, I have tried to neither fathom nor come to terms with that uncouth vomit from Mrs Akpabio all to no avail. Those who know her, at least since 2007 when her husband became governor of the state, will ordinarily struggle to believe that she could descend so low to dig up such unpalatable words from the gutters to attack a man that commands so much respect both in his family and in the society. Come to think of it, who told Unoma Akpabio that Akwa Ibom state does not need a man of Umana’s stature as governor? Did she go on a vox pop to know the kind of man the state needs as governor? Or did she, as it has become her wont gather women to find out the qualities they would want from their next governor? Or, has the fact that he chose Udom as governor beclouded her sense of reasoning so much that she now tells us whom we should follow or detest? Someone just has to tell me how she arrived at such derisive conclusion or I will take it that the Anambra-born “mother Theresa’’ of our time has gone bananas. If she were to be in her elements, would she have stooped to that abysmal level just to score some cheap political points? From whichever prism one views that attack on UOU, the truth remains that she went off guard, loosed and out of handle. It was an unfortunate public indiscretion coming from the wife of a governor. By that comment, she stripped herself bare in public with benumbing arrogance. That’s what one gets when serious issues like politics are left to the whims of a woman who struts the Government House like an overfed queen as if her position as First Lady has any constitutional backing in the country.

Since the craze by governor Akpabio and his band of Yes-men began their ignoble plot to install Udom Emmanuel as governor, all hell has been let loosed. Supposed elder statesmen have become drunk, confused and numb. They have become everything but sensible. They have thrown to the bins, their sense of humanity and dignity. To them, all is fair in warfare. Poor dudes! Do you blame them? These guys have been used, pruned and reduced to mere toys by one man who now sees himself as an undisputed kingmaker that should have all of us catch a cold when he sneezes. That’s the bug that Unoma has fallen prey to. I know just as you do that if our patriots were to speak with respect and the manner men of their status should, Mrs Akpabio will never have the effrontery to speak ill of any elder in the state nor say things that a woman should, at best, keep within the confines of her home. But alas, the converse is the case. Those we looked up to have failed us, themselves and their families. Today, they mount the soap box with the speed and skill of a Monkey, dance with trained passion to music wafting from huge speakers with brazen hopelessness written all over their faces before grabbing the microphone to spew gibberish with reckless abandon. 

More often than not, in a bid to tar the image of revered statesmen in bad brush, most of them display, albeit with so much glee their speech dyslexia to bewildered citizens. Many a time, one is left to wonder how they came about their backlog of academic qualifications that they often flaunt around. The other day, in one of his sycophantic vitriolic, Senator Effiong Bob dropped one of his characteristic lines when he said that Uyo senatorial District has no governorship candidate. They do not? So, UOU is a non issue or better still, an unidentified flying object (UFO) in the sight of Effiong Bob? Well, that’s the by-product when a man who has seen it all, made so much money decides to eat from crumbs while displaying his avaricious greed in the face of great persecution on the collective sensibilities of the peace and right thinking citizens of Akwa Ibom state. He told the crowd that came out to welcome the PDP team during their grassroots tour and campaign rally in Nsit Ubium that they should toe the path of equity and fairness by allowing Eket to produce the next governor of the state. While no one disputes that fact, was it morally right for him to state that Uyo does not have any guber candidate? Wasn’t it a veiled attempt to smear the character of UOU? Talking about equity and fairness, does it have any connection whatsoever with the way and manner their “anointed governor’’ emerged as PDP’s standard bearer? Need I dwell on this issue? 

He who comes to equity must do so with clean hands hence, when these men open their mouths, they utter words that bring them face to face with the judgement throne. Instead of silently being lickspittles that they have become, they always almost resort to vomiting vile in public glare.  These men should please spare us their new found slavish status and quit insulting us with dispatch.   

It’s their wicked politicking and devilish scheming that have placed the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the brink of collapse today. What do you expect when truth is replaced by falsehood, and full blooded men celebrate it with both hands raised and feet shaking melodiously to treacherous tunes? Those who have left the PDP today did so because the party has become everything that it wasn’t in the past. Law and order has been thrown to the winds. Everything is about suppression, oppression and repression. 

Those who are not holding any political post today (past leaders) do not matter at all especially when they are seen and branded as old men by these desperate hawks. Today, the opposition parties have been given very huge teeth to bite because of the activities of some persons in PDP who now think themselves as demi gods. These are men that have made it a point of duty to deceive and mislead President Goodluck Jonathan. Having cowed the Otu-Oke born politician into accepting their evil shenanigan of an automatic ticket for another term in office, they got their wish. A wish that subsist in brazen disregard for the rule of law; a wish that things should be done upside down; a wish that the wishes of the people should be thrown to the dogs so long as the interest of a collective few is assured; a wish that Jonathan looks the other way while they rule with despotic immunity, bulldozing age long foundations painstakingly put in place by elder statesmen with so much swagger and aplomb.  

That’s Jonathan’s albatross today and indeed the doom and gloom that have engulfed the PDP. That’s what is haunting them. These governors are the brains behind the afflictions, pains and crisis that have befallen this self-acclaimed largest party in Africa. Now, Jonathan is battling for his life. They deceived him for their selfish interest and today, he is feeling the strain. He came to power by sheer luck hence; these guys pounced on that to bring him down. Their failure started with that automatic ticket given to him. As a man desperately in need of remaining in Aso Rock, he fell into the booby trap and has indeed become helplessly trapped ever since. Who will save bro Jona?
Issues have been compounded with the recent opting out from the party by the problematic Obasanjo. The former president says he is disenchanted with the level of oddity in the land hence his decision to quit a party on whose back he rode to power on two occasions.  

While his remarks amounts to pot calling a kettle black, it is safe that we take the message and leave the messenger since we all know how the Otta Farm chief piloted the affairs of the nation at the time he did coupled with most of his public utterances that often left much to be desired. We may attribute his decision to sever ties with the PDP by tearing his membership card before the cameras to old age, but all what is happening within the party’s fold only confirms wide held opinion that all is not well with PDP. Will they come out of this maze of self-inflicted crisis alive? Surely, only time will tell. 

Going back to the nub of this piece, Unoma Akpabio should quickly look for a subtle way to apologise to Umana. But if she wishes to maintain her ground, then she has shown a bad example to the womenfolk. While we seriously advocate that she desist from opening her mouth too wide at such rallies and public functions again, it will be better if she forfeits, in her best interest the temptation of ever talking in these gatherings. After all, did the Late Reggae star, Lucky Dube not say that if you can’t say something good about someone, you should shut up?      

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