Tuesday, 19 May 2015

He is not a bastard

He is not a bastard


In recent times I have read with shock and dismay all  manner of hate and disparaging messages, name-calling, mud-slinging, and the like directed at leadership mostly at the state and national level. I must say it is frightening and disconcerting. This is a new development that does not augur well for the good of all.

Who places people in leadership and positions of authority, if I may ask? No one is capable of installing a leader at any level. It is only the sovereign God that does it, whether we would like to accept it or don’t. Yes, the world system can arrange for the selection and election of leaders but the supreme God in the final analysis has the final authority to choose the leader for a PURPOSE.

That is why the spiritually discerning would describe the results of elections that are not in their favour as GODWIN. In essence, the outcome of any election is the sovereign will of God, whether one adjudges it as free, fair or not.

Permit me to draw inspiration from the scriptures to buttress the fact that the choice of leaders is an exclusive preserve of God for a PURPOSE. The Word of God in the Book of Romans 3:1-6 says, “Every one must submit himself to the governing authorities for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist has been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God had instituted. And those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right but for those who do wrong... He is God’s servant, an agent of God to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to authorities, not only for possible punishment but also because of conscience.”

This is an awesome fact that our leaders, such as Governors, Presidents, Ministers, Commissioners, Senators or any leader in position of authorities are ministers and servants of God. They are holding such positions in trust for God. Therefore, it is wrong to disparage or mud-sling leadership. If you do so, it is at your own peril. That is why the Word of God that says “touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm” is applicable to our leaders. If you name-call, castigate or deride leadership you are not only working in disobedience, you are deriding the Creator who puts them in that position of authority.

Rather, the Scriptures in 1 Timothy 2:1-3 enjoins us to pray for our leaders so that we may lead peaceable and quiet life. No wonder there are rancour, disquiet and problems in our domains because we fail to pray for our leaders. When we refer to a leader as clueless, it means the leader is bereft of ideas, thoughts, knowledge and wisdom. Indirectly, we mean that God who placed such a leader in that position does not know what He is doing.

God, as we know, is the author of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. The One who knows the end from the beginning. When He created the world and all its components, He looked back and adjudged His creation as good. He even created man in His own image and likeness. Thereafter, He assured us that His thoughts for us are good and not evil in order that we would attain an expected end. We, therefore, should not bad-mouth His creation.

Let us be mindful of our words and deeds lest we incur the wrath of our Maker. It is worthy to note that God’s ways are not our ways, neither His thoughts our thoughts. The sovereign Lord who rules and reigns over the affairs of men and nations does what pleases Him. That is why the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 1:27 says “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him.”

Psalms 113:7 tells us that “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap. He sits them with princes of their people.” The Holy Book has several examples of people who were raised from the lowly estate to positions of prominence. Need we refer to the lineage of Jesus Christ the Son of God that parades men and women of questionable character. God is God and does whatever He choses to do. No one can comprehend Him, so there is need to guard our utterances.

I am led to do this write up because in recent times, some people have gone to miserable lengths to cast aspersions and name-call our leaders. The most recent is the heart rending calling of our revered state Governor as a bastard. I vehemently disagree. He is not a bastard. These are some of my reasons:
· Any person created by God is legitimate because we were made by God our father in His image and likeness. We all have the legitimate right to live and move and have our being.

· Although we were born in sin, and we had all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, the supreme sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of calvary has nullified all traces of illegitimacy and made us free-born of God. For as many that received Christ as Lord and Saviour are sons of God.

When we look at this issue from the world view, Chief Dr. Godswill Obot Akpabio was appointed an Honourable Commissioner in the executive council of Akwa Ibom State Government, his so-called illegitimacy was wiped out then. When he was voted into power as the executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State for terms of eight (8) years, everything about him ADO OK! The title of His Excellency that goes with his position as the executive Governor of the State qualifies him to be excellent in thoughts, words, deeds and status, diminishing all traces of illegitimacy about him.

To cap it all, when on the 28th of March 2015 he was overwhelmingly elected as Senator-elect of Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District, he becomes a distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after he has been sworn-in. This ebullient, brilliant and highly accomplished son of Akwa Ibom State has been globally acclaimed as excellent and distinguished.

Let me seize this time and season to tell the world how this excellently distinguished gentleman has touch my life on a personal note. In 2002 or thereabout, the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) had through the Federal Government directives decided to establish 32 FM stations in states of the country that had no federal radio stations, state governments were expected to support the venture. I was privileged to be appointment the General Manager Designate of Atlantic 104.5 FM, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. 

While some stations were constructed and commenced operation, that of Akwa Ibom State later became moribund. Before then, I tried as much as I could to garner support for the station to takeoff. At a point in time, I was reassigned to take charge of a similar station known as Radio Nigeria Treasure 98.5 FM, Port Harcourt. By God’s special grace in 2008, I was appointed the zonal director in charge of South-East, South-South zone of FRCN based in Enugu. The federal station in Akwa Ibom State was under my jurisdiction. I approached His Excellency, Chief Dr. Godswill Akpabio for support, and he played a key role in empowering the takeoff of the station in 2010. I recall the linking of the station to the national power supply grid, the donation of a brand new Toyota Hilux vehicle and the use of the station by His Excellency, the Governor, for massive publicity of the state on the network service of Radio Nigeria, among several other supports.

Today, Radio Nigeria Atlantic FM has employed several Akwa Ibomites as well as contribute to the socio-cultural, political and economic development of the state. Akwa Ibom state that was hitherto blacked-out from the network service of Radio Nigeria has since been hooked on. Bravo!!!

I come from Oboyo Ikot Ita in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area, a village within the Akwa Ibom State Capital Development Authority. For more that fifty (50) years, we lacked motorable access road to the community. Indigenes and visitors had to “climb every mountain, cross every stream, follow every byway dotted with drum holes to get to the village, a land rich in farm products and white-sharp sand for house and road construction. It really wasn’t a palatable five (5) decades experience. As I write, there is in place a motorable tarred road from Mbikpong, Obot Idim Ibesikpo to Oboyo Ikot Ita. This feat was accomplished by His Excellency, Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio after decades of neglect and marginalization. 

Let me draw your attention to another accomplishment of Godswill Akpabio amongst several others I was privileged to witness recently. He had pulled down the old decrepit Governor’s office and built a world-class ultra-modern state-of-the-art office for the Governor. This edifice is second to non, just like the new state stadium. The new executive chamber is also incomparable to non in Nigeria. It parades state-of-the-art facilities with high standard of global best practices. The Governor can conduct his executive council meeting from any part of the world with modern facilities installed. As you step into the council chamber, unknown to anyone, a touch of a button would pop out a computer underneath the table. Its an eye popping and heartwarming experience which I encountered recently.

In conclusion, rather than vilify this uncommon transformer, let us hail and celebrate him. He is God sent and has the love of his people at heart. Dr. Godswill Akpabio has left indelible marks in the sands of time. His achievements are unparalleled legacies for generations unborn. The uncommon road networks constructed to link the various parts of the state is worthy of our gratitude. You won’t appreciate these efforts until you live in a state with deplorable road conditions where much money is spent on vehicle repairs and maintenance.

It is also needful to commend his beloved wife, Mrs. Ekaette Unoma Akpabio (Mkpo Uto Akwa Ibom). She has not only provided a conducive home front for her husband, the Governor, to operate but has gone the extra mile to touch the lives of women, especially widows, children, the poor and the needy.

As we step into another era of governance in Akwa Ibom State, lets start afresh and stop bad-mouthing our leaders. Lets eschew bitterness and rancour. Lets stop casting aspersions on our leaders. Remember I started by drawing attention from the Scriptures that our leaders are God’s ministers. They are God’s anointed servants holding forth the mantle of leadership for God. Our leaders are God’s ordained representative and we are enjoined to respect, honour and pray for their success, our success.

Our plea to God is for mercy as we now realise that we have knowingly or unknowingly offended God by the words of our mouth against our leaders, and by extension, abusing God Himself.
May God bless us all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Pastor (Mrs.) Emah Ekpo
Former Zonal Director
FRCN South-East/South-South Zone, Enugu

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