Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Dakkada; Eket and memory of Governor Adeusi


The people of Akwa Ibom State, be it from Andoni in Eastern Obolo, Ibeno, or the Ibibios, Ekid, the Annangs and Oro are of a distinct cultural ambiance which informs their temperament as it relates to their environment and existence. The Annang man is known for his resoluteness, hard work and bravery, same to the Ibibios. The Ekid man is known for his pride, doggedness, self independence and bravery while the Oro man has a combination of all the traits of an Ibibio man, ditto the Andonis of Eastern Obolo and Ibeno.
Succinctly put, the ethnic groups in Akwa Ibom spare are from one stock of moral and spiritual affinity.
The “Dakkada” mantra of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration is an indication that something is missing from our physiological, physical, moral and spiritual physiognomy. It is a jingle spiritually crafted to jolt us out of our slumber and pernicious track of modern existence, an existence alien to our innate qualities, the qualities that made us who we are (were) and made us proud our selves.

How does Navy Caption (Rtd) Joseph Adeusi, military administrator of Akwa Ibom State from August 21, 1996 to August 9, 1998, under the junta of Sani Abacha come into the revival agenda of contemporary Akwa Ibom as it affects the Ekid man?. 
Sometime in January 1998, the youths of Eket, in their thousands took to the streets, in protest of a devastating oil spill that occurred from Mobil Producing Pipelines. The spill was so enormous that for the first time, it destroyed fish ponds located close to the river abiteries along the Qua Iboe River in Onna, Eket and Esit Eket.
To make matters worst, the oil giant attempted to disown the spill, at a point, they accepted responsibility but claimed that the spill was a sheen. Whatever that means.
So, the youths, without any aegis, chanted the mantra “DAKKADA” and blocked all the roads leading to Mobil facilities at Qua Iboe Terminal in Ibeno and the Mobil Housing Estate In Eket. For days, the company felt the stink of the Mantra “DAKKADA”. This was when money was not a problem to Mobil but how to spend it, but yet they underrated the innate epigenous traits of the youths, invited them to a war dance and the youths woke up to protect their ancestral lineage.
Mobil, in their usual antics, called in the Governor of the State to intervene. Navy Captain Joseph Adeusi (Rtd) arrived Eket that fateful Monday morning, January 16 1998 and spent over nine (9) hours trying to douse the tension. By this time it was no longer a youth affair. Women saw the need to wake up. Led by a famous activist and journalist, Mrs. Emma Brown, the women went in between to control the protesters from going haywire.
Captain Adeusi as he was fondly called, while addressing the people, at Mobil Airstrip, pushed the protesters too far when he literally addressed the youths as a bunch of illiterates. Adeusi poured fuel into the already flaming furnace.
As if enchanted, the protesters chanted the Mantra E-DAKKA IDA and before the fine military officer with almost a battalion of armed body guards could recall what he said, he had gotten the surprise of his life.
Mrs. Emma Brown gave the military administrator a dirty slap that damaged his dark goggles with a stain of blood in his white eyes. The entire people of Eket rose to their feet to die with Emma Brown.
How could he dare call an enlightened people illiterate, they reasoned. A people who first knew how to wear trousers before any other tribe in Nigeria?
No, they were ready to die for the insolence. They were ready to die for the urine of their great grand parents. The urine has now become crude oil but yet they do not benefit one bit from it. Their youths are well educated in various fields of human endeavour, yet they are not employed in the process of exploiting and utilizing the black urine of their ancestors.
Adeusi must apologies, they insisted. Over 300 of the protesters were arrested on the orders of president Sani Abacha not because Adeusi was a weakling but because the spirit of DAKKADA is mightier than the gun. The oil giant at the centre of the storm regretted their action. They apologized to the fine Navy officer for the embarrassment they caused him but they took note that there is something they must kill.
The monster called DAKKADA must be killed if Mobil must survive, the company reasoned. As a brave and resolute people, they youths forged a common front and Afigh Iwaad Ekid emerged from the rubbles of the Oil Spill Crisis.
Governor Udom Emmanuel knows exactly where the locomotive lost its steam. He knows that throwing money around to almost every Akwa Ibom person will not solve the problem of poverty and backwardness if there is no rejuvenation of the people’s psychic, innate values and moral revival.
By the call to attune to the DAKKADA philosophy, the youths and people of Akwa Ibom State have been commanded to look for their right even from the very government that conveyed the cosmic language. They must call their representatives to account for their stewardship at various levels of government.
Leaders and representatives of the people must realize now that a spell has been cast on the people. A spell to be wiser than before. A spell to act when necessary and a spell to be bold to confront the bull by the horn. If DAKKADA becomes our way of life, Akwa Ibom State and its people may have arrived the land of the dream of its founding fathers.

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